New Substances program of the Chemicals Management Plan

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Under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999), the Government of Canada uses a preventative approach to managing the risks new substances may pose to people in Canada or to the Canadian environment.

Under the New Substances program, Health Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada examine the potential risks to people in Canada and their environment before the substances are imported into or manufactured in Canada.

New Substances Notification Regulations

The New Substances program is responsible for administering the New Substances Notification Regulations (Chemicals and Polymers) [NSNR (Chemicals and Polymers)] and the New Substances Notification Regulations (Organisms) [NSNR (Organisms)] of CEPA 1999. These regulations were created to ensure that new substances (chemicals, polymers or organisms) are not introduced into Canada before undergoing ecological and human health assessments. A substance is considered to be new to Canada if it is not listed on the Domestic Substances List (DSL). To find out if a substance is considered to be new, use the Substances Search tool (chemicals, polymers and organisms).

Notice of intent: consideration of possible amendments

In January 2023, a notice of intent was issued in the Canada Gazette, Part I: Vol. 157, No. 2 – January 14, 2023 for a 75-day public comment period, which closed March 29, 2023. The notice indicated that the Government of Canada intends to consider possible amendments to the NSNR (Chemicals and Polymers) to promote the reduced reliance on animal testing and the alignment of regulatory requirements with advancements in science. All comments received were in agreement with the approach outlined in the notice and will be considered in the development of proposed amendments to the regulations, should the Regulatory Stock Review recommend that the NSNR (Chemicals and Polymers) be amended.

How to notify

Any person who intends to import or manufacture a substance subject to notification under the NSNR (Chemicals and Polymers) or the NSNR (Organisms) must submit a New Substances Notification (NSN) to Environment and Climate Change Canada, containing all information prescribed in the regulations, prior to import or manufacture of the substance.

For information regarding the preparation of NSNs, please consult the New Substances program web page.

Additional information

For all other information on the notification, assessment and risk management of new substances under CEPA 1999, please contact the Substances Management Information Line.

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