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Canadian Consumer Product Safety Act – A Brief History

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Canadian Consumer Product Safety Act – A Brief History

Enacted December 15th, 2010, The Canadian Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA) was put into force with the purpose of protecting the Canadian public from dangers posed by consumer products. By addressing and preventing these dangers on products manufactured in Canada and Imported into Canada from other countries, consumers are able to make informed decisions about the products they buy and the health risks associated with those products.

The CCPSA was put into force to replace Part I of the Hazardous Products Act, which received Royal Assent in 1985 and encompasses handling, selling, documentation, and transportation of hazardous products within Canada whether it be from business to business or otherwise. When consumers began expressing concerns over numerous products recalls for items such as children’s toys, Health Canada began moving forward with a Consumer Product Safety Action Plan, which promised to strengthen laws and regulations as well as improve industry oversight and provide better product information to Canadians. The action plan started receiving feedback in 2007 and by 2010 was refined enough to be implemented across Canada. Items such as children’s toys and household products now had regulations to adhere to, and Canadians were able to better understand the products they were purchasing and bringing into their homes. 

Today, the act applies to the following:

  1. Consumer Products
  2. Anything used in the manufacturing, importation, packaging, storing, advertising, selling, labelling, testing or transportation of a consumer product; and
  3. A document that is related to any of those activities or a consumer product.

The last amendment to this act was made October 17th, 2018, but it was the amendments made prior to May 23rd, 2018 that really shook the Vaping Industry. E-Liquids were now being categorized as consumer products, giving vendors a brand new set of regulations to adhere to come Royal Assent. For many this change would be disastrous to business, causing recalls across Canada that would render companies bankrupt. Those who were prepared, or who at least attempted to be, were able to stay a float and help change the direction of the industry to one which genuinely cared about the health and safety of their customers.  Changes to their normal regime now included manufacturing and import controls, avoiding misleading claims and advertising regulations, strict product traceability, and proper incident reporting on faulty devices and mislabelled e-liquids.

When enforcement of these new regulations first began, a large issue across Canada was the lack of consistency from one inspection to the next. Many companies found that what one auditor would consider grounds for a recall, another would pass. This issue was cleared up quickly but caused a lot of disapproval for the new regulations due to the added confusion of what is and isn’t allowed under the CCPSA. It was important for vendors to read through the regulations and understand their rights and responsibilities as a manufacturer or retailer of vape products, especially when the repercussions could be catastrophic to a company. Consequences of not following the regulations include fines, product seizures, recalls, and injunction.  Without clear communication from Health Canada, these threats were very real to anyone who didn’t understand how the full process worked.

 

Today, the laws and regulations are much better understood by both the Health Canada inspection officers as well as the vaping industry. The inspection process has calmed down since Royal Assent, and most companies have found a niche within which they can grow their company in a unique manner while still adhering to Health Canada’s rules on Consumer Products, but it is expected that we certainly haven’t seen the last of the changes made to the CCPSA regarding Vaping products.

 

For more information on your rights and responsibilities under CCPSA:

https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/news/media-room/video-gallery/canada-consumer-product-safety-act-ccpsa.html

 

R. Longwell

 

 

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