Canada Passes Consumer Product Safety Act

Canadian WQA expresses concerns over some of the new regulations

The Canada Consumer Product Safety Act was voted through the Senate last month and received Royal Assent. The Canadian Health Minister issued a news release celebrating its passage and noted that an “accelerated implementation plan is being developed” for the act.

Under the act, Canadian Water Quality Assn. (CWQA) manufacturers, importers and distributors will have a responsibility to report product‐related safety incidents, and provide testing and study results on products when required by Health Canada. Health Canada continues to consult with the industry on its policy development for mandatory reporting of incidents. According to CWQA, as currently drafted, the act contains many problematic provisions that the association will need to address to ensure that Canada’s new product safety regime can be complied with by those in the business of delivering safe products to Canadians.

The effective date for these new industry obligations has not yet been set, but they could take effect as early as the second quarter of 2011. CWQA will be seeking further clarification from Health Canada on its implementation timeline and related policies.

In September, Health Canada signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Ontario’s Electrical Safety Authority to fill the role for electrical product safety investigations nationally. Future draft Policy and Guidance Documents are expected and CWQA is anticipating meeting with Health Canada in January to address industry concerns on the mandatory reporting policy.

Once further details are confirmed, CWQA will host a webinar session in February 2011 to brief members on the new responsibilities and obligations for businesses.

Canadian Water Quality Assn.

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