Frequently Asked Questions

The purpose of the New Substances Notification Regulations (Chemicals and Polymers) is to ensure that new substances (chemicals and polymers) are assessed for potential risks to human health and the environment and, if required, control measures are put in place before they are introduced into the Canadian marketplace.

The regulations require any person (individual or company) proposing to import or manufacture a substance that is new to Canada to submit prescribed information to the Government of Canada. The submitted information may include, but is not limited to:

  • substance identity;
  • the quantity that will be imported or manufactured;
  • the intended use of the substance; and
  • technical/scientific data about the substance.

The government assesses the information to determine whether there is a potential risk to human health and to the environment. When the assessment identifies a risk, various mechanisms exist under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 to manage that risk.

A substance is new to Canada if it is not listed on the Domestic Substances List (DSL). Substances on the DSL do not require notification unless they are subject to a requirement to submit information related to a Significant New Activity (SNAc)

Any person wishing to import or manufacture a substance that is new to Canada must provide the government with specific information 5-120 days before that substance is imported or manufactured. The information and timelines depend on the substance and quantity.

If the assessment of the new substance finds a suspicion of a risk to human health or the environment, the person may have to comply with risk management measures.

There are fees associated with submitting most information packages to the Government of Canada under the regulations. The fees are in accordance with the New Substances Fees Regulations.

The New Substances Notification Regulations (Chemicals and Polymers), made under the authority of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, came into force on October 30, 2005.

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