About pest control product registrant inspections
Learn about the inspection process for pest control products sold and distributed in Canada.
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Pest control products and regulation
Pest control products are used to control, destroy, attract or repel pests. These products can be a:
- microbial agent that can affect pests using ingredients like:
Pest control products must meet high safety and quality standards before they are sold and distributed in Canada.
How are pest control products regulated?
Pest control products are regulated at the federal, provincial or territorial level.
To minimize the risks to human health and the environment, Canada:
- assesses new pest control products
- re-evaluates registered pest control products
- enforces compliance with the Pest Control Products Act and its regulations
- sets the maximum amount of pest control product residue allowed on food
Companies must apply to register a new pest control product. The application must contain details about the product and its use. These details must include information on the product’s:
- chemical makeup
- effects on health and the environment
Canada assesses the health and environmental risks of pest control products. Depending on the intended use and risk level, products may be classified in the following categories:
If the assessment is satisfactory, the product receives a registration number. The label may include measures to reduce the risk to health and the environment.
Provincial or territorial level
Some provinces and territories may regulate the sale, distribution, use and disposal of pest control products. They may also:
- license and certify vendors and users
- issue permits for certain pesticide uses
- give municipalities the power to enact by-laws to further limit pesticide use
How do you identify pest control products allowed in Canada?
Pest control products that are allowed to be sold in Canada can be easily identified.
Registered products have an approved Canadian label and pest control product (PCP) registration number. This code has up to 5 digits and sometimes 2 extra characters at the end. For example, PCP Reg. No. 12345 or 12345.xx.
Scheduled products do not have to be registered, and do not have a PCP registration number. A complete list of product types is found in Schedule 2 of the Pest Control Products Regulations.
Products for research use do not have to be registered and may not have a PCP registration number. They will have a research authorization (RA) or research notification (RN) certificate number. This code has 4 digits, 2 letters and 2 digits at the end, which refer to the year issued. For example, 1234-RA-12 or 1234-RN-12.
Products imported for a specific agricultural use do not have to be registered and do not have a PCP registration number. They have a Foreign Product Use certificate number. This number is supplied under the Grower Requested Own Use Program. This code has 6 or 7 digits, a dash and 3 digits. For example, 123456-123 or 1234567-123.
Some products imported for personal use do not have to be registered and do not have a PCP registration number. They must meet the following criteria:
- are not an organism
- are mainly used at home and not for sale or distribution
- weigh 500 g or 500 mL, or less
- cost $100 or less
Pesticide registrant inspections
Canada regularly inspects registrants that sell or distribute pest control products. These registrants are usually companies that own the pesticide registrations. Every year, we inspect about 10% of companies.
Inspections usually take 4 to 8 weeks. Another 4 weeks may be needed if samples have been sent to the federal laboratory for testing.
Inspections may involve:
- taking samples for testing
- verifying the sources of active ingredients
- examining documents, such as:
- product labels
- sales and incident reports
What inspectors look for
During the inspection, inspectors may verify:
- manufacturing processes
- record keeping, such as sales and incident reports
Post registrant inspections
After an inspection, the inspector will produce a report giving the:
- findings (observations)
- overall rating of the pest control product registrant
The rating will indicate the company is either compliant or non-compliant with the Pest Control Products Act and its regulations.
A compliant rating indicates that the company meets the regulations.
A compliant rating that contains observations could indicate:
- there were technical deficiencies
- the risk to health or the environment is low
For a compliant rating with observations, corrective actions are often required.
A non-compliant rating contains observations that could indicate:
- there were deficiencies
- the risk to health or the environment is moderate or significant
Immediate corrective action is required within a definite time frame.
Where possible, companies are given an opportunity to correct any deficiencies at the time of the inspection. Further inspections may be conducted to ensure the company has taken corrective action. If the deficiency has not been corrected or the company is still not compliant, other actions may be taken.
Inspection report cards
We post report cards for pest control product company inspections. Each report card summarizes the inspector’s findings and rating:
For more information
Regulation and guidance
- Pest Control Products Act
- Pest Control Products Regulations
- Regulatory Directive: Compliance Policy
- Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development: Guidance on Pesticide Compliance and Enforcement Best Practices
- Pesticide Public Registry
- Pesticide Label Search
- Report a pesticide incident
Results and reports
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