Individual labelling of goods in Quebec: are you compliant?

Be sure to properly indicate the sale price on individual goods.

In Quebec, the Consumer Protection Act requires merchants to indicate the sale price of each good offered in their establishment. However, there are exemptions that allow merchants to bypass that requirement.

Exemption for specific goods

A merchant is not required to indicate the sale price on goods that:

  • are sold at a price not exceeding $0.60;
  • are sold from a vending machine;
  • are unpackaged foods prior to sale;
  • are unpackaged prior to sale and whose sale price is based on a unit of measurement;
  • are sold for a price lower than that which is usually offered in the same establishment, when the regular price of these goods is clearly and legibly indicated near to where they are offered for sale;
  • are not directly accessible to the consumer in the establishment and for which the consumer must ask the merchant or the merchant’s representative;
  • are part of a pack, when the price of that pack is marked on the package or when the packaging of that pack is intended to be reused by the manufacturer;
  • are marked with a sale price that the merchant does not plan to change;
  • are frozen foods offered for sale;
  • are so small that it is impossible to legibly mark the price on them;
  • are unpackaged and are usually sold in bulk, except clothing;
  • are trees, plants or flowers;
  • are offered for sale in a returnable container.

General exemption for a business

If the merchant chooses to be exempt from the requirement to label each product, it must indicate the prices of articles on a label on the shelf.

In particular, it must:

  • use an optical scanner at checkout;
  • make optical scanners available to clients if the merchant’s business has an area greater than 697 m2;
  • indicate the product price and description on a label on a shelf near the good being sold. The label must be between 9.67 cm2 and 12.9 cm2, as provided by law;
  • if it is a food, the label must indicate the cost of the product by unit of measurement, for example, by the litre or by the kilogram, and any characteristic that can affect its price or distinguish it from other goods of the same kind;
  • post the Price Accuracy Policy near each checkout and each optical scanner. If the merchant’s business has an area greater than 697 m2, it must also post the policy in a clearly visible place, in legible font;
  • give you a detailed sales receipt indicating the name and telephone number of the business, the product description and price, and the transaction date.

Price Accuracy Policy

The merchant observes the Price Accuracy Policy by posting it. Where the wrong price is charged at checkout, the merchant is required to compensate the consumer.

If the price charged at checkout is higher than the price advertised in the flyer or marked on the store shelf, the merchant must give you the product free of charge if the advertised price is $10 or less.

For products with an advertised price over $10, the merchant must first adjust the price of the article to the advertised price and give you a $10 discount on the adjusted price.

Special cases

The price of the following products must always be indicated on a unit basis:

  • clothing;
  • articles without barcodes.

This applies even if the merchant is exempt from the individual price labelling rule and uses an optical scanner.


About the author

Myriam Baril

Myriam Baril

Marketing Advisor, Retail Solutions

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Myriam joined the ACCEO team in 2016, first as a marketing intern and then as a marketing advisor, her current position. Among other things, she worked on a supervised project focusing on the impact of the optimization of social media and content marketing on the achievement of an IT company’s business goals.

Myriam holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications – Business Administration from UQAM, and a master’s degree in Management Sciences – Marketing from HEC Montreal. She is recognized for her knowledge and skills in the fields of social marketing, communications, and corporate and real estate law. Myriam has acquired expertise as a copywriter and paralegal, as well as an event organizer and host through her involvement with graduate students as representative of the Marketing option.

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