New e-labelling rules unzip opportunities for ICT manufacturers

Electronics manufacturers who have struggled to provide labelling on increasingly tiny consumer goods won’t need to see their customers squinting any more.

Karna Gupta, President and CEO of the Information Technology Association of Canada, welcomed new e-labelling regulations announced by the federal government. The change puts an end to paper labels and etching which have limited Canadian manufacturers’ ability to integrate electronics into clothes, personal accessories or digital medical devices.

“The new electronic labelling changes will unzip new opportunities for manufacturers, allowing them to take advantage of the best technology has to offer. With miniaturization, material innovation, and now e-labelling, technology can become invisible to the point it can be applied to or embedded into practically any personal accessory,” says Gupta.

It will also reduce costs, administrative burdens, and the need for expensive equipment This enables businesses to get their products into the hands of consumers more quickly.

Until this week, Canada’s regulations required labels to be visible on the actual electronic device. In some cases, unlabelled devices marketed in other areas of the world were prevented from entering Canadian markets, resulting in less choice for Canadian consumers.

Technology manufacturers will now be able to give consumers mandatory information about their devices electronically. Gupta says with e-labelling manufacturers will be able to add more details about device warranties or update labels remotely.

Industry Minister James Moore says the move will help Canadian business and consumers take full advantage of the digital economy. He added consumers will continue to be protected because boxes and other packaging will contain a notice informing the buyer that the product inside is e-labelled.

He noted e-labelling is already accepted practice in the United States, Australia, Japan, the United Arab Emirates, and Costa Rica.

The move towards e-labelling is estimated to benefit at least 75 percent of companies currently putting paper labels and etchings on their devices.

Government of Canada release