Update to Health Canada’s Interim Measures for Alcohol-based Sanitizers
From March 18, 2020 when the Guide on Health Canada’s interim expedited licensing approach for the production and distribution of alcohol-based hand sanitizers was introduced by Health Canada, approximately 3,500 hand sanitizers have been licensed in Canada.
Health Canada has determined that there is now a sufficient supply to meet the demand for alcohol-based hand sanitizers, and therefore, the interim measures for hand sanitizers no longer applies. As of January 15, 2021, Health Canada will not be accepting notification forms for hand sanitizers under the interim measure. Notification forms that were submitted prior to January 15, 2021 will be processed.
Companies whose products were accepted under the interim measure will continue to be imported and/or sold. Companies that now wish to produce or distribute alcohol-based hand sanitizers should refer to the relevant licences of these products.
This does not affect the interim measures in place for hard surface disinfectants. Health Canada will continue to accept notification forms for hard surface disinfectants until supplies have stabilized.
Original Post: Canada’s Interim Policy for Workplace Cleaning Products
Amidst the COVID pandemic, there has been an increased demand for cleaning products regulated under the Hazardous Products Act (HPA), Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR) and if applicable, the Hazardous Materials Information Review Act (HMIRA). In response, Health Canada has put into effect an interim policy in order to assist in the sales and importation of these products.
What is covered under the interim policy?
Products with the primary function to clean surfaces, dishes and laundry are covered under the policy. Products used to polish, improve surface appearance or fabric softeners are excluded.
Cleaning products imported from the US into Canada will not need to meet the following requirements under HPA/HPR/HMIRA:
- The label and/or SDS may only in one official language
- Necessary pictograms are present on the label but not presented as outlined in the regulations
- Hazard and precautionary information are present on the SDS and label, but not exactly matching the language outlined in the regulations
- Information regarding Confidential Business Information (CBI) is not on the SDS or label
The policy does not change the enforcement priority for the other regulatory requirements.
Importing under the interim policy
Importers need to complete and email a form to Health Canada prior to import. This is available on the Health Canada website.
The interim policy ensures specific conditions are to be met in order to protect the health and safety of workers. Importers must:
- Provide safety information required under HPA/HPR on their website in both official languages
- Distribute products with bilingual or French-only labels to regions of Canada where the population mainly speaks and understands French
- Provide Health Canada with a bilingual SDS or the SDS and label text. This includes pictograms and all safety information required under the HPA/HPR. CBI information must also be provided if this information is not disclosed on the label and/or SDS due to trade secrets.
Health Canada will be maintaining an ongoing list of cleaning products that are subjected to this interim policy. This list can be accessed here: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/covid19-industry/disinfectanst-sanitizers-cleaners-soaps/workplaces/list.html
The interim policy also covers secondary sellers selling cleaning products imported from the US to Canada. The seller needs to obtain proof that Health Canada has received the applicable forms for the specific cleaning product. Products posted on the above-mentioned website is adequate proof.
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