Harmonized milk classification system

All milk utilization must be declared as per their final end-use. The Harmonized Milk Classification System (HMCS) defines under which class milk components used in the manufacture of a finished dairy product must be declared to comply with this policy.

End-use definition: All milk used to process dairy products defined in Class 4(a) that are subsequently used as an ingredient to process another dairy product in Classes 1-3 or 4(b) are reclassified to their end use (i.e., from Class 4(a) to Classes 1-3 and 4(b)).

Class   Subclass


1 Milk and beverages 1(a) All milk and milk beverages
1(b) All types of cream with a minimum butterfat content of 5% for retail and food service
1(c) New 1(a) and 1(b) products approved by provincial authorities for an introductory period
1(d) 1(a) and 1(b) products marketed outside the ten signatory provinces of the National Milk Marketing Plan, but within Canadian boundaries (e.g.: Yukon, NWT, Nunavut, cruise ships)
Class Subclass


2 Yogurt and ice cream 2(a) All types of yogurt including yogurt beverages, Kefir, and Lassi, excluding frozen yogurt


Milkshakes, sports/nutrition drinks, fresh dairy desserts, sour cream, all types of ice cream, ice cream mix, other frozen dairy products, all types of fudge, pudding, and Indian sweets
Class Subclass


3 Cheese 3(a) Cheese derived from fluid milks, cheese curds, skim milk cheese, ricotta, and all other cheeses not referred to elsewhere
3(b) All cheddar, cheddar-type cheeses sold fresh, stirred curd, cream cheese, and cream cheese bases or cheese mixes, and any coagulated milk product not referred to in Class 3(a) or 3(c)
3(c) Asiago, Brick, Colby, Farmer’s, Feta, Gouda, Havarti, Jack, Monterey Jack, all types of Mozzarella, Muenster, Paneer, Parmesan, Swiss, part skim pizza cheese, pizza cheese
3(d) Standardized Mozzarella cheeses to be used strictly on fresh pizzas by establishments registered with the CDC under terms and conditions approved by the CMSMC
Class Subclass


4 Butter, concentrates, and powders 4(a) Butter and butteroil, concentrated milk as an ingredient in the food industry, concentrated milk protein, all types of powders, milk and milk components used to make infant formula, rennet casein (dry or curd) used in processed cheese
4(b) Concentrated milk for retail and all other products not elsewhere stated, and losses
4(c) New industrial products approved by provincial authorities for an introductory period
4(d) Inventories and returns
4(m) Milk components for animal feed
Class Subclass

Products for further processing

5 Dairy products used in further processing 5(a) Cheese used as ingredient in further processing in Canada
5(b) All other dairy products used as ingredients in further processing in Canada
5(c) Dairy products used as ingredients in the Canadian confectionery sector[1]
5(d) Planned exports and other exports approved by the CMSMC, the total of which shall not exceed Canada’s WTO commitments (only until December 31, 2020)

[1] Skim milk powder (SMP) and milk protein concentrate (MPC) are not eligible to class 5(c).