Canada Consumer Product Safety Act and Food and Drugs Act - with described video


Transcript - Canada Consumer Product Safety Act and Food and Drugs Act - with described video

If you sell consumer products or cosmetics in Canada, you have legal obligations.

Health Canada inspectors from the Consumer Product Safety Program (CPSP) enforce the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act and its associated regulations, as well as the Food and Drugs Act, Cosmetic Regulations.

Respectively, these laws impose obligations on manufacturers, importers, distributors, retailers and advertisers of consumer products and cosmetics in Canada. They also establish the authorities of Health Canada inspectors.

The purpose of this video is to help familiarize you with the actions inspectors can take under these acts so that you know what to expect during an inspection. This video provides a general overview, not a thorough discussion of this topic.

Health Canada monitors the marketplace to determine whether the consumer products and cosmetics being sold comply with the applicable acts.

Occasionally, you will be notified in advance of Health Canada's visit so that you can prepare yourself, the documents and the merchandise to be inspected. For certain inspections, advance notice is not given. If the inspector arrives without prior notice, and the person responsible for the establishment is absent or not available, the law requires those onsite to assist the inspector in carrying out his or her duties.

Upon arrival, inspectors may identify themselves. If asked, inspectors will identify themselves and will always do so if taking enforcement action and explain the reason for the visit. The inspector will present his or her certificate of designation if you request to see it. Feel free to ask the inspector questions. The inspector can provide you with reference documents to help you understand your obligations.

Health Canada conducts several types of inspections, including compliance verifications, customs controls, sampling, laboratory analysis, market studies and cyclical monitoring.

Depending on the type of inspection, the inspector's visit can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours.

During an inspection, the inspector can take samples of products free of charge to determine whether the product complies with the applicable act or regulation. Samples can be taken from the manufacturer, importer, distributor, retailer or advertiser being inspected, depending on the case. The inspector will give you a receipt at the time of sampling.

Sometimes, products need to be tested in a lab to determine whether they are compliant. Other times, an inspector may be able to tell at the time of the inspection whether a product contravenes a requirement of one of the acts or regulations.

When an inspector identifies a concern with your product, you may be asked to take voluntary measures, such as removing certain products from the marketplace or commit to making product modifications. In addition, the inspector may seize your products. The purpose of seizure is to take control of the products.

The products may be identified and left onsite or taken away by the inspector who will record the information on a form, of which you will receive a copy. Note that seizure is not equivalent to forfeiture; you remain the owner of the seized product, unless you consent to its forfeiture

Rather than examining your products, the inspector may want to examine physical or electronic documents, such as distribution records, complaint or incident records or regulatory documents such as test results and studies associated with your products.

Generally speaking, the acts allow the inspector to examine computer files, make copies of documents or take photographs of the premises or products found on the premises. These inspections can sometimes take more time, but if you are required to participate, you will be informed about what is expected of you.

If enforcement measures are taken during the inspection or you commit to taking certain compliance measures, the inspector will follow up after the visit. If a sample was taken for subsequent testing, the inspector will be in contact with you to discuss next steps

If you have any questions or if the individual responsible for the establishment was absent during the inspection and he or she wants to speak with the inspector, you are encouraged to contact the inspector afterwards.

For more general information please visit our website at

Page details

Date modified: