he transition period for the Fertilizers Regulations is coming to an end on October 26, 2023. After that date, all fertilizer and supplement importers, manufacturers, distributors and retailers are required to comply with the provisions of the amended regulations.
CFIA Compliance and Enforcement
Business disruptions across the value chain caused by the pandemic have made it difficult for some companies to comply with the new regulations by October 26, 2023. For product categories that are most impacted and for the companies that demonstrated the “intent” to comply by submitting their applications early (before November 3, 2022), the CFIA will focus its inspection efforts on compliance promotion activities.
Compliance promotion is any activity that supports, motivates or encourages compliance with legislation that CFIA enforces. It includes industry consultations, communication, information sharing, tools and processes to help regulated parties understand the regulatory requirements. It is different from control actions (for example product detention) or enforcement (for example prosecution) which the CFIA can take to correct a non-compliance and control risks.
Registerable fertilizers and supplements that were formerly exempt from registration under the old regulations, and for which an application was received before November 3, 2022:
the company will have an additional 12 months (until October 26, 2024) to transition their marketplace labels/packaging in compliance with the “new” regulations
Mixtures that contain registerable fertilizers and supplements that:
were formerly exempt, but now require registration or
were registered under the former regulations and continue to require registration under the current regulations and for which an application was received prior to November 3, 2022
the downstream producers will have an additional 24 months (until October 26, 2025) to transition the mixed product label into compliance with the “new” regulations.
Who are downstream producers?
A producer of a fertilizer or supplement that requires an “upstream” supplier to bring their product(s) into compliance with the amended regulations before they can manufacture/blend their final mixed product and print their labels. This includes:
mixed fertilizers or supplements
treated seeds; and
growing media products that contain regulated fertilizers or supplements
Why November 3, 2022
All applications for registration received before that date will have undergone a first review by the end of the transition period. If a significant safety risk is identified during the first review, the registration will be denied and applicant will have to resubmit in order to import or sell the product legally in Canada. This will reduce safety risks associated with unassessed products reaching the marketplace.
Who gets inspected
The CFIA inspects a variety of different facilities and establishments as part of their routine marketplace monitoring and compliance verification activities. This includes importers, manufacturers, distributors and retailers of regulated fertilizers and supplements. Recognizing that retail stores that sell bagged fertilizers and supplements are, in general, not involved in product registration or preparing product labels, they will not be the focus of inspection activities in the upcoming 2 years following the end of the transition period (October 2023).
Should their facilities be inspected during that period, they may be informed of the compliance status of a given product line, but the communication will be directed at the “responsible” party (for example importer, manufacturer, registrant etc.).
The CFIA has been experiencing challenges meeting its service delivery standards which has led to registration delays. We recognize that these delays are outside of the companies’ control. Those who submitted their applications before November 3, 2022, and have not been denied registration due to safety concerns, will be able to market their product while they wait for the registration to be finalized. For an update to current delays to service delivery standards please got to: Update on fertilizer service standards.
Questions about these amended regulations and if your imports are affected, contact us, we’re here to help.
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