Important news on registering alcohol containers

As of February 22, 2024, AGLC will no longer register alcohol containers with the BCMB on behalf of the liquor agencies. We are currently experiencing system issues that may potentially delay the alcohol container registration process. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and are actively working to resolve the issue. Learn More

Label your products

When labelling your products, there are legal requirements set out in Canada's Food and Drug Regulations that must be followed. These include rules about:

  • naming your products and French translations
  • declaring the net quantity of the product
  • declaring the alcohol by volume
  • declaring your identity and principal place of business
  • listing your ingredients

These rules are described below. For more details, visit the Canadian Food Inspection Agency website:

Name requirements

When naming your product, you must include its common name. The common name is the standard name by which the product is known in Canada. For example, "beer," "wine" and "rum" are all common names in Canada.

The common name is different from your brand name. You can be creative with product names, as long as you include the common name on the label.

Language requirements

The common name must appear in both English and French. Some common product names and their French translations are:

  • wine/vin
  • beer/biere
  • rum/rhum
  • gin (bilingual)
  • vodka (bilingual)

Tip: To find the French version of other common names, you can use a translation website such as Google Translate or

Some common product names are considered bilingual. This means you don't need to translate any of these names to French. Bilingual names include (in alphabetical order): Ale, Liqueur, Gin, Porter, Rye Whisky, Stout and Vodka.

Common names for beer

Beer must use specific common names based on its alcohol content. These names must also appear in French, unless they are listed as bilingual above.

Percentage of alcohol by volume (ABV) Qualified common names or common names
1.1 to 2.5% Extra Light Beer, Extra Light Ale, Extra Light Stout, Extra Light Porter
2.6 to 4.0% Light Beer, Light Ale, Light Stout, Light Porter
4.1 to 5.5% Beer, Ale, Stout, Porter
5.6 to 8.5% Strong Beer, Strong Ale, Strong Stout, Strong Porter, Malt Liqueur
8.6% or more Extra Strong Beer, Extra Strong Ale, Extra Strong Stout, Extra Strong Porter, Strong Malt Liqueur

Product size (net quantity declaration)

The net quantity must appear in metric units of volume.

  • if the product size is less than one litre, it must be shown in millilitres (for example, 750 ml)
  • if the product size is one litre or larger, it must be shown in litres (for example, 2 L)

Alcohol by volume declaration

The alcohol content of your product must be shown in one of the following ways:

  • "X% alcohol by volume"
  • "X% alc./vol."
  • "alc. X% vol."

Identity and principal place of business declaration

You must declare your company name and location on your labels. This must include enough accurate information so that someone could get in touch with the company.

Your identity is the legal or corporate name under which your company operates that is registered with the federal or provincial government. For example: Jane's Meadery Ltd. or John's Brewing Inc.

The principal place of business must lead to the main physical location of your company. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency encourages manufacturers to provide a mailing address that is complete enough that consumers can contact the company.

  • the principal place of business should include your address, city, province, postal code and country
  • websites, phone numbers and email addresses can be included on a label; however, they're not acceptable as a "principal place of business", since they're not physical locations

List of ingredients

You do not need to include a list of ingredients on the labels of "standardized alcoholic beverages", as long as they comply with standards in Division 2 of the Food and Drug Regulation. This includes beer, wine and rum.

Unstandardized alcoholic beverages have no standard in Division 2 of the Food and Drug Regulation. For example, products such as coolers (refreshment beverages), flavoured rum, flavoured vodka or flavoured gin require a complete list of ingredients and their components.


  For more information