What is the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act?

What is the consumer packaging and labelling act?

When selling and distributing products to other companies or directly to the consumer, companies are bound to meet a variety of regulatory requirements. The Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act (CPLA) is one of them. 

So, what exactly is it, and how does it affect businesses? 

The Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act (CPLA) Explained

The CPLA is a regulatory statute that relates to packaging, labelling, sale, importation and advertising of prepackaged goods. Originally implemented in Canada, where it is still administered by Canada’s Competition Bureau, in 1970, it affects all “dealers” that conduct business in the North American company. 

Dealers include retailers, manufacturers, processors or producers of products. The Act covers importing, packing and selling in relation to an extensive range of products. However, goods that fall under the remit of the Food and Drugs Act are exempt.

The CPLA sets out to ensure that all product packaging labels satisfy several key features. They must clearly state the name of the product and the net quantity of the product. Both of these elements should be stated in the English and French languages. Labels should also contain the dealer’s (company’s) name as well as the primary location of manufacturing. 

All information must also meet regulatory standards in relation to positioning and size. The set requirements can alter depending on the product type and size. CPLA rulings also require some products to state additional types of information. 

The Act is primarily designed to protect consumers and anyone else that may come into contact with the products within. While CPLA rules have been amended several times, failure to conform with the regulations can result in a $10,000 penalty and, potentially, 12 months in prison.

Additional CPLA Regulations In Quebec

When items are distributed in the French-speaking Province of Quebec, CPLA regulations rule that all inscriptions must be primarily drafted in the French language. This means that packaging labels must use French data as the most detailed version. While other languages, including English, can be included to supplement the info, it must not outweigh the French data.

Notable exceptions where the inscription can be in English (or another language) include when a trademark is made in Canada and is not supported by a French variant. Engraved, welded, embossed, and other permanent inscriptions in another language are also permitted unless they relate to safety. Toys, computer software, and educational products are governed by unique regulations.

As well as the CPLA rulings, both in Quebec and Canada as a whole, dealers may need to familiarise themselves with the Food and Drugs Act (Canada), Consumer Product Safety Act (Canada), Textile Labelling Act (Canada), Tobacco Act (Canada), and Competition Act (Canada) to ensure they meet all requirements and avoid the threat of fines or worse.

The best way for companies and sole traders to ensure that all labelling and packaging labels meet the necessary standards is to use the help of an expert. Lifestyle Packaging can take care of business across multiple industries. To learn more, get in touch today.

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