Labelling Requirements for Alcoholic Beverages
Alcohol by Volume Declaration

This page is part of the Guidance Document Repository (GDR).

Looking for related documents?
Search for related documents in the Guidance Document Repository

All alcoholic beverages containing 1.1 percent or more alcohol by volume must declare the percentage by volume of alcohol contained in the product [B.02.003, FDR].

The alcohol by volume declaration must be that of the product as sold.

Example:
If a product is sold in a multiple serving bottle with two compartments, containing two different liquors with different contents of alcohol by volume and the product is intended to be poured in such a manner as to form a layered drink of the two liquors, it is not acceptable to declare on the main panel the single alcohol content of the final beverage, when poured according to instructions, and to declare the individual alcohol content of the two different liquors on the back label. Due to the variability of proportions that could occur when the beverage is poured, the separate alcohol by volume declarations are required as the main panel declaration. The intended combined declaration may be shown voluntarily elsewhere on the label.

Manner of Declaring – Alcohol by Volume Declaration

The percentage by volume of alcohol must be shown as "X % alcohol by volume" or be abbreviated "X % alc./vol." or X% alc/vol. Alternatively, the percentage may be in the middle of the declaration and shown preceded by the abbreviation "alc." or "alc" and followed by the abbreviation "vol." or "vol" (for example: "alc X% vol" or "alc. X% vol.") [B.02.003, FDR].

Location – Alcohol by Volume Declaration

The alcohol by volume declaration must be shown on the principal display panel (definition) [B.02.003, FDR]. For wine containers, the principal display surface (definition) includes any area, excluding its top and bottom, that can be seen without having to turn the container [CPLR 2(1)].

Language – Alcohol by Volume Declaration

The alcohol by volume declaration must be shown in both English and French [B.01.012(2), FDR]. The French translation is "X % d'alcool par volume". When abbreviated, the statements "X % alc./vol.", "X% alc/vol", "alc X% vol" and "alc. X% vol." are fully bilingual.

Date modified: