Canadian Reporting for 1500 Substances Due July 17th 2017

Environment Canada’s Chemical Management Plan (CMP) continues its assessment of current substances in Canada with a substantial new mandatory reporting obligation for importers and users of approximately 1500 chemicals.   The reporting obligations are retrospective, applicable to calendar years 2014 and 2015 with a reporting deadline of July 17th, 2017.

Substances in All Forms Caught By Survey

Consistent with its previous mandated surveys, the reporting obligation applies in respect of:

  • substances alone;
  • mixtures;
  • products; or
  • specified manufactured goods.

Target Manufactured Items

The manufactured goods targeted in this 2017 reporting obligation include items:

  • intended to be used by or for children under the age of six years;
  • intended to come into contact with the mucosa of an individual, other than eyes;
  • residential cookware/serving utensils coming into direct contact with heated food;
  • food packaging that is intended to come into dir­ect contact with food;
  • reusable food or beverage containers;
  • intended to release the reportable substance during dermal / inhalation contact;
  • clothing or footwear;
  • bedding, a sleeping bag or a towel;
  • residential furniture, a mattress, a cushion or a pillow; or
  • residential carpet, flooring, or foam under­lays.

There are both minimum thresholds and other exclusions for all of these obligated items.

Food / Drugs Substances Reportable

Certain substances regulated under the Food and Drugs Act of Canada are also caught when used in:

  • thera­peutic products (including human and veterinary drugs, and medical devices);
  • natural health products, foods (including food additives); and
  • cosmetics.

Extensions More Difficult to Obtain

Environment Canada is obligating any party which might seek an extension to provide the Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Number of those specific substances for which the person proposes delayed reporting, as well as the reason for the extension request.  Gone appear to be the days of a blank extension request on the reporting deadline date.  Confidentiality protections remain available.

Environment Canada has already emphasized that the 2017 CMP reporting will be enforced through sanctions under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.  The six-month lead time might be understood as designed to undercut due diligence defences for any unauthorized late filings.

Jonathan D. Cocker heads the Firm’s Environmental Practice Group in Canada and is an active member of firm Global Consumer Goods & Retail and Energy, Mining and Infrastructure groups. Mr. Cocker provides advice and representation to multinational companies on a variety of environment, health and safety matters, including product content, dangerous goods transportation, GHS, regulated wastes, consumer product and food safety, extended producer responsibilities and contaminated lands matters. He appears before both EHS tribunals and civil courts across Canada. Mr. Cocker is a frequent speaker and writer on EHS matters, an active participant on EHS issues in a number of national and international industry associations and the recent author of the first edition of The Environment and Climate Change Law Review (Canada chapter) and the upcoming Encyclopedia of Environmental Law (Chemicals chapter).