Health Canada warns Canadians of the risks of buying prohibited, non-compliant and unsafe consumer products online

With the holiday season upon us, many Canadians will be turning to the Web to shop. While online shopping can be convenient, consumers should be aware that some products available online are prohibited in Canada, non-compliant with Canadian regulations or have been found to be unsafe. Examples of such products found online include baby walkers, infant self-feeding devices, relighting candles, and small powerful magnet sets.

What you should do

Consumers can take the following steps to protect themselves before purchasing products online:

  • Check the Recalls and Safety Alerts Database for information about products that have been recalled. Consumer products, including children’s toys, can be recalled for health and safety reasons.
  • Check the Canada Border Services Agency website to find out about what you can and cannot have shipped into the country.

Before using any product or cosmetic, read and follow age recommendations, warnings, safety messages and instructions. If you have bought products that have been recalled, you should stop using the product immediately and search the Recalls and Safety Alerts Database for information on follow-up actions you can and should take. If you bought a product that is not permitted for use or sale in Canada, contact the vendor to arrange for return, if possible, or dispose of the product safely.  Please note that the Canada Consumer Product Safety Actprohibits recalled products from being redistributed, sold or even given away in Canada.

What Health Canada is doing

In Canada, consumer products are regulated by the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act and cosmetics are regulated under the Food and Drugs Act. Both laws include prohibitions on the sale of products that may pose a risk to health. These Acts allow Health Canada to quickly respond to any health concerns and to work with industry to remove unsafe products from the market. In 2017, through its Consumer Product Safety Program, Health Canada surveyed various online retailers and marketplaces, and found that the following prohibited, non-compliant and unsafe consumer products were available for sale to Canadians:

Health Canada has asked online retailers and marketplaces to remove advertisements for these product categories and to stop exporting these products into Canada. Health Canada regularly tests consumer products and cosmetics on the Canadian market and will continue to monitor new and emerging product safety issues to help keep consumers safe. The Department also works in collaboration with the Canada Border Services Agency to prevent the import of prohibited and dangerous products into Canada.

Report health or safety concerns

If you have a health and safety concern with a consumer product or cosmetic, report it to the manufacturer or retailer it was bought from, and to Health Canada.


Source: Media Release / Health Canada

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