Household cleaning products, hand soaps and body soaps (COVID-19)

2020-04-15

What we are doing

The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented demand for household cleaning products regulated under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA) and hand soaps and body soaps regulated as cosmetics under the Food and Drugs Act (FDA). As an interim policy due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re facilitating the access and sale of certain consumer products and cosmetics in Canada where:

the label may only be in one official language

the label may be different from what is required for sale in Canada

Household cleaning products covered under the interim policy

Under the interim policy, Health Canada is facilitating access to certain household cleaning products that do not fully meet the following labelling requirements under the CCPSA:

the label may only be in one official language

the hazard symbol(s) is missing on the label

safety and cautionary information on the label do not conform to the wording set out in the relevant regulations

However, the interim policy does not change the enforcement priority for all other regulatory requirements under the applicable Regulations that apply to household cleaners, such as:

packaging requirements (for example, child-resistant and leak-proof)

other labelling information, such as the need for instructions for safe use

The interim policy covers the following household cleaning products regulated under the CCPSA:

cleaning and furnishing care products used mainly to clean, bleach or scour surfaces

products used to polish, protect or improve the appearance of surfaces are excluded

laundry and dishwashing products used mainly to clean

fabric softeners or other products are excluded

Hand and body soaps covered under the interim policy

Under the interim policy, Health Canada is facilitating access to hand and body soaps, regulated as cosmetics under the FDA, that do not fully meet the following labelling requirements:

the label may only be in one official language

the ingredients listed on the label are not listed exactly as outlined in the regulations

However, the interim policy does not change the enforcement priority for all other regulatory requirements under the applicable Regulations that apply to cosmetics, such as:

labelling for avoidable hazards

prohibiting products that contain an ingredient that may cause injury

To note, hand and body soaps are still subject to the requirements under the FDA, specifically sections 16 to 18.

The interim policy covers hand and body soaps, regulated as cosmetics under the FDA, used mainly to clean the skin. It does not cover:

products that have a Drug Identification Number (DIN) or Natural Product Number (NPN)

other products where skin cleaning is not the main function

How to import under this interim policy

To import under this interim policy, importers are required to fill out a form and email it prior to import to hc.ccpsa-lcspc.sc@canada.ca.

Importers will also be expected to:

provide to Health Canada and make available on their website the label text, with required safety information, as per the CCPSA or FDA, as appropriate, in both official languages, and any required hazard symbols

mock-up labels are not necessary

distribute any products with bilingual or French-only labels to regions of Canada where the population mainly speaks and understands French

Note: Unless otherwise communicated by Health Canada, this interim policy will no longer be in effect 3 months after all provinces and territories have ended their states of emergency related to COVID-19.

Remember to continue to:

record and report all side effects and incidents concerning the use of a product to Health Canada

keep records on the source and the destination of your consumer products

Health Canada, 15 April 2020
; https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/home-safety/household-chemical-safety/covid19-cleaning-products-hand-body-soaps.html