What does the Canadian Anti Spam Law ( CASL ) mean for me?

As of  July 1, 2014 the Canadian Anti-Spam Law (CASL) will be in effect. If you are located in or send to recipients in Canada this law can affect you.

This article can serve as a handy resource, but please note that this does not constitute legal advice. If you have more questions about CASL, we encourage you to contact an attorney in your area.

Who is responsible?

CASL states that any business or individual can be held liable and responsible for the messages that they send which are found to be violating CASL. Fines can be anywhere from $1-10M per violation. After July 1, 2017 any individual will be able to sue any entity that they believe is sending spam messages.


What’s covered?

CASL covers the sending of “commercial electronic messages” (CEM) that may be accessed by a computer or device located in Canada. A CEM includes any message that is sent electronically, including emails, text messages, instant messages, and some social media communications.


Who can I send to?

CASL requires that you obtain explicit consent from your recipient before sending them a message. There are a few exceptions to this rule, which fall under the “implied consent” category: 

  • The recipient has purchased a product, service or made another business deal, contract, or membership with your organization in the last 24 months
  • The recipient has disclosed to the sender his or her electronic address to which the CEM was sent, without having indicated a desire not to receive unsolicited CEMs, and the messages are relevant to the person’s business, role, or duties.
  • A professional message is sent to someone whose email address was given to you, or is conspicuously published, and who hasn't published or told you that they don't want unsolicited messages.


How do I obtain explicit consent?

If your recipients do not meet any of the criteria for “implied consent” you’ll have to obtain “explicit consent”. Requests for consent must contain:

  • You must state your purpose for obtaining consent. (e.g “We’d like to send you special offers!”)
  • You must provide contact information for yourself or who you're getting the consent on behalf of. This includes name, mailing address, and a phone number or email address for contact.
  • You must let them know that they have the option to opt-out if they want to


After June 30, 2017, you may only send to recipients with express consent or whose implied consent is currently valid under CASL ( 24 months after a purchase or six months after an inquiry.

Best Practices

  • Audit your existing communications. Make a list of who you’re sending to and what you’re sending them.
  • Review your current contact list and ensure they meet the criteria for either the “implied” or “explicit” consent category.
  • Review your current methods of collecting consent and ensure that they meet CASL guidelines.
  • Keep track of clients that fall into the “implied consent” category so that you can remove them once they no longer qualify.


The support team here at Frederick is happy to help you unsubscribe any list of contacts that you send to us, however, we assume no liability for contacts that remain on your contact list that are no longer CASL compliant.

We hope you’ve found this guide helpful! If you’d like more information on CASL and what it means for you check out:

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