On February 11th Health Canada published a proposal on the Regulations Amending Certain Regulations Concerning the Disclosure of Cosmetic Ingredients. They are now seeking public comments until April 22, 2023.

Health Canada proposes to amend the Cosmetic Regulations to strengthen the labelling requirements for cosmetics, by introducing a requirement to disclose certain fragrance allergens on cosmetic labels, and by clarifying the terminology used in the Cosmetic Regulations, strengthening the cosmetic notification requirements, and enhancing compliance and enforcement tools. The regulatory proposal would allow consumers to identify ingredients that they may be allergic to, or sensitive to, and would help them make more informed health decisions regarding product purchase and use.

Globally, fragrance ingredients and mixtures are considered proprietary information. However, some jurisdictions require the presence of fragrance ingredients to be indicated on the product label, and most manufacturers and importers use the term “parfum” instead of listing all fragrance ingredients.

The focus of this amendment is on fragrance ingredients used in cosmetics, often called “parfum” on product labels. Health Canada intends to require disclosure of certain fragrance allergens present at certain limits, to protect consumers who have sensitivities to such chemicals.

Other suggested changes are to modernize the regulations and improve regulatory oversight of cosmetics. These include adding labelling flexibility for small packages, updating the definitions of “manufacturer” and “importer”, cosmetic notification requirements, distributor information on the cosmetic notification, requirements to specify “rinse-off” and “leave-on” in the notification, ingredient identification to use INCI names on the cosmetic notification, smaller concentration ranges for ingredients on the cosmetic notification, requests for evidence of safety from Health Canada, and manufacturer’s information on the label.

Health Canada regulates cosmetics using a post-market approach. Manufacturers and importers must notify Health Canada within 10 days after they first sell a cosmetic, and provide information about the product’s formulation, function and form.

Health Canada may request evidence of safety from a manufacturer, and if the evidence submitted is not sufficient, the manufacturer must stop selling the product.

Additional information and instructions for participation in the proposal can be found here.