Guide for using the claim for exemption online application form for workplace hazardous products

Table of contents

Purpose

This guide outlines steps to complete the online application form, titled "Claim for exemption under the Hazardous Materials Information Review Act - application form," for submitting claims for exemption under the Hazardous Materials Information Review Act (HMIRA).

Background: protecting confidential business information for workplace hazardous products

If you are a supplier or employer that wants to be exempt from having to disclose confidential business information (CBI), such as the chemical identity of 1 or more trade secret hazardous ingredients, you must file a claim for exemption with Health Canada.

Once we receive a complete application and determine that it meets the filing requirements, including receipt of payment, we will register and issue a registry number (RN) for the claim. You must display the RN on the safety data sheet (SDS) (and label, if applicable), for that product before it is sold on the Canadian market or imported into Canada without the disclosure of the CBI.

Online application form general tips and software requirements

The online application form is designed to capture all the essential elements required to properly assess your claim. The form has 7 sections:

Section 1 – Claimant and contact information
Section 2 – Common documents
Section 3 – Claims
Section 4 – Fees
Section 5 – How to submit your claim for exemption
Section 6 – How to save your form
Section 7 – How to view/edit your previous form

Tips for completing the form:

To use the form you must be connected to the internet with a browser such as:

Additional information on the acts and regulations:

Privacy notice: refer to WHMIS confidential business information (HC WCS 001) in Info Source, for more information about the collection of your personal information.

Completing the online application form

Claimant and contact information – Section 1

Section 1 captures the claimant and contact information of the business entity seeking the exemption. Under the claimant information subsection, the claimant type is a mandatory field as it informs the requirements of the form in Section 3. For this field, select whether you are seeking the exemption as a "supplier" or "employer".

All cases require the business name, address (including postal code), contact person, email and telephone number associated with the contact person representing the business entity seeking the exemption. You can also provide the business number in the appropriate field.

The country field will generate additional fields that you must complete. If you select "Canada", a province field will be generated. If you select "United States", a state field will be generated. If you select "other", other country and region fields will be generated.

Small businesses are eligible for a 50% reduction to the application fee. Under the HMIRR, you may claim small business status if the business entity seeking the exemption:

To signal small business status in this section, indicate "yes" to the question is the claimant a small business?.

If a third party agent is filing a claim on the business entity's behalf, the third party agent's contact information must also be provided in Section 1. If you select "yes" to the question will the claim be managed by a third party agent authorised to act on the submitter's behalf?, additional contact fields will be generated. Note that the third party agent represents the claimant in subsequent sections of the form.

Tip: If you plan on submitting future applications, we recommend that you save the form after completing the contact information section (Section 1). You can upload this saved form on a blank webpage and complete it at a future date. See guidance in Section 6 and Section 7 for instructions on how to save, view and edit the form.

Declaration

This portion of the form explains that you are making 3 declarations by submitting a claim:

  1. First, that you are the claimant or an authorized third party agent
  2. Second, that you believe that the information for the exemption that is being claimed as CBI meets the criteria prescribed under subsection 3(1) of the HMIRR:
    1. the information is not publicly available
    2. the claimant has taken measures that are reasonable in the circumstances to ensure that the information remains not publicly available, and
    3. the information has actual or potential economic value to the claimant or to the claimant's competitors because it is not publicly available, and its disclosure would result in a material financial loss to the claimant or a material financial gain to the claimant's competitors
  3. Third, that the information substantiating the claim is in your possession, or available to you, and will be provided to us upon request

You are required to provide details on the CBI criteria outlined in 2. (a), (b) and (c) above in the information in support of the claim for exemption fields in the products subsection.

You must check off the 2 checkboxes in this subsection.

You must type your first and last name in the signature textbox provided, as required by subsection 8(1) of the HMIRR. The name entered in the signature textbox must match the name of the contact person, or third party agent, as applicable, entered in Section 1. The date field will auto-populate when the form is submitted.

Common documents – Section 2

In this section, you can upload administrative documents related to your claim(s), such as a cover letter or correspondence. Documents specific to products being claimed can be added in Section 3.

Click the "choose files" button to attach a document. Browse to the document location on your computer to select 1 or multiple documents. The document(s) will be uploaded to the form as Document 1, Document 2, etc. Give each document a document type and title as per its content.

To delete a document uploaded in error, click the "remove document" button. To delete all documents that have been uploaded, click "remove all documents".

Zip (.zip) and executable (.exe) files cannot be attached at this time. The cumulative total size of attached documents cannot exceed 70 megabytes. The form will keep a running tally of the total document size as files are attached. If the total document size exceeds 70 megabytes, you can submit the additional documents through the transport form.

Claims – Section 3

This section of the form captures the details about the CBI that is the subject of the claim. You must file 1 claim for each product, even if 2 (or more) products for which you are seeking an exemption share a single generic SDS. When applying for multiple exemptions using the same application form, you can add additional products by clicking the "add claim" button at the bottom of this section.

Note: if you have uploaded a generic SDS, ensure that the title clearly indicates which product or products it is associated with. If the generic SDS applies to more than 1 product, you only need to upload it once.

Claim type

The claim type is a required field, whether the claim is "new" or "refile". In the case of a refiled claim, an additional field will be generated (previous registry number) that requests the RN assigned to the product in the previous filing. For refiled claims that are complete and meet the filing requirements, we will assign a new RN to the product. We reserve the right to request a new filing (charged as an original claim) if there is a change in composition that requires us to reassess the claim.

Subject of the claim

This subsection defines what types of exemptions are available (referred to from here on as the subject of the claim). There are 3 or 6 categories that identify the subject(s) of the claim to choose from depending on whether you have indicated "supplier" or "employer" on Section 1 of the form. Each category has a corresponding checkbox. Select all categories that apply.

For example, if you want to protect both the chemical identity and concentration of an ingredient, check off the "supplier or employer: chemical identity of a material or substance, or an ingredient of a hazardous product" and the "supplier or employer: concentration of an ingredient of a hazardous product" boxes.

The subject of the claim categories are:

  1. Supplier or employer: chemical identity of a material or substance, or an ingredient of a hazardous product
    Select this category when you want to protect the chemical identity of a material or substance, or an ingredient. 'Chemical identity' means the chemical name of an ingredient together with any applicable synonyms and trade names, the corresponding Chemical Abstract Service (CAS) registry number or any other unique identifier (if applicable), and any corresponding impurities, stabilizing solvents, or stabilizing additives.

  2. Note: if you want to protect the chemical identity of an ingredient, then you must enter an adequate generic chemical name (GCN) in both English and French in the generic chemical name English and generic chemical name French fields in the ingredient details subsection.


  3. Supplier or employer: concentration of an ingredient of a hazardous product
    Select this option when you want to protect the concentration or concentration range of an ingredient in a product.

  4. Supplier or employer: name of a toxicological study that identifies a material or substance, or an ingredient of a hazardous product
    Select this option when you want to protect the name of a study or studies that identify the material or substance, or ingredient. Claiming a toxicological study for exemption under the HMIRA does not mean that the toxicological effects are exempt from disclosure. This option means that the specifics of a given study (such as the study name, or source) are CBI. Pursuant to section 6.1 of the HPR, you are allowed to refuse to disclose information regarding the source of toxicological data provided under item 11 of the SDS, if it is requested.

    Note: if you want to protect the identity of a study, check the name of a toxicological study box and provide the title of the study in the study title field.

  5. Employer only: the product identifier, being its chemical name, common name, generic name, trade name or brand name, as reported below
    Select this option if you are an employer and want to protect the name or brand of the product, such as the product identifier.

    Note: if you want to protect the product identifier, then you must complete the other product identifiers field in the products subsection.

  6. Employer only: information other than the product identifier that constitutes a means of identification
    Select this option if you are an employer and want to protect information that constitutes a means of identification of a product, other than the product identifier. For example, this could include other means of identification information as required by paragraph 1(b) of Schedule 1 of the HPR.

  7. Employer only: information that could be used to identify a supplier of a hazardous product
    Select this option if you are an employer and want to protect the information that could be used to identify a supplier of a hazardous product.

Claim documents

Upload documents that are specific to the product being claimed here. Some examples of claim-specific documents include English and French product SDS, product composition, label, etc.

Click the "choose files" button to attach a document. Browse to the document location on your computer to select 1 or multiple documents. The document(s) will be uploaded to the form as Document 1, Document 2, etc. Give each document a document type and title as per its content.

To delete a document uploaded in error, click the "remove document" button. To delete all documents that have been uploaded, click "remove all documents".

Zip (.zip) and executable (.exe) files cannot be attached at this time. The cumulative total size of attached documents cannot exceed 70 megabytes. The form will keep a running tally of the total document size as files are attached. If the total document size exceeds 70 megabytes, you can submit the additional documents through the transport form.

Products

The product identifier (such as the product name) is a required field. The product identifier entered in this field must match the product identifier on the SDS and/or label.

If you want to protect the product identifier, as indicated in the previous subject of claim subsection, you must complete the other product identifiers field by providing an alternate product identifier. Click the "add another identifier" button to add additional alternate identifiers, such as French translations or translations in other languages, as applicable.

Enter a brief product description. It can include colour, packaging, or warning(s) on the label. You can also provide both the function of product and form of product information in the respective fields. Check each of the respective boxes and then select all associated categories that apply.

Information in support of the claim for exemption

This section of the form requires you to answer questions about confidentiality and provide financial estimates regarding the subject of the claim. We will use the information provided to assess claim validity.

Select either "yes" or "no" as applicable for questions 1 and 2. For question 3, you must either report the potential economic value and material financial loss (3a) or the economic value and the material financial gain to a competitor (3b). We encourage you to provide information for both 3a and 3b, however only 1 of the 2 values is required.

The financial figures reported could be based on gross profit, contribution margins, operating income, and net income. This information should be strictly related to the business entity which files the claim and the product sales and loss in Canada; however, you may append additional applicable data pertaining to sales of the product by the parent company or affiliated companies in other parts of the world. You must establish clear linkages between yourself and the related entities for us to consider this information.

The information regarding money expended and other business resources that you employed to develop the information is also relevant information that can be used to determine the validity of your claim as per paragraph 3(2) of the HMIRR.

Composition

You must list each ingredient, impurity, stabilizing additive and stabilizing solvent in the product composition, whether hazardous or non-hazardous, in this subsection. Select the "add ingredient" button located at the bottom of this subsection if you are listing more than 1 ingredient.

Provide the following information for every ingredient in the product composition:

Ingredient details: select all categories of the subject of claim that apply

An additional field will be generated if you choose the "name of a toxicological study" box. To protect the identity of a study, you must enter the title of the study in the study title field. We recommend creating and sharing an appendix where all the studies are referenced if there are multiple toxicological studies.

Chemical name: provide the specific chemical identity for all ingredients in the product

Generic chemical name (GCN): provide GCNs in both English and French that are identical to those listed on the submitted SDS if you want to protect the chemical identity of an ingredient in the product

Concentration: disclose the amount (indicated in percentage) of each ingredient in the product in this field

You must submit the actual concentration or actual concentration range of ingredients in the product. For example, if you submit a concentration range for an ingredient, it should reflect the actual variability of the ingredient's concentration in that product. The range submitted should not be a range that you use to protect a concentration or concentration range that is CBI on the SDS.
You may enter a lower and upper concentration % or a nominal concentration %, not both.

Fees – Section 4

This section will self-populate on the basis of the information entered in previous sections of the form. Claims fees are subject to an annual adjustment in accordance with the Service Fees Act (SFA). More information is available in the "summary of the annual adjusted fees" table provided in this section of the form.

After receiving your claim through the online application form, we will send you an invoice number. You will have 30 days to complete the payment with Accounts Receivable.

Learn more about

How to submit your claim for exemption – Section 5

Click the "proceed to submit" button to submit the form. The form will validate the information provided to ensure that all required fields are populated.

The form won't submit if information is missing. A pop-up will indicate which required fields need to be completed or fixed, as applicable.

Once all required fields are populated, a pop-up will confirm the successful transmission of the form. It will contain a case number and submission number. Quote the case number in all future correspondence with us.

How to save your form – Section 6

Click on "save my form" to save the information in the online application form. An.hcxs document will be created and downloaded to your computer.

How to view/edit your previous form – Section 7

Open a blank form webpage to upload the saved.hcxs file to the online application form. Click the "choose files" button in Section 7 and browse to the location of the.hcxs file. Select the.hcxs file that contains the information you want to upload into the online application form. Click the "upload information" button. A pop-up will confirm that the information from the saved file was uploaded into the form.

Tip: Keep all saved documents that you are attaching to the form in the same location on your computer until you have submitted your claim.

Guidelines for submitting additional documents to Health Canada

Transport form overview

You can use the transport form to:

  1. Submit additional information requested related to your original claim submission
  2. Submit additional supporting documentation that exceeded the total 70 megabyte file size limit in your original claim submission

Completing the transport form

Submission – Section 1

Select the programme as "Workplace Hazardous Products" and input the assigned case number. The case number entered here must match the case number that was assigned to the claim from the original submission.

Who is submitting – Section 2

Enter your contact information (business name, address, name, email and telephone).

The country field will generate additional fields to complete. If you select "Canada", a province field will be generated. If you select "United States", a state field will be generated. If you select "other", other country and region fields will be generated.

Documents – Section 3

Click the "choose files" button to attach a document. Browse to the document location on your computer to select 1 or multiple documents. The document(s) will be uploaded to the form as Document 1, Document 2, etc. Give each document a document type and title as per its content.

To delete a document uploaded in error, click the "remove document" button. To delete all documents that have been uploaded, click "remove all documents".

Zip (.zip) and executable (.exe) files cannot be attached at this time. The cumulative total size of attached documents cannot exceed 70 megabytes. The form will keep a running tally of the total document size as files are attached. If the total document size exceeds 70 megabytes, you can submit additional documents by making another transport form submission for the same claim.

How to submit the transport form – Section 4

Click the "proceed to submit" button to submit the transport form. The form will validate the information provided to ensure that all required fields are populated. The form won't submit if information is missing. A pop-up will indicate which required fields need to be completed or fixed, as applicable.

Once all required fields are populated, a pop-up will confirm the successful transmission of the transport form. It will contain a case number and submission number. Quote the case number in all future correspondence with us.

How to save the transport form – Section 5

Click on "save my form" to save the information in the transport form. An.hcxs document will be created and downloaded to your computer.

How to view/edit a saved transport form – Section 6

Open a blank transport form webpage to upload the saved.hcxs file to the transport form. Click the "choose files" button and browse to the location of the.hcxs file. Select the.hcxs file that contains the information you want to upload into the transport form. Click the "upload information" button. A pop-up will confirm that the information from the saved file was uploaded into the transport form.

Tip: Keep all saved documents that you are attaching to the transport form in the same location on your computer until you have submitted your claim.

Contact information

Email us if you need help or have questions about the online application form or the transport form: whmis.claim-demande.simdut@hc-sc.gc.ca.

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