Under the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR), test market provisions now apply to all foods. Test marketing food allows exemption from certain regulatory requirements, such as bilingual labelling requirements under the Food and Drug Regulations (FDR) and regulated container sizes under the SFCR.
Under limited circumstances, foods may be eligible for an exemption from certain regulatory requirements for the purposes of test marketing a product. Companies may request an exemption to test market a product that is not in compliance with:
- bilingual labelling requirements of the Food and Drug Regulations (FDR) and the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR), and
- certain provisions in the SFCR (e.g., standard container size requirements)
In the Exemption for Test Marketing of Food Guide, an exemption granted for the purpose of test marketing a food is referred to as a test market authorization (TMA).
New Test Market Authorizations process
Test Market Authorizations (TMAs) are issued for test marketing a food. The food cannot have been sold previously in Canada in that form and must differ substantially from any other food sold in Canada with respect to its composition, function, state or packaging form.
All test market foods must be safe. A test market food is only exempt from certain regulatory provisions for a specified time-period and must comply with applicable legislation in all other respects.
TMAs that were granted prior to the coming into force date of the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR), i.e., January 15, 2019, will continue to be valid for the period for which they were issued, as indicated in authorization letters.
Learn more about applying for a TMA and use the online form entitled Application for an exemption for the purpose of test marketing a food – Test market authorization (CFIA/ACIA 5868) available in the CFIA’s Forms catalogue.