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Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. I-3)

Act current to 2020-11-17 and last amended on 2020-07-01. Previous Versions

Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act

R.S.C., 1985, c. I-3

An Act respecting interprovincial and international traffic in intoxicating liquors

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act.

  • R.S., c. I-4, s. 1

Marginal note:Definitions

 In this Act,

beer

 beer has the same meaning as in section 4 of the Excise Act; (bière)

bulk

 bulk has the same meaning as in section 2 of the Excise Act, 2001; (en vrac)

Chile

Chile has the same meaning as in subsection 2(1) of the Customs Tariff; (Chili)

Costa Rica

Costa Rica has the same meaning as in subsection 2(1) of the Customs Tariff; (Costa Rica)

CUSMA country

CUSMA country means a country that is a party to the Agreement as defined in section 2 of the Canada–United States–Mexico Agreement Implementation Act; (pays ACEUM)

denature

 denature has the same meaning as in section 2 of the Excise Act, 2001; (dénaturation)

EU country or other CETA beneficiary

EU country or other CETA beneficiary has the same meaning as in subsection 2(1) of the Customs Tariff; (pays de l’Union européenne ou autre bénéficiaire de l’AÉCG)

excise warehouse

 excise warehouse has the same meaning as in section 2 of the Excise Act, 2001; (entrepôt d'accise)

Honduras

Honduras has the same meaning as in subsection 2(1) of the Customs Tariff; (Honduras)

intoxicating liquor

intoxicating liquor means any liquor that is, by the law of the province for the time being in force, deemed to be intoxicating liquor and that it is unlawful to sell or have in possession without a permit or other authority of the government of the province or any board, commission, officer or other governmental agency authorized to issue the permit or grant the authority; (boisson enivrante)

Israel or another CIFTA beneficiary

Israel or another CIFTA beneficiary has the same meaning as in subsection 2(1) of the Customs Tariff; (Israël ou autre bénéficiaire de l’ALÉCI)

licensed distiller

 licensed distiller means a person who holds a spirits licence under section 14 of the Excise Act, 2001; (distillateur agréé)

NAFTA country

NAFTA country[Repealed, 2020, c. 1, s. 70]

packaged

 packaged has the same meaning as in section 2 of the Excise Act, 2001; (emballé)

Panama

Panama has the same meaning as in subsection 2(1) of the Customs Tariff; (Panama)

province

province means any province — other than Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut — in which there is in force an Act giving the government of the province or any board, commission, officer or other governmental agency control over the sale of intoxicating liquor in that province; (province)

spirits

spirits has the same meaning as in section 2 of the Excise Act, 2001; (spiritueux)

Ukraine

Ukraine has the same meaning as in subsection 2(1) of the Customs Tariff; (Ukraine)

wine

 wine has the same meaning as in section 2 of the Excise Act, 2001. (vin)

  • R.S., 1985, c. I-3, s. 2
  • 1993, c. 44, s. 159
  • 1997, c. 14, s. 80
  • 2001, c. 28, s. 52
  • 2002, c. 7, s. 182, c. 22, s. 394
  • 2012, c. 26, s. 57
  • 2014, c. 2, s. 12, c. 14, s. 21
  • 2017, c. 6, s. 28, c. 8, s. 18
  • 2019, c. 6, s. 7
  • 2019, c. 29, s. 185
  • 2020, c. 1, s. 70

Marginal note:Prohibition

  •  (1) Despite any other Act or law, other than the Foreign Missions and International Organizations Act, a person is not permitted to import, or cause to be imported, into a province from a place outside Canada any intoxicating liquor unless the intoxicating liquor has been purchased by or on behalf of, and is consigned to, Her Majesty or the executive government of a province, or any board, commission, officer or other governmental agency of the province that, by the law of that province, is authorized to sell intoxicating liquor.

  • Marginal note:Suspension of paragraph (2)(f)

    (1.1) The operation of paragraph (2)(f) is suspended during the period in which paragraph (2)(c) is in force.

  • Marginal note:Exceptions

    (2) The provisions of subsection (1) do not apply to

    • (a) the transportation of intoxicating liquor through a province to a territory or through Canada to a destination outside Canada, by the producer of the liquor or by a common carrier, if, during the time that the intoxicating liquor is being transported, its container is not opened or broken or any of the liquor is drunk or used;

    • (b) the importation of intoxicating liquor into a province by any person who is a licensed distiller or who is duly licensed by the Government of Canada to carry on the business or trade of a brewer if the liquor

      • (i) is imported solely for the purpose of being used for blending with or flavouring the products of the business or trade of a distiller or brewer carried on by the person in the province, and

      • (ii) is kept while in the province

        • (A) in the case of spirits or wine, in accordance with the Excise Act, 2001 and the laws of the province, and

        • (B) in the case of beer, by the person in a place or warehouse that conforms in all respects to the requirements of the law governing those places or warehouses;

    • (b.01) [Repealed, 2002, c. 22, s. 395]

    • (b.02) [Repealed, 2002, c. 22, s. 395]

    • (b.03) [Repealed, 2002, c. 22, s. 395]

    • (b.1) [Repealed, 2002, c. 22, s. 395]

    • (c) the importation of bulk spirits into a province from a CUSMA country by a licensed distiller for the purpose of being packaged by the distiller, if the spirits

      • (i) are entitled to the United States Tariff or the Mexico Tariff in the List of Tariff Provisions set out in the schedule to the Customs Tariff, and

      • (ii) are kept while in the province in accordance with the Excise Act, 2001 and the laws of the province;

    • (d) the importation of bulk spirits into a province from Chile by a licensed distiller for the purpose of being packaged by the distiller, if the spirits

      • (i) are entitled to the benefit of the Chile Tariff in the List of Tariff Provisions set out in the schedule to the Customs Tariff, and

      • (ii) are kept while in the province in accordance with the Excise Act, 2001 and the laws of the province;

    • (e) the importation of bulk spirits into a province from Costa Rica by a licensed distiller for the purpose of being packaged by the distiller, if the spirits

      • (i) are entitled to the benefit of the Costa Rica Tariff in the List of Tariff Provisions set out in the schedule to the Customs Tariff, and

      • (ii) are kept while in the province in accordance with the Excise Act, 2001 and the laws of the province;

    • (f) the importation of bulk spirits into a province from the United States by a licensed distiller for the purpose of being packaged by the distiller, if the spirits

      • (i) are entitled to the United States Tariff in the List of Tariff Provisions set out in the schedule to the Customs Tariff, and

      • (ii) are kept while in the province in accordance with the Excise Act, 2001 and the laws of the province;

    • (f.1) the importation of bulk spirits into a province from a country or territory listed in column 1 of the schedule by a licensed distiller for the purpose of being packaged by the distiller, if the spirits

      • (i) are entitled to the benefit of a tariff set out in column 2, and

      • (ii) are kept while in the province in accordance with the Excise Act, 2001 and the laws of the province; and

    • (g) the transfer by a licensed distiller of any spirits produced or packaged in accordance with the Excise Act, 2001 that is permitted by any Act or regulation or by special permit of the Canada Revenue Agency, if the spirits

      • (i) in the case of packaged spirits, are kept in an excise warehouse of a licensed distiller and in accordance with the laws of the province in which they are kept, and

      • (ii) in the case of bulk spirits, are kept in accordance with the Excise Act, 2001 and the laws of the province in which they are kept.

    • (h) [Repealed, 2019, c. 29, s. 186]

  • (3) [Repealed, 2002, c. 22, s. 411]

  • R.S., 1985, c. I-3, s. 3
  • 1988, c. 65, s. 132
  • 1993, c. 44, s. 160
  • 1997, c. 14, s. 81, c. 36, s. 211
  • 1999, c. 17, s. 163
  • 2001, c. 28, s. 53
  • 2002, c. 22, ss. 395, 411
  • 2004, c. 16, s. 9
  • 2005, c. 38, s. 138
  • 2012, c. 14, s. 1, c. 26, s. 58
  • 2014, c. 20, s. 163
  • 2017, c. 6, s. 29
  • 2019, c. 29, s. 186
  • 2020, c. 1, s. 71

Marginal note:Burden of proof

 The burden of proving the right to import, or to cause to be imported, any intoxicating liquor into a province is on the person accused.

  • R.S., 1985, c. I-3, s. 4
  • 2019, c. 29, s. 187

Marginal note:Punishment

 Every person who contravenes any of the provisions of this Act is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction

  • (a) for a first offence, to a fine not exceeding two hundred dollars, and in default of payment to imprisonment for any term not exceeding three months;

  • (b) for a second offence, to a fine of not less than two hundred dollars and not more than one thousand dollars, and in default of payment to imprisonment for any term not less than three months and not more than six months; and

  • (c) for each subsequent offence, to imprisonment for any term not less than six months and not more than twelve months.

  • R.S., c. I-4, s. 5

Marginal note:Prosecution in place where liquor imported

 A prosecution for any offence under this Act may be brought and carried on, and a conviction had, in the city, town or place into which any intoxicating liquor is unlawfully imported or in the place where the accused resides, but no prosecution shall be brought in any province against a person not within or residing in that province without the written approval of the attorney general of that province.

  • R.S., 1985, c. I-3, s. 6
  • 2019, c. 29, s. 188

Marginal note:Search warrants

  •  (1) If it is proved on oath before a recorder, two justices of the peace or a provincial court judge or, in the Province of Quebec, a judge of the Court of Quebec, that there are reasonable grounds to suspect that any intoxicating liquor is in any premises or place and that the intoxicating liquor is or has been dealt with contrary to this Act, that officer may grant a warrant to search the premises or place, including any Government railway, vehicle or steamship, for the intoxicating liquor, and, if the intoxicating liquor or any part thereof is found in the premises or place, to seize and bring it before him.

  • Marginal note:Forfeiture

    (2) Where any person is convicted of any offence against this Act, the officer or officers so convicting may adjudge and order, in addition to any other penalty, that the intoxicating liquor in respect of which the offence was committed and that has been seized under a search warrant granted under subsection (1), and all kegs, barrels, cases, boxes, bottles, packages and other receptacles of any kind whatever found containing the intoxicating liquor, be forfeited and destroyed, and the order shall thereupon be carried out by the constable or peace officer who executed the search warrant or by such other person as may be authorized to do so by the officer or officers who have made the conviction.

  • R.S., 1985, c. I-3, s. 7
  • R.S., 1985, c. 40 (4th Supp.), s. 2

Marginal note:Sacramental, medicinal and other purposes exempted

 Nothing in this Act prohibits the importing, or the causing to be imported, into a province from a place outside Canada of an intoxicating liquor for sacramental or medicinal purposes or for manufacturing or commercial purposes other than for the manufacture or use of an intoxicating liquor as a beverage.

  • R.S., 1985, c. I-3, s. 8
  • 2019, c. 29, s. 189

SCHEDULE(Paragraph 3(2)(f.1))

Column 1Column 2
Country or TerritoryTariff
EU country or other CETA beneficiaryCanada–European Union Tariff in the List of Tariff Provisions set out in the schedule to the Customs Tariff
HondurasHonduras Tariff in the List of Tariff Provisions set out in the schedule to the Customs Tariff
Israel or another CIFTA beneficiaryCanada–Israel Agreement Tariff in the List of Tariff Provisions set out in the schedule to the Customs Tariff
PanamaPanama Tariff in the List of Tariff Provisions set out in the schedule to the Customs Tariff
UkraineUkraine Tariff in the List of Tariff Provisions set out in the schedule to the Customs Tariff
  • 2012, c. 26, s. 59
  • 2014, c. 14, s. 22
  • 2017, c. 6, ss. 30, 31, c. 8, s. 19
  • 2019, c. 6, s. 8

RELATED PROVISIONS

  • — R.S., 1985, c. 40 (4th Supp.), s. 2(2)

    •  

      • Transitional — proceedings
        • 2 (2) Every proceeding commenced before the coming into force of this section under a provision amended by the schedule shall be taken up and continued under and in conformity with the amended provision without any further formality.

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