Implementation of the new Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA) has been underway since the Act came into force on June 20, 2011. To make the transition from the Hazardous Products Act to the new legislation as smooth as possible, the Government will be actively communicating with industry to inform them of their new obligations and requirements under the Act.
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Before moving forward with this Act, Health Canada sought the views of stakeholders, including industry representatives and consumer groups. Some of the new requirements (e.g. mandatory reporting, requirement to produce test results upon request) may impose some additional accountability on industry.
To further minimize the impact, Health Canada will continue to work closely with industry to communicate the new requirements. The purpose of the new Act is to reinforce industry's responsibility to ensure they are not supplying consumer products that could pose an unreasonable danger to human health or safety, which will help to strengthen the health and safety of Canadians and increase consumer confidence.
Health Canada's objective at all times is to secure and improve the health and safety of all Canadians, and to support industry in their efforts to comply with the new legislation.
Experience has shown that industry values a good reputation and works hard to ensure products are safe. However, in cases where an individual or company does not fulfill their role and responsibilities in protecting the safety of Canadians, the government has more tools and flexibility at its disposal, including the ability to request information on a product's safety and to order a recall of unsafe products from the market. As well, significant penalties are being introduced for serious offences.
The new Act introduces additional responsibilities for business, but also provides additional benefits. After all, product safety is not only everyone's business - it makes good business sense as well.
An unsafe product in the marketplace is bad news for consumers and businesses. For businesses, unsafe products create negative public perception and shaky consumer confidence. Product recalls are costly and disruptive for industry. The new approach will help keep unsafe products out of the market.
Finally, by introducing consistency and compatibility with the product safety systems of international trading partners, Canadian manufacturers will be in a better competitive situation when exporting their products.