Canada Consumer Product Safety Act Comes into Force effective June 20, 2011On June 20, 2011, the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Canada's Health Minister, and the Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs, announced that the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA) is now the law of the land.
The CCPSA replaces Part I of the Hazardous Products Act and applies to a wide variety of consumer products including children's toys, household products and sporting goods, but excludes products like motor vehicles and their integral parts, food, drugs and animals which are regulated by other country laws.
According to Health Canada, the purpose of the new Act is to protect the health and safety of Canadian by addressing or preventing dangers posed by consumer products. "I am pleased that our Government now has the power to remove dangerous products from the store shelves", said Minister Aglukkaq.
The CCPSA will introduce additional responsibilities for businesses, but is also meant to provide them with additional benefits by helping them avoid the negative public perception and weakened consumer confidence created by unsafe products.
In its effort to prevent dangers to human health and safety, the CCPSA clearly defines industry's obligations in several key provisions, which are as follows:
- Reporting incidents: The CCPSA requires industry to provide information to Health Canada and to the product's supplier (when applicable) regarding consumer product safety incidents or product defects that result, or could reasonably be expected to result, in death or harmful health effects.
- Maintaining records: In order to track unsafe products 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. This is not expected to impose any additional burden on businesses, as such recordkeeping would normally already be part of regular business procedures. 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 the retailer sold the product.
- Information on product safety: Health Canada can require manufactures or importers to provide or obtain safety information - which include studies or tests - that indicate whether a consumer product is compliant with CCPSA's requirements.
- General prohibition: The CCPSA prohibits the manufacture, importation, advertisement or sale of consumer products that could pose an unreasonable danger to human health or safety.
- Packaging and labelling: The CCPSA prohibits packaging, labelling or advertising of a consumer product in a manner that is false, misleading or deceptive in respect of its safety.
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Source: Health Canada