- Upcoming member meeting on hazardous and special products regulationsHave you ever wondered what happens to the summer camping supplies you sell, like propane containers? As a retailer, … Continued
- RCC advocates for greater consultation and reasonable lead times on the proposed amendments to the Carriages and Stroller RegulationsRCC has submitted comments on behalf of its members to Health Canada’s Consumer and Hazardous Products Safety Directorate regarding … Continued
- BC Hazardous Waste Regulation intentions paper releasedThe BC Ministry of Environment released an intentions paper proposing changes to the Hazardous Waste Regulation. The changes impact storing and transporting … Continued
The importance of product safety in retail
Retailers across the country play an integral role in the everyday safety of individuals by ensuring the items we buy are not dangerous. Examples of the ways retailers keep consumers safe:
- Removing products from store shelves when a safety hazard is identified in a product. In many cases, this is done before a recall has even been issued.
- Communicating with customers about recalled products.
- Sharing information with Health Canada and manufacturers
In order to enhance and prevent future issues, RCC and its retail members are continually working with standard development bodies, manufacturers, and regulators to strengthen
Product safety issues RCC advocates for on behalf of retailers
Harmonizing regulatory requirements between Canada and the U.S.
RCC has been a significant contributor to the Canada-U.S. Regulatory Cooperation Council which focuses on harmonizing regulations between the U.S. and Canada. Having disparities in this area limits product choice and availability in the Canadian market, which ultimately adds to the cost of many household items.
We know harmonization is achievable and is beneficial to all Canadians. For example, in the area of food safety, there is now mutual recognition of U.S. and Canadian food safety standards under the new Safe Food for Canadians Regulations. There is no reason to have these differences with our largest trading partner.
The government should take every opportunity to help keep the cost of consumer goods as low as possible by reducing unnecessary regulations and red tape. RCC continues to urge the government that.
Harmonization of product safety regulations will increase choice and lower costs.
Standards should be the standard
Although product safety regulations are needed and have their place, in most circumstances a standard is better. Regulations usually take years of consultations and deliberation before they are finalized and published. And once finalized, it can take decades to update should they become out of date. On the other hand, standards typically take much less time to produce and are more nimble if changes are needed due to innovations or new technologies.
With the example of BBQ brushes, Health Canada and Retail Council of Canada lead the production of a new CSA BBQ Brush standard in under two years from start to finish. Having a standard will now give Health Canada leverage to issue a recall if a BBQ brush being sold does not meet these requirements.
RCC will continue to advocate that standard development be the first line of defence for most product safety emerging issues.
COVID-19 and product safety
The COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented challenges to retailers across the country on several fronts, including procuring essential items such as face masks, hand sanitizers, disinfectants, and even soap. Retail Council of Canada worked closely with Health Canada and other government departments to ensure Canadians did not lose access to these essential items amid global shortages by advocating that certain regulatory requirements, such as labelling rules that had no impact on the product itself, be temporarily exempt.
RCC will continue our engagement with Health Canada until the situation normalizes and supply returns to normal.
Ongoing regulatory changes
RCC remains involved in all on
–going product safety regulatory consultations and amendments, including the new Corded Window Coverings Regulations, new drone regulations, cosmetic regulations, and others.
Product safety resources for retailers
Drone toolkit for retailers
Transport Canada recently published its toolkit for retailers and other safety partners online including posters and assets that retailers can display in-store and educate customers about safe and legal drone use.
Contact Cory Anderson, Senior Manager, Government Regulations & Regulatory Affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on:
- Joining the RCC Product Safety and Recall Committee
- Current product safety issues affecting retailers