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Canada has published two pieces of legislation to amend its Environmental Protection Act. The new law prohibiting asbestos-containing consumer products will become effective on December 30, 2018.

SAFEGUARDS | Consumer Products NO. 142/18

SafeGuardS orig chemist working at the laboratory

In January 2018, Canada published two proposals to strengthen its regulatory action on asbestos. Those proposals, which included a blanket ban on asbestos, were targeted for publication in the Official Gazette in the fall of 2018 (Safeguard 8/18 [1]).

On October 17, 2018, Canada published two pieces of legislation in Part II of the Canada Gazette [2] to amend the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999). These are:

  • Prohibition of Asbestos and Products Containing Asbestos Regulations SOR/2018-196 [3] (the Regulations)
  • Order Amending Schedule 3 to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999: SOR/2018-193 [4] (the Order) 

Unless specifically exempted in a limited number of applications, SOR/2018-196 prohibits the import, sale and use of asbestos and the manufacture, import, sale and use of products containing asbestos. The scope of prohibition includes the following:

  • Processed asbestos fibers
  • Products containing processed asbestos fibers unless those fibers are the result of the degradation of asbestos integrated into a product, a structure or infrastructure, or
  • Consumer products containing asbestos in greater than trace amounts

The Regulations do not establish a threshold for the presence of processed asbestos fibers in products.

According to the Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement in the Regulations, guidance material has been prepared and will be made available to stakeholders to provide information on the prohibition of naturally occurring asbestos above trace amounts in consumer products.

The Regulations also amend the Export of Substances on the Export Control List Regulations (ESECL Amendments) to prohibit the export of all forms of asbestos with a limited number of exceptions.

Since the Regulations are more comprehensive than the Asbestos Products Regulations (APR): SOR/2018-197 under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA), the APR is repealed [5] on the day in which the Regulations come into force: December 30, 2018.

The Order amends CEPA 1999 by, inter alia, specifying the types of asbestos in Parts 2 and 3 of Schedule 3 to CEPA 1999. This Order will become effective on the same day in which the Regulations (SOR/2018-196) come into force: December 30, 2018.

Major highlights on the prohibition of asbestos under SOR/2018-196 are summarized in Table 1.

Prohibition of Asbestos and Products Containing Asbestos Regulations: SOR/2018-196
Substance                              
Scope
Requirement
Effective Date

Asbestos, including:

Actinolite (CAS 77536-66-4)

Anthophyllite (CAS 77536-67-5)

Amosite (CAS 12172-73-5)

Chrysotile (CAS 12001-29-5)

Crocidolite (CAS 12001-28-4)

Tremolite (CAS 77536-68-6)

Processed asbestos fibers
Prohibited
December 30, 2018
Products containing processed asbestos
Prohibited*
December 30, 2018
Consumer products
Prohibited if above trace amounts**
December 30, 2018

* Unless those fibers are the result of degradation of asbestos integrated into a product, structure or infrastructure

**Guideline has been prepared and will be made available to stakeholders to provide information on the prohibition of naturally occurring asbestos above trace amounts in consumer products.

Table 1.

Further information on the new laws can be found in Canada’s News Release of October 18, 2018 [6].

SGS is committed to providing information about development in regulations for consumer products as complimentary services. Through a global network of laboratories, SGS provides a wide range of services including physical/mechanical testing, analytical testing and consultancy work for technical and non-technical parameters applicable to a comprehensive range of consumer products. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.

Next step:

Stakeholders are advised to comply with the latest requirements for asbestos for the Canadian market.

For enquiries, please contact:

Hingwo Tsang
Global Information and Innovation Manager
t: +852 2774 7420

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