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Archived - Canadian Export Requirements for Dairy Products - Overview

This page has been archived

This page was archived due to the coming into force of the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations. Archived information is provided for reference, research or record-keeping purposes only. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. For current information visit Food.

This information is intended to provide an overview of federal requirements for the processing and distribution (export) of products covered by the Dairy Products Regulations.  This is not intended to replace any federal regulations; it is recommended to consult the appropriate set of regulations before using any information.

If you wish to export a dairy product, please ensure that the following points are observed:

  1. The dairy product has been prepared in a registered establishment.
  2. Minimum Grade or Standard - in the case of a dairy product for which grades are established by these regulations, the dairy product has been graded and the appropriate grade certificate has been issued.

    Grades as described in the Dairy Products Regulations exist for only the following products: cheddar cheese, butter and butter products, and dry milk products. The grade names are Canada 1, Canada 2, and Canada 3. Canada 3 grade, in the case of butter, butter products, and cheddar cheese, is a processing grade, and shall be used only for these products packed in bulk. Interprovincial or international shipments of these products must meet one of the grade requirements.

    For many dairy products, standards are established in the Dairy Products Regulations. For an interprovincial or international shipment of a dairy product for which a standard is established such as "cottage cheese", the specified composition must be respected, as outlined in the Dairy Products Regulations.

  3. Prepackaged cheddar cheese, butter, and milk powders require markings to appear in at least English or French; other prepackaged dairy products require markings in both English and French.

    If packed in bulk, the label of dairy products for which standards are established must bear the following information: the common name; the registration number; churn/vat/lot number and date of production where applicable; declaration of net contents in Canadian units, metric units, or both; in the case of cheese, an indication that it was made from pasteurized milk; the identity and principal place of business of the person by or for whom the dairy product was manufactured or produced for resale; list of ingredients as set out by the Food and Drug Regulations; the durable life and instructions for storage; "Product of Canada" when packed for export from Canada.


The above export sections do not apply in the following situations:

  1. The food product weighs 20 kg or less, or
  2. The food product is part of an emigrant's effects.

A food product that does not meet the requirements of the DPR may be exported if the shipper provides a signed statement confirming that the dairy product complies with the requirements of the importing country. This declaration must be included in the export documentation.

If in doubt about a foreign country's requirements on imported foods, it is advisable that you contact the importing country's department of agriculture or perhaps its embassy/consulate/trade commission in Canada before exporting.


Fees are in place for the preparation of export documentation by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Full payment is due upon issuance of the export documentation except for clients with pre-authorized credit privileges who will pay upon receipt of their monthly statement.

Products Regulated by the Dairy Products Regulations

Dairy Products for which grades are established: Cheddar cheese, butter and butter products, and dry milk products.

Standardized Dairy Products: Cottage cheese, creamed cottage cheese, whey cheese or (naming the variety) whey cheese, cream cheese, cream cheese with (naming the added ingredients), cream cheese spread, cream cheese spread with (naming the added ingredients), processed (naming the variety) cheese, processed (naming the variety) cheese with (naming the added ingredients), processed cheese food, processed cheese food with (naming the added ingredients), processed cheese spread, processed cheese spread with (naming the added ingredients), cold-pack (naming the variety) cheese, cold-pack (naming the variety) cheese with (naming the added ingredients), cold-pack cheese food, cold-pack cheese food with (naming the added ingredients), butter with flavour or seasoning, butter with (naming the fruit, vegetable, or relish), butter oil (clarified butter), anhydrous butter oil, mix for frozen dairy products, frozen dairy product, sherbet, milk shake mix, evaporated milk or concentrated milk, condensed milk or sweetened concentrated milk, evaporated skim milk or concentrated skim milk, evaporated partly skimmed milk or concentrated partly skimmed milk, malted milk powder, (naming the flavour) malted milk powder, sterilized milk, sterilized cream.

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