Test Marketing and Other Authorizations
Temporary Marketing Authorization Letters

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There is a distinction between a Test Market Food and a food that has received Temporary Marketing Authorization under the Food and Drug Regulations.

A Temporary Marketing Authorization Letter (TMAL), issued by the Assistant Deputy Minister of the Health Products and Food Branch, Health Canada, authorizes the sale of a food that does not meet one or more of the compositional, packaging, labelling or advertising requirements under the Food and Drugs Act and Food and Drug Regulations. The authorization is granted for a specified period of time, within a designated area and in a specified quantity for a specific manufacturer or distributor. A TMAL does not exempt foods from the requirements under the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act and Regulations, or other food legislation.

The purpose of a Temporary Marketing Authorization is to generate information in support of a proposed amendment to the Food and Drug Regulations.

For example, as a condition for obtaining a TMAL for the use of non-permitted labelling on a food, the companies involved agree:

  • to use only those non-permitted labelling statements approved by the Health Products and Food Branch,
  • to use these to carry out studies to determine consumer attitudes to the labelling and advertising material, and
  • to submit the results of these studies to the Health Products and Food Branch.

Further information on TMALs is available in Health Canada's General Guidance Document for Temporary Marketing Authorization for foods. Applications for a Temporary Marketing Authorization Letter and questions regarding any procedural details in applying for the TMAL should be addressed to:

Submission Management and Information Unit
Food Directorate, Health Products and Food Branch
Health Canada
251 Sir Frederick Banting Driveway
Postal Locator 2202E
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0K9

Phone: 613-960-0552
Fax: 613-946-4590

Email address: smiu-ugdi@hc-sc.gc.ca

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