Product/Display Packaging Guidelines for Canadians
(* note this post is not a statement on actual legal guidelines and is for reference to Canadian or other government packaging guideline sources only.)
If you’re a Canadian company wanting to market or sell products in Canada, there are restrictions and requirements that will impact on how you do your packaging and display advertising.
Unfortunately, not all manufacturers and brand advertisers are willing to be truthful about their products. Others are truthful and accurate but don’t realize that packaging guidelines will still affect how they package and advertise.
Canadian Packaging Guidelines
The federal government regulates packaging and advertising for the most part across Canada. However, Canadian provinces have additional regulations which they enforce on certain products. To further complicate your packaging is that individual retail chains may have their own packaging requirements (see the Walmart Packaging Guidelines)
In some industries, there have been charges and fines laid against companies that were believed to be misleading. Some product areas such as food, medical equipment and health supplements are watched closely due to unsubstantiated claims made by manufacturers.
The United States Federal Trade Commission is vigorous in pursuing false claims and their regulations may impact how you package and promote your products there and here in Canada.
To avoid disappoint and expense, you would be wise to ensure you understand the regulations before printing, packaging and shipping. The government sets standards to ensure products contain the stated amounts of product and of what is said about these products on packaging of any type including your display packaging.
For instance, packaging may be rejected for having type that is too small to read (although the minimum for small packaging is a microscopic 1/32nd of an inch); or packaging that mentions something such as “family 1 litre size” may be thought to be misleading.
Another area of concern could be the graphic depiction (pictures) of the product when it doesn’t accurately represent the real product within the packaging. And another might date labelling on products with an expiry date.
There are plenty of ways to run afoul of Canadian and Ontario regulations. To be certain, you would be wise to consult with a lawyer who specializes in product law.
If product packaging labelling are thought to be deliberately misleading, charges may be laid under competition, copyright, criminal code, or other acts and managed by the Canadian Justice Department.
Complying with Canadian packaging guidelines and laws can help save you a lot of money in reprinting, legal, and shipping costs and is therefore, critically important to understand.
Hopefully, your packaging will not only be truthful and clear, but also effective on the retail shelves.
Check out some of our posts on packaging value, packaging design, and design improvement. If your product packaging isn’t getting the results you need, you may need a boost from point of purchase display packaging. This is extra promotional display cases that might be placed in store aisles, shelves or counter tops. Sometimes all a product needs is to be clearly seen, but understanding the key benefits of your products and how shoppers perceive it are essential too.