On July 1st, 2019, the full Canadian prohibition on Microbeads in Toiletries came into effect for cosmetic products as well as natural and non-prescription products. As a result, regulatory officials may be kickstarting an enforcement program to ensure companies are compliant with this new regulation. According to Cosmetics Alliance Canada, some manufacturers have received a visit from Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) Enforcing Branch because of suspicions of their products being “out of compliance” with the Microbeads in Toiletries Regulations. The ECCC was looking to obtain a “Stop Ship Order” list and samples for testing for products suspected of containing microbeads.

Regarding this matter, it is within the rights of Canadian regulatory bodies to conduct periodic checks of manufacturing sites. However, they are not allowed to request information outside of the scope of “microbeads of concern” as defined under the Final Order, which enable the Microbeads in Toiletries Regulations.

“Plastic Microbeads of concern are solid plastic particles that are less than or equal to 5 mm (in the largest external dimension) which are added to personal care products to exfoliate or cleanse the human body” [Final Order Adding “Microbeads” to the List of ‘Toxic’ Substances under EPA – Canada Gazette II. Vol. 150. No. 13. June 2016]

In this case, the requests made by the ECCC Enforcing Branch were not within their authoritative means, since the products of concern were not exfoliant or cleansing products. This raises the opportunity for companies to object to these requests for information.

In addition to this regulation bringing positive environmental change, it has also brought immense enforcement action in the cosmetics industry. Please contact Focal Point Research Inc. for more information on how to prepare for a visit, or if you have any other questions. We are leading North American Regulatory and New Product Consultants for Medical Devices, Natural Health Products, OTC Drugs, Cosmetics, and other consumer products regulated by Health Canada and the U.S. FDA.