A look at what’s new in product regulation in Canada and abroad.

Licensure of Lab Staff Under the Human Pathogens and Toxins Regulations

The Human Pathogens and Toxins Regulations came into force on December 1, 2015.  These Regulations require laboratory personnel who possess, store or use higher risk human pathogens or toxins to be licensed and to adhere to specific safety and security requirements. 

A link to the Regulations and the Human Pathogens and Toxins Act under which they are made can be found here.

Issuance of Consumer Product Enforcement Summary Reports

Health Canada has recently released Consumer Product Enforcement Summary Reports in respect of 13 Cyclical Enforcement projects.  These projects verify industry’s compliance with requirements under various regulations to the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act.  Compliance of products subject to these projects is typically determined through a sampling and testing process by which Health Canada inspectors visit establishments (retailers, distributors, etc.) and inspect/test samples of relevant products. 

The reports addressed the following product categories:

  • Asbestos products
  • Carriages and strollers
  • Children’s jewellery
  • Children’s polyurethane foam products
  • Consumer chemicals and containers
  • Corded window coverings
  • Cosmetics
  • Cellulose fibre insulation products
  • Playpens
  • Adult clothing and accessories
  • Bedding
  • Hallowe’en costumes
  • Toys

Across most product categories, instances of non-compliance were found with resulting voluntary corrective action being taken (including voluntary recalls, stop sales, etc.).  No orders were issued.

The Summary Reports can be found here.

Regulatory Cooperation amongst North American Product Safety Regulators

The federal consumer product regulators of Mexico, the United States and Canada issued a joint statement following a Summit held in November 2015.  The Summit focused on customs cooperation, legal frameworks for recalls, international collaboration by nongovernment stakeholders, industry-adopted best practices, the role of voluntary product safety standards, and effective approaches to managing risk.

The joint statement identifies the following areas in which to enhance cooperation before the next Summit (in 2018):

  1. Further developing joint capacity to engage in cross-border product safety and customs cooperation. 
  2. Improving industry's practices regarding prompt notification of each relevant North American regulator when a hazard is associated with a product distributed in two or more North American countries.
  3. Instituting procedures for sharing information about e-commerce vendors and suppliers whose products may pose a common threat to the safety of North American consumers.
  4. Developing a trilateral Memorandum of Understanding as a platform for sustained and increased cooperation on consumer product safety in North America.