On December 13, 2010 the Canadian government passed the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA), which replaces the current consumer product safety system. The CCPSA creates new, and in some cases onerous, obligations for manufacturers, importers, and distributors of consumer goods in Canada.

The CCPSA will come into force on June 20, 2011. Some of the important new provisions of the CCPSA are summarized below:

Recalls

For the first time the Minister of Health will have the power to issue product recall orders, which can require the cessation of the manufacture, sale, or advertisement of the product, or any other measure considered necessary.

Ban on Dangerous Products

The manufacture and importation of any product posing a “danger to human health or safety” or which is the subject of a recall order is prohibited, and any person with knowledge of a product danger or a recall order is prohibited from selling or advertising that product.

Reporting and Record Keeping

An incident anywhere in the world that resulted (or could be expected to have resulted) in death or serious health effects, or a recall or government measure initiated for health or safety reasons, must be reported. All manufactures, importers, distributors or sellers of consumer products must maintain records to permit identification of the source of the product.

Inspection

Inspectors are given broad new powers, including the ability to enter any place (other than a home) if they have reasonable grounds to believe it contains consumer products. Any consumer products found are subject to examination, testing, or seizure.

Penalties

Financial penalties and potential prison terms for contravention of the CCPSA are significant, with fines up to $5 million and prison terms of up to two years.

For further discussions of these, and other important aspects of the CCPSA and its implications for doing business in Canada, please visit the Gowlings product liability practice group web page at: www.gowlings.com/Services/product-liability.