Frequently Asked Questions - Cosmetic Regulations

This document is an unofficial summary of the Regulations. It is not intended to substitute for, supersede or limit the requirements under the applicable legislation. In case of any discrepancy between this summary and the legislation, the legislation will prevail.

What is the purpose of this regulation?

The  Cosmetic Regulations under the  Food and Drugs Act (F&DA) help to protect consumers from health risks associated with the use of cosmetics marketed in Canada.

What are the key elements of this regulation?

The Cosmetic Regulations and the F&DA set out safety, labelling, ingredient restrictions and prohibitions, and notification requirements for cosmetic products. Manufacturers and importers must notify Health Canada when selling a cosmetic in Canada, and provide information about the product formulation.

Guidance documents for industry on the requirements for cosmetics are available on the cosmetics section of Health Canada's website.

How does this regulation affect Canadian businesses?

It is the responsibility of industry members to ensure compliance with the Cosmetic Regulations.

Notification of a cosmetic product is a mandatory requirement for the sale of cosmetics in Canada, as set out in section 30 of the Cosmetic Regulations. This involves submitting a fully completed Cosmetic Notification Form (CNF) to Health Canada within the first 10 days after a cosmetic is available for sale in Canada. The completed CNF provides specific product information, including:

  • address and contact person for the company
  • purpose of the cosmetic
  • form of the cosmetic (e.g. gel, solid, liquid, etc.)
  • ingredients used in the cosmetic
  • concentrations of the ingredients

Additionally, companies who provide a CNF to Health Canada must inform Health Canada whenever a change affects the information on a CNF. Some examples of this include (but are not limited to):

  • modification to the cosmetic formulation
  • change of product name
  • discontinuation of sale
  • new company name/address

In order to assist industry, a Guide to Completing Cosmetic Notification Forms is available on Health Canada's website.

What is the timeline for implementation?

The Cosmetic Regulations came into force under the Food and Drugs Act in 1977 but the Cosmetic Regulations have been amended more than once since then.

Where can I get more information on the Cosmetic Regulations?

Consumer Product Safety Program
Toll-free: 1-866-662-0666 (Calls will be routed to the nearest Consumer Product Safety Office.)

Important Links:

For More Information

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit the  Canada Gazette and  Consulting with Canadians websites.

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