Regulating pesticides

Learn how Health Canada regulates pesticides and other pest control products to make sure that they can be used safely and effectively.

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Approving pesticides

Companies are required to submit an application with detailed information to Health Canada for scientific evaluation. The pesticide application contains details about the product and its intended use.

Before a pesticide can be authorized for use, our scientists:

  • determine whether it can be used safely without harm to human and animal health or the environment
  • assess whether the product is effective for its stated purpose
  • set the maximum amount of pesticide residue allowed in or on food

We post information on:

Pesticides that have been authorized by Health Canada may be assigned a Pest Control Product registration number on the product label, such as:

  • Reg. No. 00000 P.C.P. Act
  • Registration No. 00000 Pest Control Products Act

Monitoring safety and quality

To ensure that pesticides on the Canadian market continue to meet international standards, Health Canada:

If a scientific review identifies an unacceptable risk, we may require:

  • changes to how the pesticide can be used
  • new warnings be added to the safety information on the product label
  • removal of the product from the market

These changes are communicated to the public and end users of the product through the publication of re-evaluation and special review decisions.

Creating policies and setting standards

In Canada, all pest control products must meet the requirements of the Pest Control Products Act and its regulations before they can be:

  • manufactured
  • possessed
  • handled
  • stored
  • transported
  • imported
  • distributed
  • used

We produce guidance documents, policies and standards to help pesticide companies understand the requirements and their responsibilities more clearly.

We also collaborate with other regulatory agencies and partners around the world. This ensures that pesticides available for use in Canada meet high international safety standards.

Promoting and enforcing compliance

Health Canada regularly promotes and enforces compliance. For example, we:

  • promote awareness of regulations so that end users can make informed decisions
  • monitor compliance of pest control products and their use, including collecting samples for analyses
  • enforce compliance with the Pest Control Products Act and its regulations through a range of actions, from increasing awareness of regulatory requirements to monetary penalties or prosecution

We also oversee and enforce compliance related to pesticide:

  • importation
  • manufacturing
  • distribution (including advertising)
  • storage
  • packaging
  • labeling
  • record keeping
  • use

Collaborating with partners

Health Canada helps to protect your health and safety by working with a range of partners and stakeholders, including:

Our work with these groups includes:

  • sharing information
  • seeking independent expert advice
  • collaborating on pesticide joint reviews

Through the Chemicals Management Plan, we assess and take action on potentially harmful chemical substances, including those that may be found in pesticides.

Engaging and informing Canadians

Health Canada engages and informs Canadians on important issues by:

  • conducting consultations on:
    • pesticide registration decisions
    • the establishment of maximum residue limits
    • policies, guidelines, and codes of practice
  • maintaining an electronic public registry with information about:
    • pest control products, including:
      • applications
      • registrations
      • re-evaluations
      • special reviews
    • regulation of pest control products, including:
      • agreements among federal government departments
      • reports of international harmonization activities
      • publications in the Canada Gazette
      • policies, guidelines and codes of practice
  • maintaining the Pesticide Label Search Database and mobile app, which:
    • allows consumers to search for pesticides approved for use in Canada
    • gives consumers access to the complete product label

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