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Safe Kids Canada – Consumer Product Safety


									                         SAFE KIDS CANADA
                         Frequently Asked Questions
                         Consumer Product Safety
1. How can I report a product safety issue?

Under the current Hazardous Product Act Health Canada has the authority to issue advisories
and warning for dangerous products. Recalls must be initiated by manufacturers and/or
distributors. This typically occurs once a manufacturer or distributor becomes aware that one of
their products poses a safety concern.

As a consumer, you can be active in ensuring that the products available for sale in Canada are in
fact safe. To report a product safety incident that you have experienced contact the National
Capital Region Consumer Product Safety Bureau at:

National Capital Region Consumer Product Safety Office
Product Safety Programme
Health Canada
MacDonald Building
123 Slater Street, 4th Floor A.L. 3504D
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0K9

Toll-free: 1-866-662-0666 (calls will be routed to closest regional office)


Click on the following link for the Product Safety Programme Online Contact Form

2. Where can I check Health Canada’s current product warnings and advisories?
Health Canada’s Consumer Product Safety Bureau maintains a list of product warnings and
advisories on its website. Click on the following link to view Health Canada’s Product Warning
and Advisory List.

3. Where can I find out about recalled products?
In 2007, Health Canada launched a new website called as part of its
Food and Consumer Safety Action Plan. This new website gives Canadians access to healthy
living information including food and product safety information as well as the ability to search
food and consumer product recalls by keyword, date, product or company name, or browse
through product recalls dating back to 1995. Click on the following link to begin searching
Health Canada’s Recall Database.

                                               -1-                                    March 2009
                        SAFE KIDS CANADA
                        Frequently Asked Questions
                        Consumer Product Safety
4. Where can I find more information on the proposed Canadian Consumer Product
Safety Act?
For more information on the proposed legislation you can consult Safe Kids Canada’s overview
on consumer product safety legislation located in Program Update #3. You can also visit Health
Canada’s new website and click on the food and consumer product
safety link under “Topics”. There you’ll find more information on Health Canada’s food and
consumer product safety programs as well as an overview of the Canadian Consumer Product
Safety Act.

The following FAQs on the Canadian Consumer Product Safety Act are taken from Health
Canada’s website:

5. Why does Canada need new product safety legislation?
The new Act is needed to update the laws overseeing consumer safety that have not been
thoroughly reviewed in over 40 years in order to deal with new products and technologies, as
well as increased global trade.

6. What is the purpose of the proposed Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA)?
The purpose of the proposed CCPSA is to protect the public by addressing or preventing dangers
to human health or safety that are posed by consumer products, including those made in and that
circulate within Canada and those that are imported. This will further protect the health and
safety of Canadians.

7. What are the key provisions of the proposed new Canada Consumer Product Safety
The key provisions proposed include:
   • A General Prohibition against the manufacture, importation, advertisement or sale of
       consumer products that pose an unreasonable danger to human health or safety
   • Expanding the scope of legislation to cover the manufacture of consumer products
   • Mandatory Reporting of Incidents: requires industry to report when they have knowledge
       of a serious incident, or death, to provide an early warning to the government
   • Ministerial Orders for Test/Study Results: requires manufacturers or importers to provide
       information on products when so ordered
   • Packaging and Labelling: prohibitions on packaging, labelling or advertising that is false,
       misleading or deceptive, as it relates to health or safety
   • Document Retention by Industry: facilitates product tracing throughout the supply chain,
       in particular in situations where a consumer product has been recalled
   • Inspectors' Orders for Corrective Measures, including Recall: allows for rapid response to
       address an emerging problem, particularly in situations where industry fails to take
       appropriate steps
   • Increased Fines and Penalties: provides stronger deterrents

                                              -2-                                   March 2009
                         SAFE KIDS CANADA
                         Frequently Asked Questions
                         Consumer Product Safety

   •   Administrative Monetary Penalties: allows for incremental penalties to deal with non-
       compliance; an effective tool in the enforcement continuum that includes criminal

8. What are the differences between this Bill and the former Bill C-52?
While there was general support for the former Bill C-52, stakeholders and Parliamentarians
identified a few key areas where the proposed wording and concepts could have been
strengthened or modified. We have responded -- the two biggest changes were an amendment to
the definition of "danger to human health or safety" and a time-frame review for inspector's
orders. The changes strengthen the Bill and provide further clarity, and respond to comments
received through extensive consultations.

To clarify the intent of the general prohibition, the definition of "danger to human health or
safety" has been changed to read: "any unreasonable hazard - existing or potential - that is posed
by a consumer product during or as a result of its normal or foreseeable use and that may
reasonably be expected to cause the death...or have an adverse effect on that individual's health -
including an injury...". This amendment is intended to protect the health and safety of Canadians
from unreasonable product hazards arising from their normal or foreseeable use, while
acknowledging that there may be dangers that cannot be eliminated. (For example: knives that
are sharp, or cook tops that may provide dangerous hot surfaces.)

Some stakeholders expressed concern about the amount of time it would take to have inspectors'
orders for corrective measures, such as a recall, reviewed. Under the proposed wording of the
new Act, a "review officer shall complete the review within a reasonable time" and the person
who has requested the review is to be notified "without delay" of the reasons for the review
officer's decision.

9. Would the enactment of the proposed Canada Consumer Product Safety Act mean that
all products in the marketplace would be safe for all Canadians?
The proposed legislation and Action Plan would significantly improve the product safety regime
in Canada, which would translate into improved health and safety for Canadians.
But we are all partners in this task. Product safety is in everyone's best interest -- and everyone
has a role to play -- Canadians, industry and governments.

10. How will unsafe products be stopped at the borders?
The Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) is responsible for stopping goods at the border.
Health Canada enjoys an excellent working relationship with the CBSA. This relationship,
combined with a written Service Agreement, has been particularly effective in preventing
prohibited products from entering Canada and also in facilitating additional targeted inspections
of both particular kinds of products and of shipments from companies with histories of poor

                                               -3-                                     March 2009
                        SAFE KIDS CANADA
                        Frequently Asked Questions
                        Consumer Product Safety
Inspections will continue to be conducted according to a strategic risk assessment approach. In
addition, the CBSA's Single Window Initiative (SWI) will give the Department access to
import/export data that will help to efficiently clear shipments of low risk products from low risk
suppliers or, alternatively, tag suspicious ones before they have even left their point of export.

11. How much new money is going to be required to fund the legislative proposal and
implement the associated Action Plan?
The 2008 Federal Budget provided $113 million over two years to fund the Action Plan.

12. Can Natural Health Products be regulated under the Canada Consumer Product
Safety Act?
No, Natural Health Products are regulated under their own regulatory framework (the Natural
Health Product Regulations) under the Food and Drugs Act. They cannot be separately regulated
by the proposed Canada Consumer Product Safety Act. In fact, Natural Health Products are
exempt from the proposed CCPSA, as they fall under the Food and Drugs Act. Schedule I of the
proposed CCPSA outlines the products that have been exempted, for example: drugs, cosmetics,
explosives, pest control products, etc -- products that are captured by other legislative and
regulatory frameworks.

For more information please contact Denyse Boxell, Project Leader, Safe Kids Week at

                                               -4-                                     March 2009

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