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Updates Encouraged for Health Canada's In-Commerce List
By: David C. Steinberg, Steinberg & Associates
Posted: November 21, 2011
Suppliers that export chemicals directly into Canada or that supply ingredients for finished products that are sold in Canada and, therefore, regulated under the Food and Drugs Act (F&DA) in Canada need to ensure that these substances are nominated to the revised In-Commerce List (ICL) in Canada.
Health Canada is currently updating and revising their In-Commerce List (ICL) through an open nomination process. The ICL contains more than 9,000 substances that are regulated under the F&DA and were in commerce in Canada between Jan. 1, 1987 and Sep. 13, 2001. These substances are found in pharmaceuticals, veterinary drugs, biologics and generic therapies, cosmetics, medical devices and food additives. Unfortunately, this original list contained duplicate entries, missing entries, ambiguous entries containing generic terms, common names and trade names, making the list difficult to serve as a “definitive” regulatory inventory moving forward. The personal care industry has the chance to correct the list and supply information that would allow for this inventory to be finalized.
Regardless of the previous "in-commerce" status of a supplier's ingredients in Canada, substances that have not been recognized as "in commerce" through this process in Canada by Feb. 14, 2012, will no longer be considered to be "in-commerce" and will be subject to market restrictions as part of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act's (CEPA) new substance provisions.
Members of the Personal Care Products Council and the Canadian Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association (CCTFA) have worked together to identify substances on the current ICL to identify the most appropriate substance name, CAS Number and identity of these ingredients as well as to identify those substances that are already inventoried on Health Canada's Domestic Substances List (DSL) and therefore not subject to this nomination process.
Suppliers, distributors, and importers of substances and finished products must engage in the nomination of substances to the revised ICL. Supplier engagement in this process will be key as the information required to support nominations is specific to the raw material being supplied to the personal care industry. As such, downstream users of raw materials need to be reassured that their formulas will not be at risk in the Canadian cosmetics market.