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CCPSA contains several broad prohibitions that build upon the list of products restricted by HPA, which will shift the approach of consumer product regulation to an anticipatory position that is more consistent with the consumer product regulatory regime in the U.S.
CCPSA will impose on manufacturers, importers and sellers a duty to notify Health Canada, and the suppliers from whom each of them received the consumer product, of any "incident" with respect to a consumer product supplied in Canada.
To assist in determining whether an incident meets the criteria set out in CCPSA for reporting, Health Canada recently published the following table as a guide to "reportable events" contemplated under CCPSA:
CCPSA imposes very onerous, and likely impractical in many instances, timing obligations for reporting incidents.
Contravention of the new CCPSA rules will fall into one of two categories--"violations" or "offences." Failing to adhere to certain types of orders is a violation, which will be addressed by a new "Administrative Monetary Penalties Scheme" or "AMPS." AMPS is a flexible process for sanctioning noncompliance, with penalty ranges set by regulation, and the possibility of a reduced penalty if the party enters into a Compliance Agreement with Health Canada.
A company or person who breaches a provision of CCPSA, or certain types of orders made under it, may be found guilty of an "offence." On conviction of an offence, the company or person could potentially be liable to a fine of up to $5 million or to imprisonment of up to two years--or both.
Since CCPSA will mark a brand new regime of consumer product regulation in Canada, these penalties are a first as well--there currently is no comparable set of obligations for suppliers of general consumer products in Canada.
CCPSA will affect all companies, both Canadian and non-Canadian, that manufacture or sell consumer products in the Canadian marketplace.
CCPSA will make Canada's consumer product safety regime more similar to that of Canada's major trading partners (primarily the U.S.
The potential breadth of Health Canada's new investigative and recall powers under CCPSA, the increased severity of the offence provisions under CCPSA, and the Canadian government's recent focus on product safety generally, will create a far greater risk for any company that does not have these systems in place if a safety incident occurs.
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