Part 3 of 3: Mixtures, Manufactured Items and Products

Are you making or importing a Product? Are you sure?

26 August 2014

A note of caution to all you formulators and importers out there – the regulatory definition of mixtures, manufactured items and products can differ depending on the jurisdiction, and there may be reporting requirements that apply to your material or substance of interest.  In this last of a three-part series titled "Mixtures, Manufactured Items and Products", we look more closely at products and show that the definition of products is unique to Canada.

Canada – Canadian Environmental protection Act (CEPA, 1999):

The term product is not defined within CEPA, 1999.  A definition was introduced within the Notice with respect to certain substances identified in the Challenge, which was published in the Canada Gazette in 2006, and that definition (that a product excludes mixtures and manufactured items) has been limited to use under the Canadian Chemicals Management Plan.  For the purposes of the Chemicals Management Plan, products can include, but are not limited to, the following examples:

  • adhesives and sealants;
  • plastics and rubber additives;
  • plasticizers;
  • enteric coatings;
  • viscosity control agents;
  • film formers;
  • stabilizers;
  • dispersants;
  • lubricants;
  • binders emulsifying agents;
  • suspending agents;
  • agriculture adjuvants;
  • cosmetics and personal care products such as creams, lotions, perfumes, nail polish, shampoo, etc.;
  • cleaning liquids, gels or sprays;
  • detergents and surfactants;
  • paints & coatings
  • pharmaceuticals;
  • food products;
  • a roll of fabric/textile; or
  • a roll of paper, including wallpaper.

Essentially the term product has been introduced within the Section 71 Surveys under the Chemicals Management Plan as a means of ensuring that all goods imported, manufactured and, in some cases, used in Canada are addressed in the data collection initiatives.  Some key stakeholders, including retailers and companies regulated under the Food and Drug Act, better recognize the goods that they introduce into the Canadian marketplace as products.  The Government of Canada wanted to ensure that all Canadians recognize that this program is not limited to industrial chemicals, i.e. drums, totes and tank cars, as may have been historically understood.

Europe - Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH):

Within Europe, products and mixtures are captured by the same definition. For more information on the definition of Products in Europe, see Part 1 of this series.

USA – Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA):

Within the USA, products and mixtures are also captured by the same definition.

What does this mean for industry?

If your company is manufacturing, importing or using products in Canada, you may be subject to regulatory requirements.  Carefully review all of the Section 71 Notices in the Canada Gazette to clearly understand whether the goods that you are importing, manufacturing or using in Canada require a response under these mandatory data call-ins. The risk assessment and risk management of toxic substances in Canada is no longer limited to industrial chemicals.

For more information, please visit our Blog at or contact Joyce Borkhoff at

Today's expert blogger is Joyce Borkhoff. Joyce is the Director of the Intertek Chemicals Group and is well known for her ability to effectively characterize and communicate the impacts of the regulatory environment on the chemical industry. She is frequently invited to contribute to trade magazines and to present her advice and experience to a wide range of SME and large multi-national audiences. Her technical and regulatory experience and her deep knowledge of the Chemical Industry, makes Ms. Borkhoff uniquely qualified to provide practical, best-in-class service to help meet and understand Global Chemicals Management requirements.