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. This classification is to be used by Provincial Marketing Boards and/or Provincial Regulatory Agencies to bill milk components.

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, 4(b)1, or 4(b)2 are reclassified to their end use (i.e., from Class 4(a) to Classes 1-3, 4(b)1, and 4(b)2).


Class 1 (a), (b), (c), (d)


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Milk Class Products
1(a) 1

All milk and milk beverages, except those defined in Class 1(a)2 and Class 1(a)3, made of partly skimmed or skimmed milk, whether treated or not for lactose intolerance, flavoured or not, with or without vitamins or minerals added, cultured milk for retail sale or the food services sector.

1(a) 2

Eggnog and all types of dairy beverages constituted of mixtures of fresh milk and fruit and vegetable juices and other products, with a dairy content exceeding 50 percent by weight and a dairy protein content of less than 75 percent of the dairy protein contained in an equal volume of Class 1(a)1 milk with the same butterfat content.

1(a) 3

Fortified* Class 1(a) products.

*dairy protein content exceeding that of an equal volume of fresh milk product with the same butterfat content.


All types of cream with a minimum butterfat content of 5% for retail and food service.


New 1(a) and 1(b) products for retail and food service approved by the provincial authorities during an introductory period.


1(a) and 1(b) products marketed outside the ten signatory provinces of the National Milk Marketing Plan, but within the Canadian boundaries (e.g.: Yukon, NWT, Nunavut & cruise ships).


Class 2 (a), (b)
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Milk Class Products

All types of yogurt including yogurt beverages, Kefir and Lassi, excluding frozen yogurt.

2(b) 1

Milk shakes for retail sale that are complying with the federal product standard for milk shake mixes; crème fraîche, all types of fudge, pudding, and Indian sweets.

2(b) 3

Sports/Nutrition Drinks with a minimum Protein Content 2X greater that of fluid milk products with the same butterfat content (skim milk products = 35 g of protein per liter).

2(b) 4

Fresh Dairy Desserts (i.e.: At least 75% fresh milk content, final product shelf life requires refrigeration).

Sour cream.

2(b) 5

All types of ice cream, ice cream mix, whether frozen or not; Other frozen dairy products including frozen yogurts, frozen desserts, and milkshake mixes not for retail sale.

Class 3 (a), (b), (c), (d)
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Milk Class Products
3(a) 1

Cheese with a minimum casein content of 95% derived from fluid milks not referred to elsewhere.

3(a) 2

Cheese curds, skim milk cheese, ricotta and all other cheeses not referred to elsewhere.

3(b) 1

Aged Cheddar (9 months and more as per Federal Dairy Product Standards).

3(b) 2

Cheddar, cheddar type cheeses sold fresh Footnote 1

Stirred curd, cream cheese, and cream cheese bases or cheese mixes, other than creamy bases or cheese mixes used to process productes referred to in another class.

Any product not referred to in Class 3(a)1, 3(a)2, 3(b)1, 3(c)1, 3(c)2, 3(c)3, 3(c)4, 3(c)5, 3(c)6 and 3(d) made by coagulating milk, coagulating milk products, or coagulating both milk and milk products with the aid of bacteria to form a curd; excludes rennet casein curd.

3(c) 1 Feta.
3(c) 2

Asiago, Gouda, Havarti, Parmesan, Swiss.

3(c) 3

Munster (Muenster) Canadian-style, part skim pizza cheese, pizza cheese.

3(c) 4

Brick, Colby, Farmer’s, Jack, Monterey Jack, all types of Mozzarella other than Pizza Mozzarella and Part Skim Pizza Mozzarella and Mozzarella falling within Class 3(d).

3(c) 5

Pizza Mozzarella and Part Skim Pizza Mozzarella not described in Class 3(d).

3(c) 6 Paneer.

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 4 (a), (b), (c), (d), (m)
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Milk Class Products
4(a) Butter and butteroil.
Concentrated milk as an ingredient in the food industry.

Concentrated milk protein in liquid and dry forms at a concentration of at least 40% on a dry matter basis Footnote 2 .

All types of powders (including but not limited to whole milk powder, skim milk powder, yogurt powder, sour cream powder, edible casein powders).

Milk and milk components used to make infant formula.

Rennet casein (dry or curd) used in the manufacture of non-standardized final products in the processed cheese category. Footnote 3

4(b) 1

Concentrated milk for Retail, whether sweetened or not.

Losses. Footnote 4

4(b) 2

All other products not elsewhere stated.


New industrial products approved by provincial authorities for an introductory period.


Inventories and returns. Footnote 5


Milk components for animal feed.

Class 5 (a), (b), (c)
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Milk Class Dairy products used as an ingredient in the further processing sector

Cheese used as ingredient in further processing in Canada.


All other dairy products used as ingredients in further processing in Canada.


Dairy products used as ingredients in the Canadian confectionery sector. Footnote 6