Second-Hand Retailers and Requirements for Preparing and Maintaining Documents under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA)
Under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA), retailers are required to prepare and maintain documents that include the name and address of the person from whom they obtained the product, and where and when the product was sold.
The purpose of this requirement is to help Health Canada quickly track products through the supply chain in the event that a danger must be addressed. This information makes it easier to determine where and when a product was distributed, allowing for more effective recalls or other corrective actions.
Requirements for Retailers of Donated Products
Health Canada understands that retailers of donated products face a unique set of circumstances. For example, these businesses receive donated items from individuals. These donations may be dropped off in off hours, or donors may be anonymous. Even when the donors can be identified, these individuals are not required to record where and when they bought the sweater, toy, or table they might now be about to donate. Therefore, the traceability chain ends at the individual donor, not at an importer or manufacturer.
In addition, many second-hand items have had the packaging, instructions or labelling removed. Without this identifying information, these businesses may not have the necessary records (i.e., serial number, lot number, manufacturer, etc.) to track the product up the supply chain.
Therefore, Health Canada has determined that documents prepared under these particular circumstances would do little to trace products back through the supply chain in order to facilitate corrective actions, and so would not be useful in addressing or preventing dangers to the health or safety of Canadians.
Exemption Regulations under the CCPSA
Health Canada is considering regulatory proposals to exempt retailers of consumer products from these requirements for preparing and maintaining documents (sub-paragraph 13(1)(a)(i) of the CCPSA) where:
- The product is donated; and,
- The donation is from a person other than a manufacturer, importer, distributor, or retailer.
If a donation were received from a manufacturer, importer, distributor, or retailer, then the second-hand retailer would be required to prepare and maintain documents as set out in the CCPSA. For example, if a large clothing manufacturer donated a pallet of "end of the run" sleepwear, the second-hand retailer would be required to keep a record of the name and address of the donor retailer. Because of the volume of product typically donated by these suppliers, their position in the supply chain and the fact that the product comes from a single source, this information would be useful in the event of a recall or other corrective measures.
Thrift stores and other businesses that sell donated products would still be subject to all of the other requirements of the CCPSA and would still be subject to routine inspections. Businesses would also still have to ensure that the products they sell have not been subject to a recall and would have to report any incidents they are aware of related to consumer products they supply.
Pre-consultation on this proposal took place in 2010
It is important to note that while Health Canada plans to move forward quickly on these proposed regulations, the proposal will have to pass through the regulatory process before it could come into effect.
In the meantime, as the Department implements the new CCPSA, the Department will focus its compliance promotion and enforcement resources on areas where they will be most effective in addressing or preventing dangers to the health or safety of Canadians.
Updates on the status of the proposed regulations will be posted to the Health Canada website. You can subscribe for email updates on the CCPSA to stay informed of developments as they arise.
For more information, please visit the CCPSA Industry page.
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