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Canada Consumer Safety Product Act Introduced

Posted: April 14, 2008

As a follow up to an earlier news regarding the Canada Food Safety Plan, legislation has been introduced to implement many of the recommendations in the plan. This bill, C-52, the Canada Consumer Safety Product Act, contains new provisions for retailers, importers and manufacturers, both domestic and foreign, of consumer products such as consumer chemicals. 

The bill has four important elements for businesses:

  • New recordkeeping requirements for retailers, importers and domestic manufacturers (Section 13).
  • New requirements to report "incidents" to the Minister of Health. Incidents cover product defects, characteristics, incorrect/insufficient product label information and occurrences that "could reasonably be expected to have resulted in an individual's death or in serious adverse effects on their health, including a serious injury." It is unclear at this moment how "serious adverse effects" will be interpreted, but it easily could include such things as adverse skin reactions. In addition, recalls from other jurisdiction such as US or Canadian provinces are to be reported (Section 14).
  • New powers to inspectors, including the power to immediately force a product recall through a written order (Section 32)
  • Increased fines: up to $5,000,000 for conviction on indictment and a fine of up to $500,000 on a summary conviction. Finding of a willful or reckless contravening of a provision increases these fines (Section 40).

There has also been a discussion of hiring more inspectors. Given that the price of non-compliance is about to skyrocket, companies must ensure that they are compliant with existing Canadian consumer regulations. Click here to view the full text of the bill (pdf 229 KB). (Source: FEMA)