Your business and the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act
If you are a manufacturer, importer or seller of consumer products, the new Canada Consumer Product Safety Act that comes into force in a few months could have important implications for your business. The purpose of the Act is to protect the public, as well as to increase industry's responsibility towards keeping unsafe products off the market.
It is wise to keep abreast of your obligations under the new Act:
- Be aware that manufacturing, importing, selling or advertising any consumer product that could be a potential health or safety risk is prohibited.
- Take measures to avoid advertising or labelling that is false, misleading or deceptive as far as safety claims are concerned.
- Keep accurate records and report product safety information when needed.
- Bear in mind that your place of business may be inspected at any time (if it is not your home) and your products tested or recalled.
- Remember that you may be subject to fines or prosecution if you are found in non-compliance.
What should you do if you are concerned about how your business is affected by the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act?
- Consult Health Canada to stay informed about your responsibilities.
- Seek legal advice to make sure your practices pass muster.
- Implement a compliance strategy.
- Test your products to ensure they are up to standard.
- Track key information, so that you can fulfill any reporting obligations.
Keeping accurate, up-to-date records of the names and addresses of your suppliers is crucial, in case you run into any problems or defects. It is up to you to decide whether the problem is serious enough to cause death or health problems such as injuries that require medical treatment. If so, it is your duty to report it to the supplier and to Health Canada within two days of discovery. A detailed written report must be filed within ten days. You also need to report inadequate labelling.
The Minister of Health will be able to order product testing to ensure that businesses are in compliance with the Act, as well as the recall of any product deemed to be a danger to health and safety. Under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act, Health Canada inspectors are authorized to seize products, documents and computer files in order to verify whether they are compliant with the law. It is in your best interests to be vigilant about the quality of your products.
To learn more about consumer product requirements, take a look at our page on Health and safety regulations. You can find more information about labelling in our section on Marketing, advertising and sales regulations.