Labelling of hand sanitizers, disinfectants, soaps and cleaning products in the context of the COVID-19 response
According to Statistics Canada, demand for hand sanitizers increased by 735% for the week ending March 14, 2020, compared to the same period in 2019 Footnote 1. The demand for disinfectants (biocides), household cleaners, hand and body soaps, and workplace cleaners also rose significantly, as they are also effective in combatting the spread of COVID-19.
Given the unprecedented demand and urgent need for disinfectants and hand sanitizers during the COVID-19 pandemic, Health Canada created an interim measure. We did so to expedite and provide broad access to products that do not fully meet regulatory requirements under the Food and Drugs Act (FDA).
A large number of companies that were not previously importing or manufacturing hand sanitizers and disinfectants expressed interest in doing so to support COVID-19 response efforts.
In March and April 2020, we created an interim policy to help make available certain household and workplace hazardous cleaning products, hand soaps and body soaps that did not fully meet specific labelling requirements of the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA) or FDA and their regulations. We are lifting this interim policy on April 29, 2022.
As of this date, household cleaning products, hand soaps and body soaps covered under this interim policy must meet all the labelling and regulatory requirements set out in the CCPSA and FDA.
All workplace hazardous products on the market must meet regulatory labelling and information requirements set out in the Hazardous Products Act (HPA) and its regulations.
Disinfectants (biocides) and hand sanitizers
- To benefit from the current interim measures, importers of disinfectants and hand sanitizers must post bilingual label text on their website. They must also provide sellers with a means to inform consumers, at the time of sale, of the website where bilingual label text is posted.
- This could be through a sticker applied directly to the products or through posters or signage with take-away pamphlets at the point of sale.
- All Canadian manufacturers of disinfectants and hand sanitizers must use bilingual labelling.
- Health Canada will take a risk-based approach to addressing any non-compliance identified.
For details on the interim measures for hand sanitizers and biocides, please consult the following web pages :
- Disinfectants and hand sanitizers accepted under COVID-19 interim measure
- Exceptional importation and sale of biocides in relation to COVID-19
Lifting the interim policies for cleaning products, hand soaps and body soaps
For details on lifting the interim policies for certain household and workplace hazardous cleaning products, hand soaps and body soaps, please consult the following notices :
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