- Vancouver Council votes to regulate sale of bear sprayOn March 28, 2023, Vancouver City Council passed a staff report on the sale of bear spray. The bylaw … Continued
- Health Canada’s Consumer and Hazardous Products Safety Directorate (CHPSD) joins RCC meetingRCC welcomed new Director General Dennis Price of Health Canada’s Consumer and Hazardous Products Safety Directorate (CHPSD) to RCC’s … Continued
- 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
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.
To stay informed, retailers can subscribe to RCC’s Retail Policy Newsletter and members can inquire about joining RCC’s Product Safety and Recall Committee.
Product safety resources for retailers
Product safety and recall committee
The Product Safety and Recall Committee is comprised of senior retail professionals with an objective to stay ahead of the curve on key issues and to help shape industry standards. The committee also develops and shares best practices through working groups and allows members to be heard by Health Canada officials concerning the issues impacting their businesses most.
RCC holds members only webinars on key issues affecting retailers. Recordings are available to RCC members on the following topics:
- NRCan’s Proposed Changes to its Explosives Regulations (Restricted Components)
- Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist: What retailers need to know
- Mandatory incident reporting within the consumer product safety program
- Mandatory Incident Reporting (Part II): What happens with your incident report?
Recent recalls and alerts
The government’s Recalls and Safety Alerts website provides easy access to a comprehensive list of recalls, advisories, and safety alerts. You can also subscribe to receive ongoing alerts.
Regulatory requirements for non-medical masks/fashion face coverings
With the high demand for face masks, RCC has received numerous questions from retailers asking what regulatory requirements there are for selling non-medical face masks or fashionable face coverings. To help retailers navigate what they need to know regarding face masks, we have assembled answers to frequently asked questions and a more detailed list of requirements.
Temporary measures for the labeling of hand sanitizers, disinfectants, soaps, and cleaning products
The government has placed restrictions on some of its temporary measures for sanitizers, household cleaners, and soaps, specifically on language labeling requirements, which were originally put in place to minimize supply disruptions.
Canada consumer product safety act- information for retailers
The purpose of the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act is to protect the public by addressing or preventing dangers to human health or safety that are posed by consumer products in Canada. The Canada Consumer Product Safety Act contains rules about manufacturing, importing, selling, advertising, and testing consumer products in Canada. To assist retailers, the government has created a guide that outlines product safety responsibilities for retailers.
BBQ brush standards
The new Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Barbecue Grill Brush Standard has been released and is now available for purchase at CSA’s Store.
It is also available for anyone to view free of charge in English or French.
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 email@example.com for more information on:
- Joining the RCC Product Safety and Recall Committee
- Current product safety issues affecting retailers