At Long Last—Increased Regulatory Certainty for Treated Articles in Canada

  • April 06, 2023
  • Julia Schatz, partner, and Venetia Whiting, associate, Bennett Jones LLP

On December 7, 2022, amendments to the Pest Control Products Regulations (PCPR) were published in the Canada Gazette Part II. Among other things, the amendments:

  • clarify regulatory requirements for treated articles and establish criteria for authorizing certain treated articles;
  • formally exempt certain antimicrobials used in products regulated under certain Acts; and
  • replace the requirements for declarations by importer of control products.

Overview of Amendments Relating to Treated Articles and Antimicrobial Preservatives Coming into Force June 2023

Many treated articles are commonly available in the Canadian market, including mosquito repelling clothing, treated mattresses and shower curtains, and paints and detergents treated with antimicrobials preservatives.

The amendments relating to treated articles and antimicrobial preservatives come after several years of stakeholder consultations by Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency. The amendments will formalize the definition of treated article, previously referenced only in the information note and not in the Pest Control Products Act (PCPA) or the PCPR which had led to significant uncertainty about how such articles were regulated. "Treated article" will mean an inanimate product or substance (not including food) that during the manufacturing process is treated with a pest control product either by intentionally incorporating the product into, or applying it to, the product, and whose primary purpose is not to directly or indirectly control, destroy, attract or repel a pest or mitigate the troublesome effects of a pest. In turn, the word "article" will be removed from the definition of "device" which will mean "instrument, gadget, apparatus, appliance or other similar object."

A definition of "antimicrobial preservative" will also be added to the PCPR, referring to a chemical substance, or a mixture of chemical substances, that is intentionally incorporated into, or applied to, an article for the purpose of preserving it from deterioration or degradation by preventing the growth of micro-organisms.