Registration of Pesticides for Emergency Use

Under the provisions of Section 18 of the Pest Control Products Regulations, the Minister may register a control product, for a period not exceeding one year, for the emergency control of pest infestations that are seriously detrimental to public health, domestic animals, natural resources or other things.

An emergency is generally deemed to exist when the following criteria are met:

  • a pest outbreak or pest situation occurs that can cause significant economic, environmental or health problems;
  • there is no effective product or application method registered in Canada for the control of the pest; and
  • there is no effective, alternative control method available.

Emergency registrations must be sponsored by the provincial or federal agency involved in the direct management of the pest problem (e.g., the provincial Ministry of Agriculture). The sponsor is responsible for providing the necessary information to the Health Canada Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA), to support the proposed registration and for obtaining any additional support letters required.

Emergency registrations require and receive immediate attention. Consideration will first be given to products that are already registered in Canada and have previously been subjected to a major review. When no acceptable registered product is available, consideration may be given to products (or uses) that are under evaluation, provided the active ingredient is currently registered in Canada. Those products (or uses) with unacceptable health or environmental risks cannot be considered. The emergency use will be considered only if the product is effective and risks deemed acceptable. Active ingredients not registered in Canada will not be considered.

Emergency registrations of pest control products may require action under other legislation such as the Food and Drugs Act (FDA) and Regulations and can only proceed when all of the applicable legislation has been satisfied. In certain cases, the time constraints for appropriate evaluation and establishment of maximum residue limits (MRLs) for food uses under the Food and Drugs Act and Regulations may preclude the support of the request for emergency registration under the Pest Control Products Act and Regulations. Data supporting the efficacy of the proposed product(s) and other health or environmental data may be required.

For pesticides in which a food or feed use is proposed and no MRL exists for that commodity in Canada, residue data must be provided. Supplementary data supporting the establishment of tolerances in other countries may be helpful. Registrants are typically helpful in providing residue data and information. It is the responsibility of the sponsor to request this data from registrants and provide it to the PMRA.

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