On May 17, 2011, Health Canada published a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document concerning the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA). The CCPSA enters into force on June 20, 2011, and many questions remain unanswered. Industry and other stakeholders have been waiting for more detailed instructions from the agency. A copy of the CCPSA is available here, and the FAQ is available here.
A broad range of products and associated packaging are covered by the CCPSA. Under the Act, a “consumer product” is defined as a product, including its components, parts or accessories that may reasonably be expected to be obtained by an individual to be used for non-commercial purposes, including for domestic, recreational and sports purposes, and includes its packaging. Section 4 of the Act outlines the consumer products to which the CCPSA does not apply, including those listed in Schedule I. These include products that are covered under other legislation such as food, cosmetics, medical devices, drugs, natural health products, pest control products, fertilizers and vehicles.
The FAQ includes a fairly comprehensive set of questions. The following examples are provided for the reader’s convenience:
Q. Does my product fall under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA)?
Q. Is Health Canada considering adding certain products to the list of products to which the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA) does not apply?
Q. The definition of “consumer product” contains terms such as “obtained” and “non-commercial purposes” which are not defined in the Act. Is Health Canada going to provide definitions or guidance on these terms?
Q. Will there be a transition period for the implementation of the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA) and regulations, and if so, how long will it be?
Q. What does it mean in practice for the Minister to have the authority to order a recall?
Q. What is Mandatory Reporting?
Q. How do I determine what is considered as a reportable incident?
Q. Will the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA) Mandatory Reporting requirements be retroactive? For example, at the time that the Act comes into force on June 20th, 2011, will manufacturers, importers and retailers be required to report incidents that happened prior to that date?
Q. If a product falls under the purview of both the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA) and another statute, such as a provincial one, will Health Canada be the primary reporting body that will distribute the incident report information to the other regulatory body?
Q. Does a recall undertaken in another country need to be reported in Canada as well?
Q. Is Health Canada planning to require traceability of components of consumer products?
Q. When can we expect to see new regulations under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA)?
Q. When will the regulations for Administrative Monetary Penalties be developed?
Q. Will certain organizations be exempt from the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA)?
Q. What safeguards are in place to protect Confidential Business Information submitted to Health Canada?
Readers interested in consumer product safety should continue to follow Canada’s implementation of this important new law.