Frequently Asked Questions: Dairy Products Regulations

The FAQs below are meant to provide Canadians and businesses with general information about the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's regulations.

1. What is the purpose of these regulations?

The Dairy Products Regulations, under the authority of the Canada Agricultural Products Act, regulate domestic and imported dairy products to verify that they meet Canadian health and safety, quality, and labelling standards and are eligible to be traded interprovincially or internationally.

2. What are the key elements of these regulations?

Part I – Health and Safety: sets out a prohibition against the import, export, or interprovincial trade of a dairy product unless it is not contaminated, it is edible, it was prepared in a sanitary manner, and it meets all other requirements of the Food and Drugs Act and the Food and Drug Regulations with respect to the dairy product.

Part I.1 – Standards: establishes specific standards for certain dairy products, as well as requirements for the grading, packing and labelling of these products. Requirements and conditions for the registration of an establishment and for the operation and maintenance of a registered establishment are also provided.

Part II – International and Interprovincial Trade: sets out prohibitions against advertising and trading in export, import, and interprovincial trade unless the dairy product meets the requirements of the Regulations. Requirements for a cheese import licence, including the conditions of the licence and the provisions respecting its issuance, suspension and cancellation are set out. Standards for the composition of certain dairy products are provided, as well as requirements for the marking and labelling of a product.

Part III – Administration: provides for the analysis, inspection, and grading of dairy products. It also authorizes the seizure, detention, forfeiture and disposal of dairy products that are not in compliance with the legislation.

Schedule III to V: sets out standards for the marking of packaged dairy products.

3. How do these regulations affect Canadian businesses?

These regulations provide businesses with a set of requirements to ensure that their dairy products meet specified health and safety, and quality standards, as well as have consistent labelling information. A language for trade is established for the exporting, importing and interprovincial trading of dairy products. It also allows for the federal registration of establishments that produce dairy products.

4. When did these regulations come into force?

The Dairy Products Regulations came into force on November 15, 1979 under the Canada Agricultural Products Act. The regulation of dairy products however, has been in effect for over 100 years.

5. Where can I get more information?

For more information, please refer to the Dairy Products section of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's website.

Questions relating to the processed products may be directed to the Dairy Products Specialists at the CFIA regional office.

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