Canada Revenue Agency

Canada Revenue Agency

February 13, 2015 16:25 ET

Government of Canada Creates More Jobs by Eliminating Federal Barriers on Moving Beer and Spirits Across Provincial Borders

PENTICTON, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Feb. 13, 2015) - Canada Revenue Agency

The Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of National Revenue, joined by Dan Albas, Member of Parliament for Okanagan-Coquihalla, today announced that Canadians will now be able to purchase beer and spirits in provinces where they don't live and bring them home for personal use. The measure removes unnecessary red tape and is expected to benefit independent breweries and distilleries in communities across Canada by opening up regional markets and generating jobs.

Amendments to the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act (IILA) remove federal barriers and now allow individuals to move beer and spirits from one province to another for personal use. They were adopted as part of the Government of Canada's Economic Action Plan 2014 and follow the Government's elimination of similar barriers in 2012 in order to permit the interprovincial movement of wine for personal use.

Under the IILA, imports of alcohol must be done by a provincial liquor board or other agency authorized by the province to sell alcohol. This provision has not changed as a result of the amendments.

As provincial liquor laws govern the movement, sale, purchase and possession of wine, beer, and spirits within each province, changes to these laws are often also required to allow interprovincial movement. Since the previous amendment in 2012, both British Columbia and Manitoba allow personal importations of wine. The Government of Canada is encouraging all provinces to support this measure and enact the necessary laws to facilitate and encourage interprovincial trade.

The IILA is a federal law that controls the importation of beer, wine, and spirits into Canada and between provinces. It was enacted in 1928 at the request of the provinces after the revocation of their liquor prohibition laws.

Quick Facts

- Beer and liquor stores and agencies sold $21.4 billion worth of alcoholic beverages during the fiscal year ending March 31, 2013, up 2.2% from the previous year. (Source: Statistics Canada)

- In terms of volume sold, beer and liquor stores and agencies sold 2.3 billion litres of beer in 2013. (Source: Statistics Canada)

- Canada produced over 2.1 billion litres of domestic beer in 2013. (Source: Beer Canada)

- There are over 485 federally licensed breweries across the country, and nearly 150 distilleries.

- According to a 2013 study by the Conference Board of Canada, From Farm to Glass: The Value of Beer in Canada, the beer economy supports 1 out of every 100 jobs in Canada and generates $5.8 billion in government revenues in the form of product, income, and corporate taxes.


"We are a trading nation-Canada has trade agreements with 10 countries and is negotiating with more than 60 others around the world, but we need to make trade easier within our own borders. This is why our Government has eliminated federal restrictions allowing Canadians to take beer and spirits across provincial lines, just like we did in 2012 for wine. This red tape reduction will benefit independent breweries and distilleries across the country, by opening up regional markets and generating revenue that will create jobs in communities from coast to coast to coast."

The Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of National Revenue

"The Canadian Vintners Association continues to advocate for the removal of barriers that limit Canadians from purchasing wine from another province. We are encouraged to see the Government of Canada taking charge and removing internal barriers, first with wine and now with beer and spirits. We hope that all jurisdictions will adopt these measures so that Canadians can access a broad selection of Canadian wine products, no matter where they live."

Dan Paszkowski, President and CEO, Canadian Vintners Association

"Breaking down trade barriers gives our local breweries and distilleries the opportunity to be competitive in national markets, thus fostering growth and creating jobs in our community. I am pleased to participate in today's event and look forward to seeing the next steps the federal government takes to reduce red tape for Canadian businesses."

Dan Albas, Member of Parliament for Okanagan-Coquihalla, BC

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Associated Links

Amendment to the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act

Beer Canada

Canadian Vintners Association

Canadian Federation of Independent Business

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Contact Information

  • Rebecca Rogers
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Minister of National Revenue

    Philippe Brideau
    Media Relations
    Canada Revenue Agency