Consumer Labeling in the USA & Canada

One of the services we offer at ICC is consumer labeling instructions for the USA and Canada. These are called instructions because we provide you with all of the information in the appropriate language, then you, in turn, provide that to your graphic artist to apply to your label.

The Canadian consumer regulations fall under the CCCR (Consumer Chemicals and Container Regulations). These regulations govern products like most cleaning supplies, paints, and solvents used in your home, but also things like essential oils and diffusers.

The USA has similar regulations, which are called the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission). The CPSC covers a wide variety of labeling requirements. Specifically, chemical type products are covered under the FHSA (Federal Hazardous Substances Act).

Many customers want to market their product in BOTH the USA and Canada. In a perfect world, you could use one label to cover both requirements, right? Well, unfortunately, it is not that simple.

A few of the big differences include:

  • French: Canada is a bilingual country, and therefore the labels must appear in both English and French.
  • Symbols: Canada has symbols for almost all of the classifications. The USA rarely applies a symbol.
  • Standardized phrases: Canada requires very specific phrases, while the USA does not specify phrasing in most cases.
  • Classification: This is huge. The criteria for classification are not the same. The reality is, you could have the same product with completely different warning requirements.

Ask ICC how we can help. Once the classification for your product is determined, we can advise you if one label would be suitable. 

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Karrie Ishmael, CDGP

Karrie Ishmael, CDGP

Karrie Ishmael has been with ICC since 1988. She has contributed to ICC's growth in various capacities, including customer service, sales, and marketing. In her current role as ICC's Senior Regulatory Expert and SDS author, Karrie conducts hazardous materials training classes in 49 CFR, IATA, IMDG, TDG along with OSHA and WHMIS hazard communication courses. When not training, she writes safety data sheets for customers to comply with North American and European requirements. She actively participates in many associations, including DGAC, COSTHA and is the former chair of SCHC’s OSHA Alliance Committee.