Cosmetics are regulate under the Food And Drugs Act and Cosmetic Regulations to make sure
they are safe to use and to reduce health risks to Canadians.
Cosmetics sold in Canada must be
manufactured, prepared, preserved, packed and stored under sanitary conditions.
Manufacturers cannot sell cosmetics
that contain ingredients that may cause injury when the product is used
normally, according to the directions on the label.
Manufacturers must provide a list of
the ingredients in a cosmetic product to Health Canada. This allows them to
identify and prohibit a product if an ingredient presents a hazard to the
health and safety of Canadians.
All cosmetics must have their
ingredients listed on the label. This lets consumers identify and avoid any
cosmetics that contain ingredients that are of concern to them.
If a health and safety problem
happens after a cosmetic product is on the market, Health Canada can investigate
and take appropriate enforcement actions.
three most significant features of the Canadian cosmetic regulatory system are
mandatory notification of all cosmetic products, safety of ingredients and
products, and product labelling.
Cosmetics must be notified by the
person or firm who is responsible for the product in Canada, or a firm or
person authorized on their behalf. The
notifying company is the main contact point for correspondence from Health
Canada and consumers, as well as for questions, concerns or compliance action
regarding the product.
Information that must be on cosmetic
Labelling is regulated by the Food
and Drugs Act, the Cosmetic Regulations and the Consumer
Packaging and Labelling Act and Regulations.
Cosmetic labels must show:
common or generic name of the product, in English and French
amount of product in metric units or count
name and address of the manufacturer or distributor
warnings or cautions, where needed, in English and French for safe use of
Specific labelling requirements for
the safe use of special products, like hair dyes and tooth whiteners. The law
does not allow false and misleading statements or deceptive packaging.
The importance of Ingredient labelling
The labelling helps Canadians make more
informed decisions about the cosmetics they use, since they are able to easily
identify ingredients they may be sensitive to.
Ingredient labelling using the International
Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI) system also lets doctors refer to
one common name for the purpose of treatment and incidence reporting.
Because many other countries also use the
INCI system, Canadians travelling abroad will be able to recognize and avoid
ingredients, as needed, without needing to know additional terminology.
Canada's cosmetic labelling has now been
brought into line with international standards. This will contribute to health
protection, while helping to lessen trade barriers and increase trade
opportunities for Canadian businesses.
Ingredients that are allowed in cosmetics
that do not present an unreasonable health and safety risk to Canadians, when
used according to directions, are allowed in cosmetic products. Health Canada
cosmetic manufacturers satisfy the requirements for sale of a cosmetic, Health
Canada developed the Hotlist - an administrative list of substances that are
restricted and prohibited in cosmetics. A list of prohibited and restricted
cosmetic ingredients, known as the Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist
, can be found
on the Health Canada Web site at www.healthcanada.gc.ca/hotlist.
Information on Completing the Form
Please follow the instructions below
to ensure appropriate completion of all notification forms and to avoid any
unnecessary delays in processing.
is a mandatory requirement for sale of cosmetics in Canada. Under the Cosmetic
all cosmetics must be notified to the Cosmetics Program of
Health Canada within the first 10 days a cosmetic is available for sale.
Failure to notify may result in a product being denied entry into Canada or
removed from sale.
Companies must inform the Cosmetics
Program whenever a change affecting the information on a CNF is made. Some
examples of this include (but are not limited to):
to the cosmetic formulation;
of product name;
company name, address, or contact information.
Products That Are Subject to
All cosmetic products sold in Canada
are subject to notification to Health Canada under the Cosmetic Regulations.
The definition of "cosmetic" can be found in section 2 of the Food
and Drugs Act.
In order to be classified as a
cosmetic, the product must meet the following criteria:
product serves a cosmetic purpose of cleansing, moisturizing, perfuming, altering
the hair, skin, teeth, lubricating or complexion of humans.
product is a substance or contains a substance or a mixture of substances
that come into contact with the body to achieve the cosmetic effect. This
is generally limited to the skin, hair, nails and teeth. Products meant to
be applied to the oral, nasal and vaginal cavities may be considered
cosmetics. Products meant to be applied directly into the eyes are not
considered cosmetics (e.g. moisturizing eye drops), while those applied to
the skin around the eyes would be considered cosmetics.
product does not make any representation or claims of having therapeutic
properties such as the prevention or treatment of a disease, disorder or
product does not contain ingredients that primarily have a therapeutic
purpose (e.g. has a drug-like effect).
Examples of products considered to
nail builders and adhesives
kits / chemical peels
inks and temporary tattoos
wipes (i.e. cleansing ingredients contained within the wipes)
Products that are not considered to
treatment hair removers
or 'Botox' injections
or fabric sprays
Products that appear to be
cosmetics, but that fall outside of the above criteria may be subject to other
Complete the form in triplicate. Provide the Cosmetics Program with two
copies, stapled together, at the address below, and retain one copy as the
For a copy of Cosmetic Notification Form (CNF) and Guide go to :
Print out the form, fill it out and mail to the address below.
Cosmetics Program, Health Canada
123 Slater Street, 4th Floor A.L. 3504D
Ottawa, Ontario,K1A 0K9
Recent Health Canada Reviews
Canada determined that products used for animal grooming will no longer
be considered cosmetics under the Food and Drugs Act and Cosmetic
Regulations. Effective June 20, 2011 these types of products will be
subject to the Canada Consumer Products Safety Act (CCPSA ) and the
Consumer Chemicals and Containers Regulations, 2001 ( CCCR, 2001 )
depending on the properties and attributes of the product. In some
cases, these products may be exempt from the CCCR, 2001 requirements and
will be subject to other Canadian legislation.
your company has previously notified animal grooming products as
cosmetics, please be advised these products have been deactivated from
Health Canada's Cosmetics Notification System since they are no longer
required to comply with the Cosmetic Regulations.
for use on animals which make a therapeutic claim may be classified as
veterinary drugs and subject to the Food and Drug Regulations. Please
contact the Veterinary Drugs Directorate at 613-954-5687 for more
Products which make pest control
claims ( e.g. flea and tick removal ) may be classified as pest control
products and subject to the Pest Control Products Regulations or the
Food and Drugs Act depending on the application. Please contact the Pest
Management Regulatory Agency's Information Services Section at toll
Products for use on both
humans and animals in cleansing, improving or altering the complexion,
skin, hair or teeth, including deodorants and perfumes. These will
continue to be classified as cosmetics and continue to be regulated
under the Cosmetic Regulations. Please contact the nearest Regional
Product Safety Office for more information. Contact information can be
found online at:
A copy of the CCCR, 2001 regulations can be found at http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/showtdm/cr/SOR-2001-269
information on how to order a CCCR, 2001 Industry Guide, which will
provide information to help you comply with these regulations, please
you have any questions regarding consumer chemical products, or
questions about the CCCR 2001, please contact your nearest Regional
Product Safety Office :