Canada Anti-Spam Regulations

By: Tracey Ford, Commercial Service Specialist, Canada

As of July 1, 2014 anti-spam legislation in Canada has come into force. This new law may affect how U.S. companies can communicate with their Canadian customers. Any commercial electronic messages (CEMs) sent to a computer in Canada will need to comply with the new rules. These CEMs include emails, SMS texts, social media messaging and text, sound, voice or image messages but excludes regular mail and telephone.

The legislation addresses unsolicited commercial electronic mail (spam) by prohibiting the sending of CEMs without consent. The three main rules for CEMs are:
-The sender must have the consent or implied consent of the receiver
-The sender must clearly identify themselves and anyone else related to the message
- There must be an option for the receiver to unsubscribe in every message sent.

The act applies to the CEMs that are sending messages to a computer located within Canada, regardless of where the message originates. American companies must comply with the act which could affect most electronic marketing and promotional campaigns. Penalties associated with violation of the law are a maximum of $1 million for individuals and $10 million for businesses for more information please visit the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission website at