Jurisdictional Overview

About liquor in New Brunswick

In New Brunswick, the production, sale, transport, and use of beverage alcohol is governed by the Liquor Control Act (LCA). The Minister of Public Safety is the Minister responsible for the LCA. The New Brunswick Liquor Corporation Act (NBLCA) creates the New Brunswick Liquor Corporation (ANBL) and establishes it as a Crown corporation. The Minister of Finance is responsible for the NBLCA. The NBCLA mandates ANBL to carry on the general business of manufacturing, buying, importing, and selling liquor in New Brunswick.

ANBL is the primary monopoly wholesaler and retailer of beverage alcohol and regulates the right to sell. New Brunswick is home to 40 corporate retail outlets, 90 private agency store outlets, 87 local producer agency stores, and 66 grocery stores.

For more information about the ANBL, visit www.anbl.com.

*Statistics quoted are as of September 13, 2022.

Registration and Listing process

How do I introduce new products into New Brunswick?

Most new product must be listed through the ANBL to be sold in the province. Exceptions are primarily related to locally produced product sold on-premise from a local producer.

Information on product listings may be found in the ANBL Product lifecycle manual. Please visit their ANBL supplier tab here and review the latest Product Management Procedure Manual.

Do I need a registered liquor agent to represent me?

Having a local agent is not a requirement in New Brunswick but we do recommend it as local agencies are familiar with our policies and practices and are able to work directly with the customers in the market.

There is no registration process for new agents but official written notice on corporate letterhead is required authorizing the agent to act on their behalf in the Province of New Brunswick. Sub agents require authorization from a Parent Agency.

Labelling and packaging requirements

What are the labelling and packaging requirements in New Brunswick?

In general, packaging and labelling requirements are governed by Federal and Provincial legislation; however, ANBL has some specific requirements, primarily related to Corporate Social Responsibility. These requirements are outlined in the Social Responsibility Guide for Product Listing found here. Details on Federal and Provincial packaging requirements can be found in the ANBL Product Life Cycle Management Manual. 

Laboratory testing requirements

What are the laboratory testing requirements in New Brunswick?

As part of the product listing process with ANBL, vendors are required to have a Certificate of Analysis for the applicable product. The Category Management team will follow up with the applicable vendor as required and reserves the right to randomly test and audit products for quality assurance purposes. 

Pricing components

What components make up the price of liquor in New Brunswick?

Pricing is a complex issue with considerations given to product category, size of container, and alcohol by volume. ANBL applies a markup based on these various considerations per category while maintaining both a minimum profit per litre and minimum retail price per category to minimize social harm associated with over consumption. Defined markup structures are in place to establish the retail selling price based on duty paid landed cost. The ANBL markup is applied as a percentage based on the value of the product that differs based on the product category and the product’s alcohol by volume content. In addition to markup, imported products may be subject to additional fees to cover handling expenses. Local products may be subjected to a warehouse handling fees. HST and a bottle deposit are applied to all products. Further details on mark-up by product category can be found here.

Sales channels and distribution

How does the sale and distribution of liquor products work in New Brunswick?

ANBL is a Provincial Crown Corporation established as the sole authority for importing and retailing beverage alcohol in New Brunswick. ANBL is one of Atlantic Canada’s leading retailers, with a network of 40 retail stores, including EXPÉRIENCE by ANBL, The Craft Beer Room, Depot, 90 privately operated agency stores, 88 manufacturer’s agency stores, 66 grocery stores and a central distribution centre that services all outlets. 

Marketing and promotion policies

What are the rules for the marketing and promotion of liquor products in New Brunswick?

The NBCLA provides clear guidelines for the advertising and marketing of liquor products in New Brunswick based on the type of permit held. There are specific rules for special occasion permits, club licenses, brewery licenses, and all other available licenses. Licence holders are responsible to consult and comply with the Act before undertaking any advertising or marketing of liquor in the province. 

ANBL is legislated to promote the responsible consumption of alcohol and complies with the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards and the New Brunswick Liquor Control Act Advertising guidelines in in-store, digital, and traditional advertising undertaken within the province. Additionally, internal advertising guidelines have been established by the ANBL through the organization’s Corporate Social Responsibility Policy for any corporate advertising and marketing efforts. ANBL’s annual In-Store Merchandising Program Guide provides guidance to suppliers and partners who advertise in our stores or at ANBL hosted events.

Licensing requirements

Do I need a liquor licence to sell liquor in New Brunswick?

Yes, to sell or supply liquor in New Brunswick, you must have a liquor licence or permit. The Department of Public Safety is responsible for beverage alcohol permits for local manufacturers, manufacturing companies as well as issuing licenses and regulation of establishments (such as bars and restaurants) and all other events and occasions where alcohol is served. For more information about these types of permits, visits GNB’s Department of Public Safety Gaming, Liquor and Security Licensing found here.

Manufacturers can open their own on-site retail location with authority from ANBL.

Relevant legislation, regulations and policies

What rules apply to me?

All activities related to the sale, consumption, importation, possession, storage and distribution/use of liquor in New Brunswick must be undertaken in accordance with the Liquor Control Act. Other stipulations regulated by this act include the maximum amount of homemade wine or beer a person may make or possess in their residence; whether the liquor is in its original container and whether that container is open; how much non-ANBL-purchased liquor it is permissible to acquire from another province or country, either for oneself or received as a gift.

Under this act, ANBL may appoint agents to sell liquor on its behalf and establish terms and conditions of those sales including the hours during which liquor may be sold. There are provisions of the act and associated regulations that specifically cite the Corporation and its requirements thereunder.

General contact

Who can I contact for more information?

If you have any questions or would like more information, contact ANBL at [email protected].