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Feds pass Canada Consumer Product Safety Act


December 17, 2010
By Anthony Capkun

Leona Aglukkaq, Canada’s minister of health, announced the passing of the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA) which, upon Royal Assent, will become law. Electro-Federation Canada (EFC) explains CCPSA will replace Part 1 of the Hazardous Products Act and introduce a new regulatory regime, whose purpose is to modernize and strengthen product safety laws by overhauling rules. It will, in particular, give the federal ministry the power to order recalls of unsafe products, including dangerous electrical goods.

“EFC has worked closely through a coalition of 12 like-minded associations over the past 24 months with ministry staff and governmental committees on C-36,” said EFC. “The coalition identified those aspects of the bill that are most likely to have an adverse impact on business, including those that would have imposed unrealistic and unreasonable operational burdens and risks. These included: definitions, reporting timelines, ad practices, search and seizure provisions, documentation requirements and handling of confidential business information.”

CCPSA aims to better protect the health and safety of Canadians by:

• prohibiting the manufacture, importation, advertisement or sale of any consumer products that pose an unreasonable danger to human health or safety;
• requiring industry to report when they know about a serious incident, or death, related to their product to provide government with timely information about important product safety issues;
• requiring manufacturers or importers to provide test/study results on products when asked;
• allowing Health Canada to recall dangerous consumer products; and raising fines and penalties for non-compliance.

“I am delighted that both the House of Commons and the Senate have recognized the need to update our product safety legislation,” said Aglukkaq. “The [CCPSA] will give the government important new tools to deliver stronger, more effective protection for Canadian consumers and their families.”

An accelerated implementation plan is being developed in order to facilitate the CCPSA coming into force in the next few months. To make the transition from the Hazardous Products Act to the new legislation as smooth as possible, the government will communicate with industry to inform them of the coming-into-force date and their new obligations and requirements under the act. The government is also committed to keeping consumers informed as to how the legislation will affect them and the products they buy.

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