Imminent new requirement for wine exported to Canada – Labels to require allergen information

Earlier this year, Wine Australia advised of new rules in Canada relating to the declaration of allergenic material in food, including wine.

The rules come into force 18 months from the date of publication by Health Canada, that is, on 4 August 2012.

At that time, all wine offered for sale in Canada must be compliant with the new regulations.

Nevertheless, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) has written to its suppliers with the following timetable for implementation;

From 1 May this year new labels submitted to the LCBO will not be approved unless compliant with the allergen legislation.

From 4 August this year labels already in the market that do not comply will attract a warning from LCBO.

From 4 March next year non compliant labels in the market will be corrected by LCBO at the supplier’s expense.

This timetable is unrealistic and representations are being made urging greater flexibility and a longer transition period. Nevertheless, we suggest strongly that wine exporters consider the impact of these requirements on any wine sent to the Canadian market. (The LCBO controls the Ontario market, and similar agencies operate in the various Canadian provinces).

More information can be found on the website of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (see below). This site also links to the allergens pages of Health Canada.


An excerpt is as follows:

“The regulatory amendments enhance the labelling of prepackaged products. They do this by requiring mandatory declaration of the sources of common food allergens and gluten when they are present in a prepackaged product. They also require the declaration of added sulphites if they are present in a prepackaged product in a total amount of 10 parts per million (ppm) or more. These declarations will be required to appear on the label of the product:

  • in consistent and easy to understand terminology, and
  • either in the list of ingredients or in a statement that begins with the word “Contains”.”

For further information, contact the AWRI’s Health and Regulatory Information Manager, Creina Stockley on email: creina.stockley@awri.com.au or Tel: 08 8313 6612.