The regulatory scene for chemicals in Canada has been changing considerably during the past several years, and current developments have the potential to profoundly impact the cosmetics and toiletries sector in Canada and abroad. Existing and new substances, either manufactured or imported into Canada, are governed by the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) and its New Substance Notification Regulations (NSNR). The implementation of the NSNR is shared by Environment Canada and Health Canada.
When CEPA first went into effect in 1988, ingredients used in products regulated under the Food and Drugs Act (F&DA) were administratively exempted. During the late 1990s, CEPA was subjected to a Parliamentary Review, and the outcome was a revised CEPA known as CEPA99, which removed the exemption for F&DA ingredients. The NSNR were first implemented in July 1994, a product of multi-stakeholder consultations.