Made in Canada – How do you know if it really is?

So you made the decision that you want to purchase a “Made in Canada” product, but how do you know it is actually Canadian produced?

According to the Competition Bureau of Canada, they have some pretty strict guidelines about this that must be adhered to if a company wishes to make the claim that their products are Made in Canada.  There can be pretty stiff penalties if you make false claims.

Canada is a country that has a wealth of resources that are exported globally, but many materials such as textiles and commodities are often imported out of necessity and make their way into Canadian made goods.  It is not always possible to have 100% Canadian content even with our best of intentions.

If you want to slap a “Product of Canada” label on, at least 98% of the total direct costs of producing or manufacturing must occur in Canada.

For “Made in Canada” products 51% of the total direct costs associated with making the goods must occur here.  An important part of being considered “Made in Canada” or “Product of Canada” is that for both labels the “last substantial transformation of the good” must happen here.

Another consideration for “Made in Canada” is that label must be qualified further with statements such as “Made in Canada with imported parts”, the Bureau says.

The percentage makeup for “Made in Canada” may not totally be clear in some cases as technically the goods could be completely manufactured out of country, but the design and packaging of the products incurred a higher value than the actual cost of good produced.  Technically this product would then qualify as “Made in Canada”.

Marketers for companies whose products do not meet the criteria for a “Product of Canada” or “Made in Canada” claim, can use more specific terms that more accurately reflects the limited production or manufacturing activity that took place in Canada.

These terms could include “Assembled in Canada with foreign parts”, “Sewn in Canada with imported fabric”, “Designed in Canada”, or “Made in Canada from domestic and imported parts” or other variations. The Competition Bureau encourages the use of qualified claims where the additional information provided is accurate, relevant and useful, and does not give a false or misleading impression.

It is not always clear the status of Canadian content in the goods we purchase, but we can all be pro-active in seeking out these products, asking questions of the retailers if we are not sure and doing a little homework if necessary.

As I’ve been spending time researching to Find Canadian Made products, it has been very surprising how many Canadian companies are not tooting their horns about being a proud Canadian manufacturer.

For more information related to ‘Product of Canada’ and ‘Made in Canada’ guidelines, please see http://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/eng/03169.html


April 7, 2014

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