Alternative fuels

A company that produces alternative fuels sought a written opinion in June 2009 on whether one of its products could be claimed to be “Made in Canada”, and whether such a claim would raise concerns under the Competition Act (the "Act").

The Bureau assesses claims alluding to Canada as the country of origin by considering the criteria set out in its Guide to "Made in Canada" Claims and by applying the false and misleading representations provisions of the Act (sections 52 and 74.01).

In the Bureau's view, the company’s product would not consistently satisfy either the last substantial transformation, nor the 51% Canadian total direct costs criteria required for the use of a "Made in Canada" claim. In circumstances where the use of an unequivocal claim of "Made in Canada" to promote a product may be misleading, it could be appropriate to use a qualified claim, which more accurately reflects the limited production activity that does take place in Canada. The Bureau encourages the use of qualified claims (e.g., "Assembled in Canada", "Packaged in Canada", "Distilled in Canada", "Sewn in Canada") where the additional information provided is accurate, relevant, useful and does not give a false or misleading impression.

As a result, the Bureau issued an opinion in July 2009, which encouraged the use of a qualified claim provided that the qualified claim is truthful and can be substantiated by the company.


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