Nutrition Labelling, List of Ingredients and Food Colour Phase-In Timelines

Amendments to nutrition labelling, list of ingredients and food colour requirements of the Food and Drug Regulations were made and published in Canada Gazette Part II vol.150 December 14, 2016. The key changes relate to:

  • new requirements regarding the legibility of the list of ingredients
  • grouping of sugars in the list of ingredients
  • various changes to information contained in the Nutrition Facts table (NFt)
  • new requirements for how food colours are declared
  • removal of the requirement for certification of synthetic colours
  • incorporation by reference of daily values, templates for the NFt formats, reference amounts, serving sizes and most food colour specifications

Regulated parties have a 5-year transition period, ending on December 14, 2021, to meet the new labelling requirements. However, amendments dealing with food colour specifications and removal of the synthetic colour certification requirement were effective immediately at time of publication. While the end of the transition period for the amendments will remain December 14, 2021, for the first year (until December 14, 2022), the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will focus its efforts on education and compliance promotion.

After December 14, 2022, the CFIA will verify compliance and apply enforcement discretion in cases of non-compliance where manufacturers or importers have a detailed plan that shows how they intend to be compliant at the earliest possible time, and no later than December 14, 2023.

Health Canada and CFIA have developed an implementation plan for the transition period that includes 3 phases. including those related to the new requirements, the primary resource is the Industry Labelling Tool. Overview and phase-in plan can be viewed here. Any additional questions may be directed to a CFIA local office.

To order a copy of The Compendium of Templates for Nutrition Facts Tables and List of Ingredients, which was updated to reflect the new regulatory requirements, please visit the Health Canada website.

Implementation Phase-in timeline summary

December 14, 2016 to December 14, 2021

  • Transition period
  • New or old labels valid
  • CFIA focus on education and compliance promotion

December 15, 2021 to December 14, 2022

  • Transition period has ended
  • Former regulations are no longer in effect
  • New labelling requirements apply
  • CFIA will continue to focus on education and compliance promotion

December 15, 2022 to December 14, 2023

  • Regulated parties must comply with new labelling requirements or have a detailed plan to be compliant by (or before) December 14, 2023

After December 14 , 2023

  • Regulated parties must comply with new labelling requirements

More information and resources