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 Baker McKenzie’s Environmental Practice Group in Canada and is an active member of the firm's Global Consumer Goods & Retail and Energy, Mining and Infrastructure groups. Mr. Cocker provides advice and representation to multinational companies on a variety of environmental and product compliance matters, including extended producer responsibilities, dangerous goods transportation, GHS, regulated wastes, consumer product and food safety, and contaminated lands matters. He assisted in the founding of one of North America’s first Circular Economy Producer Responsibility Organizations and provides advice and representation to a number of domestic and international industry groups in respect of resource recovery obligations. Mr. Cocker was recently appointed the first Sustainability Officer of the International Bar Association Mr. Cocker is a frequent speaker and writer on environmental issues and has authored numerous publications including recent publications in the Environment and Climate Change Law Review, Detritus – the Official Journal of the International Waste Working Group, Chemical Watch, Circular Economy: Global Perspectives published by Springer, and in the upcoming Yale University Journal of Industrial Ecology’s special issue on Material Efficiency for Climate Change Mitigation. Mr. Cocker maintains a blog focused upon international resource recovery issues at environmentlawinsights.com.