Meeting Canada Consumer Product Safety Act requirements

The Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA) received Royal Assent in late 2010, and it came into force on June 20, 2011.

About the Legislation

Canada and Canadians have been well served by our consumer product safety laws. However, modern realities such as more complex materials, speedier innovation to market, new source countries for products, and increased consumer demand for information require a 21st century approach.

Administered by Health Canada, the new Canada Consumer Product Safety Act adopts modern tools and techniques that strengthen protection and bring Canada’s consumer product safety system into line with our key trading partners.

The CPSA reflects years of extensive consultations with a broad range of stakeholders, including industry representatives, consumer groups, children’s organizations, standards development organizations, other levels of government and the general public.

The new law 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 (including natural health products) and animals as these are regulated by other Canadian laws.

What are the key provisions of the new Canada Consumer Product Safety Act?

  • Reporting of Incidents: The Act requires industry to provide information to Health Canada and to the product’s supplier (if applicable) concerning consumer product safety incidents or product defects that result, or could reasonably be expected to result, in death or harmful health effects. This “early warning” provision also applies to inadequate labelling or instructions that could lead to the same results, and to recall orders or other corrective measures initiated in other jurisdictions for human health or safety reasons.
  • Preparing and Maintaining Documents: So that unsafe products can be traced 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. Normally, these records would already be part of regular business practice. 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 they sold the product (but not the name of the individual to whom the product was sold). These requirements are more detailed at higher levels of trade.
  • Information on Product Safety: Health Canada can require manufacturers or importers to provide or obtain safety information – including studies or tests – that indicate whether a consumer product meets the requirements of the CCPSA.
  • General Prohibition: Under the Act, there are prohibitions related to the manufacture, importation, sale or advertisement of consumer products that could pose an unreasonable danger to the health or safety of Canadians.
  • Packaging and Labelling: Under the CCPSA there are prohibitions related to the packaging, labelling or advertisement of a consumer product in a manner that is false, misleading or deceptive in respect of its safety.

Everyone has a Role to Play

Because product safety is in everyone’s best interest, everyone has a role to play. The CCPSA clearly defines industry‘s obligations, helps consumers to make informed choices about the products they purchase, and provides government with the tools to take action when necessary.

Product Safety Testing

Health Canada carries out testing and research in its investigation of chemical, flammability, mechanical and electrical hazards of consumer products. We also develop and share test methods with industry and private laboratories.

In this topic…

Why do we test?

Most of our tests are carried out to verify that products comply with existing safety regulations and standards. In addition, laboratory analyses provide valuable information following complaints and investigations.

What do we test?

Testing is performed on products such as cribs, household chemicals, paints, mattresses, clothing and tents.

Health Canada conducts testing in several other areas as well. Visit the Food Safety or Drugs and Health Products sections of this Web site to learn more.

How do we use the results?

The results of our testing are used in the development of safety standards and regulations, the enforcement of those regulations, the identification of potential hazards and in educational activities.

How do I get test methods for my products?


  • Consultation on the Proposal for Cadmium Guidelines in Children’s Jewellery
  • Consultation on Draft Guidance for Mandatory Incident Reporting under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act – completed April 8, 2011
  • Consultation on Draft Guidance on Preparing and Maintaining Documents under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act
  • Regulatory Consultation – Proposal for the Making of Administrative Monetary Penalties (AMP) Regulations under the proposed Canada Consumer Product Safety Act – completed November 26, 2010
  • Regulatory Consultation on the Proposal for the Making of Exemption Regulations Respecting Consumer Products Non-Compliant with Requirements in Regulations and Preparing and Maintaining Documents under the Proposed Canada Consumer Product Safety Act – completed November 12, 2010
  • Consultation on the Mandatory Reporting Policy for the Proposed Canada Consumer Product Safety Act – completed October 29, 2010
    • Mandatory Reporting – Feedback

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