Canada Consumer Product Safety Act to Come into Force June 20th, 2011

13 May 2011

Health Canada has announced that the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA), signed into law in 2010, will come into force June 20th, 2011. The CCPSA reflects years of extensive consultations with a broad range of stakeholders, including industry representatives, consumer groups, children's organizations, standards development organizations, other levels of government and the general public, and applies to a wide variety of consumer products, including children’s toys.

Enacted to address “modern realities such as more complex materials, speedier innovation to market, new source countries for products, and increased consumer demand for information,” the CCPSA aims to strengthen consumer protection and better align Canada’s system with key trading partners around the world.

As outlined by Health Canada, key provisions of the CCPSA include:

Reporting of Incidents: The Act requires industry to provide information to Health Canada and to the product's supplier (if applicable) concerning consumer product safety incidents or product defects that result, or could reasonably be expected to result, in death or harmful health effects. This "early warning" provision also applies to inadequate labelling or instructions that could lead to the same results, and to recall orders or other corrective measures initiated in other jurisdictions for human health or safety reasons.

Maintaining Records/Paperwork: So that unsafe products can be traced back to their source, the CCPSA requires those who manufacture, import, advertise, sell or test consumer products for commercial purposes to prepare and maintain certain documents. Normally, these records would already be part of regular business practice. For example, the CCPSA requires that a retailer document the name and address of the product's supplier, and the location and the period during which they sold the product (but not the name of the individual to whom the product was sold). These requirements are more detailed at higher levels of trade.

Information on Product Safety: Health Canada can require manufacturers or importers to provide or obtain safety information - including studies or tests - that indicate whether a consumer product meets the requirements of the CCPSA.

General Prohibition: Under the Act, there are prohibitions related to the manufacture, importation, sale or advertisement of consumer products that could pose an unreasonable danger to the health or safety of Canadians.

Packaging and Labelling: Under the CCPSA there are prohibitions related to the packaging, labelling or advertisement of a consumer product in a manner that is false, misleading or deceptive in respect of its safety.

For more information about the Act, companies may consult Health Canada or seek legal advice.

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