Overview of Mandatory Reporting: Section 14 of the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act
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The Importance of Reporting
Health Canada receives reports about consumer product health or safety concerns from industry and consumers. These reports contribute to our unique, national perspective on consumer product safety across a wide range of products. They also help us assess and identify possible or emerging hazards with consumer products.
We review all reports on consumer products for possible health or safety hazards. We consider many factors such as the age of the person involved, the severity of any injuries, and any other details of the event. This allows us to focus our risk assessment and risk management actions on products that may pose an unacceptable risk to Canadians. We keep a close eye on all reported health or safety concerns in case more information is required or reports identify a need for action.
Section 14 of the CCPSA
The purpose of the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA) is to protect the public by addressing or preventing dangers to human health or safety posed by consumer products in Canada. Industry is responsible for making sure the consumer products it manufactures, imports, advertises or sells in Canada are safe.
Under section 14 of the CCPSA (Duties in the Event of an Incident), if a company learns of an incident relating to a consumer product they manufacture, import or sell, they must tell Health Canada. They must also tell the person from whom they received the product. This is also called mandatory reporting. Subsections 14(2) and (3) of the CCPSA outline the timelines for reporting an incident.
What is an Incident?
Under Section 14 of the CCPSA, a consumer product incident involves one or more of the following:
- a death or serious adverse health effect occurred or may reasonably have been expected to occur related to the product, including a serious injury;
- a defect in the product may reasonably be expected to result in death or serious adverse health effects, including a serious injury;
- incorrect or insufficient information provided on a label or instructions - or the lack of a label or instructions - may reasonably be expected to result in death or serious adverse health effects, including a serious injury;
- the product is the subject of a recall by another jurisdiction (e.g., a provincial government) for human health or safety reasons.
Prior to the CCPSA, Health Canada did not have the authority to require mandatory reporting of consumer product incidents. This new reporting requirement under Section 14 serves as a wide net for the department to get a broader understanding of what human health or safety-related incidents concerning consumer products are occurring in Canada. Companies are responsible for determining if an incident related to one of their products has occurred. If so, they must report it to Health Canada and to the person from whom they received the product (often the manufacturer or importer).
For More Information
This document is only a brief overview of the requirements in the legislation. Industry should consult the CCPSA for the full text. Further guidance is available to industry on how to determine whether an incident related to a consumer product has occurred under the CCPSA. If companies have further questions, they can contact their nearest Regional Product Safety Office. When in doubt, report.
Companies are encouraged to use the online form to report an incident involving a consumer product, as it includes specific sections for all necessary information.
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