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Implementation plan for amendments to the Food and Drug Regulations related to nutrition labelling, list of ingredients and food colours


Health Canada published amendments to nutrition labelling, list of ingredients and food colour requirements of the Food and Drug Regulations (regulations) in Canada Gazette Part II on December 14, 2016. The key changes relate to:

These regulatory amendments provide a 5 year transition period for regulated parties to meet the new labelling requirements, ending on December 14, 2021. Amendments dealing with food colour specifications and removal of the synthetic colour certification requirement came into effect immediately at the time of publication of the amendments.

For the first year following the transition period, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will focus its efforts on education and compliance promotion (until December 14, 2022). After that date, the CFIA will verify compliance and apply enforcement discretion in cases of non-compliance when regulated parties have a detailed plan that shows how they intend to comply at the earliest possible time, and no later than December 14, 2023.

This document provides a summary of the CFIA and Health Canada's multi-year implementation plan during this transition period.


Regulated parties may apply either the former regulations or the new regulations over the 5 year transition period. Health Canada and the CFIA have developed an implementation plan for this transition period that includes 3 phases.

The key activities for each phase are summarized below.

Phase I (December 14, 2016 – May 10, 2018)

The publication of these amendments in Canada Gazette Part II marked the beginning of Phase I.

Key activities

Phase II (May 11, 2018 – December 14, 2021)

Phase II began mid May 2018, when the role of responding to inquiries on the new requirements transitioned from Health Canada to the CFIA, and continues until the end of the transition period (December 14, 2021).

Key activities

Phase III (December 15, 2021 – December 14, 2023)

Phase III marks the end of the transition period. The former regulations cease to be in effect as of December 15, 2021.

Key activities

After December 14, 2023, the new requirements will be fully integrated into CFIA compliance and enforcement activities and all food labels must be compliant with the new labelling requirements.

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