Regulatory Changes to Canada’s Compositional Standard for Beer

Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a notice to industry on the changes to modernize Canada’s beer compositional standards. Amendments to the Regulations on the compositional standard for beer that are found in Division 2 of the Food and Drug Regulations (FDR) is published in Canada Gazette Part II, Volume 153, Number 9.  The amendments to the compositional standard for beer came into force April 15, 2019, the date on which the regulation was registered.
A summary of the changes to the compositional standard for beer can be found in the Notice to Industry that was recently released.

The Food and Drug Regulations (FDR) are amended to modernize the compositional standards for beer and ale, stout, porter and malt liquor by

  • (1) reducing duplication by having one compositional standard for all types of beers regardless of style, and one source of information for food additives relating to beer;
  • (2) allowing for the use of new ingredients and flavouring preparations to enable innovation and better reflect market developments;
  • (3) maintaining the integrity of beer by setting a maximum level of residual sugar; and
  • (4) clarifying existing requirements to reduce inconsistencies.

Other labelling amendments apply to provisions of the FDR to protect the health of Canadians by providing them with the necessary information on the label with respect to food allergen sources, gluten sources and added sulphites to make informed purchasing decisions. These labelling amendments apply to all beer sold in Canada, including intra-provincial sales.

The industry has been given time to transition to the new regulatory requirements, and to align with other labelling changes from the Government of Canada.

The changes to the FDR are the result of extensive consultations with consumers, brewers, and other stakeholders and will be applied by December 14, 2022. Until that date, Canadian brewers and beer importers must follow either the previous or the new requirements.

For more information, you can also consult the Questions and answers.