Certain imported goods are required to be marked with the country of origin. The following categories of goods require country of origin marking: • Goods for Personal or Household Use;

  • Hardware;
  • Novelties and Sporting Goods;
  • Paper Products;
  • Wearing Apparel; and
  • Horticultural Products.

Additional marking and labelling requirements exist in the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Regulations, the Textile Labelling and Advertising Regulations, Precious Metals Marking Act, and other government departments such as Agri-Food Canada.

Labels on textile goods must show the fibre content and dealer identity (e.g. CA number), and must be sufficiently permanent to withstand ten cleanings of the product. Certain textile goods such as swimwear, gloves and hats may contain a non-permanent label.

Labels must be bi-lingual if sales are in provinces where both official languages are commonly used.

If imported goods do not comply with the required marking and labelling requirements of the government, they will be refused entry, and monetary penalties under AMPS may be applied.

If the goods are improperly marked (i.e. wrong or missing country of origin), with special permission from Canada Customs, a temporary Bonded Warehouse may be set-up in advance of importation to allow the goods to be marked in the importer’s bonded premises.

The Textile Labelling Regulations also allow a dealer to import incompletely or improperly labelled consumer textile articles provided a Competition Bureau officer is notified at the time, or in advance of importation, of the details, including port of entry and the address of the premises where the re-labelling will be completed. On completion of the re-labelling, the dealer must notify the officer and provide a reasonable opportunity to inspect the labelled goods prior to resale.

AMPS Penalties for importing unmarked goods without prior approval from the CBSA are as follows.

  • 1st offence – $150
  • 2nd – $225
  • 3rd and subsequent – $450

There are exemptions to labelling and marking requirements, such as charitable donations, and goods for the exclusive use of the importer’s employees not for resale to the general public. If goods are eligible for exemptions, the end-use must be clearly indicated at time of importation.

Importers are encouraged to develop a quality control system that will help them be sure the fibre content, origin and other required information on their product labels are correct.

Additional information concerning this and other recent developments is available from our technical consulting group.