Effective November 16, 2006, manufacturers of cosmetics that are sold in Canada must list the ingredients of their products on the product labels. This new Canadian requirement, which is similar to those in the United States and the countries of the European Union, is meant to improve public safety.
An ingredient is defined as any substance that is a component of a cosmetic (including colouring agents, botanicals, fragrance and flavour), but does not include a substance used in the preparation of the cosmetic but not present in the final product as a result of the chemical process. The ingredients must be listed on the outer label of the cosmetic. If the cosmetic’s container or outside package is too small to list the ingredients or if the container is ornamental and there is no outside package, the ingredients can be listed on a tag, tape or card affixed to the container or package. If there is no outside package and a tag, tape or card is impractical due to the size, shape or texture of the cosmetic or its container, the ingredients can be listed in a leaflet that accompanies the cosmetic at the point of sale.
Ingredients must be listed using International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient (INCI) names as set out in the International Cosmetic Ingredient (ICI) Dictionary and Handbook, published by the Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrance Association. Botanicals must be listed using at least the genus and species portion of their INCI name.
A number of compounds in the ICI Dictionary and Handbook are listed by their "trivial name" in Latin and English (e.g., "aqua", "water"). In these cases, if the manufacturer opts to list the English trivial name (e.g., "water"), the equivalent French term (e.g., "eau") must also be listed. Ingredients that have no INCI name must be listed by their chemical name in both English and French.
Ingredients must be listed in descending order of concentration by weight. Ingredients with a concentration of 1% or less and all colouring agents, regardless of their concentration, may be listed in random order after the ingredients with concentrations of more than 1%. If makeup or nail polish and enamel is sold in a range of shades, all colouring agents used in the range may be listed if they are preceded by the symbol "+/–" or "±
" or the phrase "may contain/peut contenir." With respect to fragrance and flavour, the words "aroma" and "parfum" may be inserted at the end of the list of ingredients to indicate that these ingredients have been added to the cosmetic.
There are also new hazard labelling requirements for certain products. In addition, the requirement that importers notify Health Canada before they import cosmetics is replaced by a requirement that importers notify Health Canada within 10 days after the first sale of a cosmetic in Canada. A similar requirement applies to domestic manufacturers. These requirements also take effect on November 16, 2006.
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