• December 15, 2018
  • WTO

Canada Proposes regulations to amend the Fertilizers Regulations

Fertilizers (substances containing plant nutrients) and supplements (substances other than fertilizers, intended to improve the physical condition of soils, or aid plant growth or crop yields) imported into or sold in Canada are regulated by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency under the Fertilizers Regulations. Regulated products include farm fertilizers, micronutrients, lawn and garden products as well as supplements such as water holding polymers, microbial inoculants, plant growth regulators, liming materials, and waste-derived materials such as composts and municipal biosolids.

The Fertilizers Regulations requires that all regulated fertilizer and supplement products be safe for humans, plants, animals, and the environment. They must also be properly labelled to ensure safe and appropriate use. Certain fertilizers and most supplements are subject to registration and require a comprehensive pre-market assessment prior to their import or sale in Canada.

The pre- market assessment consists of a detailed, science-based evaluation of product safety information and labelling, which focuses on the evaluation of product safety towards humans, plants, animals and the environment. All regulated fertilizer and supplement products submitted to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for registration or approval must undergo a thorough label verification to ensure that displayed information is in compliance with the criteria prescribed by the Fertilizers Regulations. Products that are exempt from registration are still subject to regulation and must meet all the prescribed standards at the time of sale or import. 

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is proposing amendments to the Fertilizers Regulations.

The proposed amendments include: • Regulatory changes including: • changes to definitions and terminologies; • Certain product definitions would be amended, added, or removed to align with current science, industry trends and international standards; • general exemptions from the fertilizers framework; • exemption from registration and pre-market assessments; • registration requirements; • labelling and record keeping requirements; • extension of the registration period from 3 to 5 years; and • incorporation by reference of a List of Primary fertilizer and supplement materials exempt from registration.

Additional non-regulatory changes are also proposed in a shift towards more risk-based approaches including policy and administrative refinements to streamline the product registration process and reduce burden on regulated parties. A fundamental component of these non-regulatory changes is the implementation of a risk-based tiered registration process.

Draft Text 1 is available for download in the following languages: English French


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