Regulatory Review—Canadian Update

Canada has had many regulatory changes to its chemicals, drugs and most recently, to its cosmetics. This column will discuss those regulatory changes, beginning with the most urgent. In addition, this column will highlight new comments published by Health Canada, in conjunction with Advertising Standards Canada, on acceptable and unacceptable cosmetic claims.

Urgent Ingredient Issues

In the February 2003 issue of Cosmetics & Toiletries magazine, this author and Kathleen Rowland (now Ljubisic) reviewed the chemical registration plan as part of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA),1 which went into effect in 1988. At the time that CEPA was passed, chemicals in Canada were recorded in the Domestic Substances List (DSL) but there were two exemptions—polymers and chemicals regulated by the Food and Drugs Act (F&DA). Between Jan. 1, 1987, and Sep. 13, 2001, ingredients used in cosmetics or drugs and regulated by the F&DA were exempt from CEPA notification. In the late 1990s, when this exemption was overturned by Parliamentary Review, these substances were placed on the In-Commerce List (ICL). In addition, they became subject to CEPA’s New Substance Notification Regulations (NSNR), which were implemented in 1994 for chemicals entering the Canadian market after 1988 and requiring approval before being placed on the DSL. NSNRs are regulated by Health Canada and Environment Canada.

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