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The Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (“CCPSA”) has the stated purpose of protecting the public by addressing or preventing dangers to human health or safety that are posed by consumer products in Canada, including those products that are imported.[1]

The legislation defines a “danger to human health or safety” as an unreasonable hazard, either existing or potential, that is posed by a consumer product during its use or as a result of its normal or foreseeable use that may have an adverse impact on that person’s health, leads to an injury, or leads to their death. This includes health hazards that occur during use or exposure to the hazard or one that may reasonably be expected to have a chronic adverse effect on human health.[2]

Unlike comparable US legislation, the CCPSA defines a consumer product very broadly; applying not only to the product itself but all components, parts, accessories, and packaging that may reasonably be expected to be obtained by an individual and used for non-commercial purposes (such as domestic, recreational, and/or sports purposes).[3]

As the definition does not relate to the manufacturer or distributor’s intention but the expectation of a reasonable consumer, it is possible that products marketed for professional services may still fall under the provisions of the CCPSA. For example, contractor-grade tools may be bought for non-commercial purposes or rented at a “builders’ supply business”.

There are, however, a number of products that are captured in existing federal legislation and are resultantly excluded from the application of the CCPSA. Pursuant to Schedule 1 of the CCPSA, these products include food, drugs, cosmetics, motor vehicles, medical devices, plants, seeds, explosives, firearms, controlled substances, and natural health products.

Accordingly, potentially hazardous products should be treated as consumer products and assessed for compliance with the CCPSA.

Drew is an associate in Siskinds’ Franchise, Distribution, and Licensing Group. If you have questions as to whether your products are governed by the CCPSA or are compliant with its requirements, please contact him by email or by phone at 519.660.7848.

[1] Canada Consumer Product Safety Act, SC 2010, c 21 (CPPSA) at section 3.

[2] Ibid, at section 2.

[3] Ibid.

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