Article

Health Canada Issues Interim CCPSA/FDA Policy Concerning Household Cleaning Products and Hand/Body Soaps

Posted on: April 24, 2020

by Beth A. Raper

On April 16, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Health Canada issued an interim policy to address the recent extraordinary demand for household cleaning products that are regulated under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA) and hand and body soaps that are regulated as cosmetics under the Food and Drugs Act (FDA).

Photo of soaps and lotions - Heath Canada Issues Interim CCPSA/FDA Policy Concerning Household Cleaning Products and Hand/Body SoapsHousehold Products Regulated Under the CCPSA:

This interim policy will enable the access and sale of certain household cleaning products such as cleaning and furnishing care products used mainly to clean, bleach or scour surfaces, and laundry and dishwashing products used mainly to clean where:

  • “the label may only be in one official language
  • the hazard symbol(s) is missing on the label
  • safety and cautionary information on the label do not conform to the wording set out in the relevant regulations”

Please note that products used to polish, protect or improve the appearance of surfaces and fabric softeners are excluded from this interim policy.

All other regulatory requirements that apply to household cleaners are still in effect and will be enforced, including but not limited to:

  • “packaging requirements (for example, child-resistant and leak-proof)
  • other labelling information, such as the need for instructions for safe use”

Hand and Body Soaps Regulated under the FDA:
This interim policy will enable the access and sale of hand and body soaps in Canada where:

  • “the label may only be in one official language
  • the ingredients listed on the label are not listed exactly as outlined in the regulations”

Please note that products that have a Drug Identification Number (DIN) or Natural Product Number (NPN) and other products where skin cleaning is not the main function are excluded from this interim policy.

As with household products, this interim policy does not change the enforcement priority for all other regulatory requirements that apply to cosmetics as these are still in effect and will be enforced, including but not limited to:

  • labelling for avoidable hazards
  • prohibiting products that contain an ingredient that may cause injury

Please note, hand and body soaps are still subject to the requirements under the FDA specifically sections 16 to 18.

Special import requirements are in effect in order to import under this interim policy and must be met prior to import.

This interim policy will terminate three months after all provinces and territories have ended their states of emergency related to COVID-19 unless otherwise communicated by Health Canada.

If this notice affects you, please carefully read the interim policy for full details of all requirements.

Recommended Action Items

  • Review your product portfolio to determine if any products are impacted by this interim policy
  • Read and understand your obligations under both the interim policy and the Act(s) and/or applicable Regulation(s)
  • Continue to watch this space, as we frequently post articles regarding significant new regulatory developments.

References

Health Canada. “Household cleaning products, hand soaps and body soaps (COVID-19)”. https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/home-safety/household-chemical-safety/covid19-cleaning-products-hand-body-soaps.html

Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA). https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/c-1.68/

Food and Drug Act (FDA). https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/f-27/

Keywords

CANADA, CCPSA, FDA, COVID-19


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