Canada Consumer Product Safety Act Comes Into Force

June 30, 2021
The safety of consumer products is important to all of us, especially when it comes to our children. We want to ensure that the number of unsafe or potentially unsafe products available on store shelves is reduced. Our Government recognized this concern and took swift action to replace 40-year old legislation with modern laws to protect all Canadians. This new Act is called the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act, which recently became law in Canada.

According to Safe Kids Canada, each year, more than 14,000 paediatric emergency room visits are children (under the age of 10), who have been injured by consumer products. Statistics like this one, are most concerning for parents and for our Government. Our Government quickly responded with modern laws to protect children and all Canadians from unsafe products.

The Canada Consumer Product Safety Act came into force on June 20, 2011. It replaces Part I of the Hazardous Products Act and introduces a new regulatory regime in Canada and will help reduce the number of unsafe or potentially unsafe consumer products on the Canadian market by:

•    prohibiting the manufacture, importation, advertisement, or sale of any consumer products that pose an unreasonable danger to human health or safety;
•    requiring industry to report when it knows about a serious incident or death related to their product, to provide government with timely information about important product safety issues;
•    requiring manufacturers or importers to provide test/study results on products when asked;
•    authorizing Health Canada to order the recall of unreasonably dangerous consumer products;
•    making it an offence to package or label consumer products that make false or deceptive health or safety claims;
•    requiring companies to retain documents to help trace products throughout the supply chain; and
•    raising fines and penalties for non-compliance from $1,000,000 to up to $5,000,000 for serious offences.

The Act heightens industry’s responsibility regarding the safety of the products they sell in Canada by imposing a general prohibition against the sale of unreasonably dangerous products. While most Canadian companies act responsibly, the Act allows the Government to deal more effectively with companies that withhold safety information or sell unreasonably dangerous products.

During the last six months, our Government has been actively communicating with industry to help ensure a smooth transition. Furthermore, Health Canada officials have been travelling across Canada to also inform industry of their new obligations under the Act. Information sessions have been held in 13 cities across Canada.

Canadians gave our Government a strong mandate to continue our country’s economic recovery and part of this mandate is to protect the Canadian consumer. The Canada Consumer Product Safety Act now provides our Government with the necessary power to do this by allowing it to remove any dangerous products from store shelves and ensure the safety of Canadians is protected.