Labelling of Prepackaged Firewood

Enforcement guidelines

June 13, 2003

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The Competition Bureau is an independent law enforcement agency that ensures all Canadians enjoy the benefits of a competitive economy. It is headed by the Commissioner of Competition who oversees the application of the Competition Act, the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act, the Textile Labelling Act, and the Precious Metals Marking Act.

The Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act requires that prepackaged consumer products bear accurate and meaningful labelling information to help consumers make informed purchasing decisions. The Act prohibits the making of false or misleading representations and sets out specifications for mandatory label information such as the product's name, net quantity and dealer identity.

This business advisory is intended to help dealers comply with the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act when labelling prepackaged firewood.

Labelling prepackaged firewood

Mandatory label information

Whether it is bagged, boxed, bundled or baled, firewood (including kindling) packaged for sale to the consumer requires a label, stating the product identity, the name and address of the responsible dealer and the net quantity.

  1. The product identity (what's in the package).
    Show this in both English and French, e.g.
    Firewood   Bois de chauffage
    The lettering must be at least 1.6 mm high.
  2. The name and address of the responsible dealer.
    (May be in either official language; lettering should be at least 1.6 mm high.)

  3. The net quantity of the firewood
    Prepackaged firewood, cut and/or split, must be sold in packages with a net quantity statement declared in terms of volume expressed in cubic decimetres (dm3). See instructions below to learn how to calculate net quantity. The declaration is based on "stacked/empilé" volume, and packers are encouraged to indicate this in the net quantity statement. For example:

    20 dm3 (stacked/empilé)

    If the wood is comprised of pieces obtained from lumber yards, wood mills, furniture manufactures, etc. as scrap from their processes, the net quantity of the package must be declared in terms of weight and expressed in grams or kilograms.

Type and form of label

If the firewood is packaged in a box or bag, apply the label information to the principal display panel (normally the large side) of the container. Or, for bags, it may be on a header card type label attached to the closure. For wood wrapped in straps, the label may be in the form of a hang tag attached to the straps.

Bilingual requirements

The Consumer Packaging and Labelling Regulations requires that all mandatory label information be shown in English and French except the dealer's name and address which can appear in either language.

However, a prepackaged product is exempt from the Act's bilingual labelling requirements if it is sold in a local government unit in which one of the official languages is the mother tongue of less than 10 per cent of its residents.

The province of Quebec has additional requirements concerning the use of the French language on all products marketed within its jurisdiction. Information on these requirements may be obtained from the:

Office de la langue française
125 Sherbrooke Street West
Montreal, Quebec
H2X 1X4

Telephone: 514‑873‑6565
Toll free: 1‑888‑873‑6202
Web site: http://www.oqlf.gouv.qc.ca/

Calculating net quantity of firewood in cubic decimeters (dm3)

Firewood
  1. stack the firewood relatively square (with a minimum of air space between the pieces);
  2. measure the dimensions of the stack;
  3. if your measurements are in inches, multiply the width by the height by the length and divide the result by 61.024

W x H x L =__ dm3 61.024

If your measurements are in centimeters, multiple W by H by L and divide the result by 1000.

Firewood for cylindrical bundles For cylindrical bundles, measure the diameter (D) and the length (L) of the bundle in decimeters (0.10 meter) before using the formula shown below:

Formula for determining volume of a cylinder: D2 x L x 0.7854 = dm3

If your measurements are in centimeters, divide the results by 1,000.

Offence and punishment

It is important to be accurate with the net quantity statement and any other information on the label. It is an offence under the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act to make a false or misleading statement or claim relating to a consumer product. Packages where the actual net quantity is found to be short of the declared net quantity, beyond prescribed tolerances, may be considered to be labeled with a misleading statement.

The court can impose a fine of up to $5,000 on summary conviction or $10,000 on conviction on indictment to anyone found guilty of making a false or misleading labelling claim on a prepackaged product.

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How to get more information

For information on the regulations for selling firewood by the cord, contact Measurement Canada, Industry Canada, listed in the blue pages of your telephone directory.

For more information on the laws that govern the labelling and advertising of consumer products, please contact the Competition Bureau's Information Centre.

Information Centre
Competition Bureau
50 Victoria Street
Gatineau QC K1A 0C9

Tel.: 819‑997‑4282
Toll‑free: 1‑800‑348‑5358
TDD (for hearing impaired): 1‑866‑694‑8389
Fax: 819‑997‑0324

Online: Enquiries/Complaints
Web site: www.competitionbureau.gc.ca

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