How to register your cosmetic products in Canada

Published: 17-Sep-2019

Cosmetic product registration process differs from country to country. Therefore, it is important to be aware of all the differences and to be well-acquainted with the cosmetic regulation of the relevant country.

Knowing the necessary legal requirements is crucial in order to achieve product compliance and successfully register your products.

Cosmetic Notification Form

In Canada, all cosmetic products have to be notified to Health Canada, which monitores production and distribution of various types of products, including cosmetics.

Manufacturer, a Canadian importer or a person responsible on their behalf, has to notify Health Canada by submitting a Cosmetic Notification Form (CNF) for each cosmetic product being sold in Canada. Cosmetic registration in Canada is a post-market requirement, meaning that the notification has to be made within 10 days after the cosmetic products are first sold in Canada.

If the products are not notified, they may be denied entry into Canada or removed from sale.

Cosmetic notification form has 9 sections. Information that has to be provided includes the following:

  • Brand and name of the product
  • Date of the first sale of the product in Canada (actual or predicted)
  • Product information (area of application, form, function, ingredients and their concentrations
  • Contact information of the notifier
  • Contact information of the manufacturer and/or Canadian importer (note that at least one of the companies for which contact information is provided has to be based in Canada. If the manufacturer is not from Canada, then the details of the Canadian importer have to be provided as well)
  • Additional documents and pictures (needed only if the product presents an avoidable hazard according to the Cosmetic Regulation or Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist)

Before notifying your product, it is important to check the Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist, which contains lists of prohibited and restricted ingredients for use in cosmetics in Canada.

If any ingredient you have in your product, requires warning statements, it is important to provide a product’s label (as an additional document) with the notification form.

Is the notified product approved by Health Canada?

No, it is not. It is important to know, that submission of the CNF does not mean that the product is compliant, that it is approved by Health Canada nor that the product is classified as a cosmetic product.

However, if there are specific issues related to the submitted notification or the product, such as missing information, safety concerns, improper classification, unknown ingredients, etc., Health Canada will inform the notifier of these issues.

Updating cosmetic notification forms

According to the Canadian Cosmetic Regulation, the CNF has to be updated whenever there are changes made to a product, which affect the information on the CNF. Below are some examples of changes, which would require a CNF update:

  • Changes in the cosmetic formulation
  • Product name change
  • Discontinuation of sale
  • New contact information, new company name or address.

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