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Cosmetic Vendor Guidelines

A cosmetic includes “any substance or mixture of substances, manufactured, sold or represented for use in cleansing, improving or altering the complexion, skin, hair or teeth and includes deodorants and perfumes.

COSMETICS VENDORS
Each cosmetic product sold in Canada (and at the Mountain Market) must have a Cosmetic Number which shows they have a completed Cosmetic Notice Form (CNF) with Health Canada. The CNF must be submitted at the latest 10 days after the vendor first sells the cosmetic. There is no fee associated with the cosmetic notification process.

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Because there are so many levels of legislation and each vendor’s situation is different, we strongly recommend contacting Health Canada or the CFIA with specific questions.

Here is the contact infofor Consumer Product Safety Program

  • Email: CPS-SPC@hc-sc.gc.ca
  • Toll-free: 1-866-662-0666 (Calls will be routed to the nearest Consumer Product Safety Office)

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Below are some links and information we’ve gathered from the CFIA and Health Canada about Natural Health Products and Cosmetic Notification Forms (CNF).
Drugs and Natural Health Products
A beauty product or grooming aid is usually a cosmetic, but is legally classified as a drug if it makes any claims to modify body functions, or to prevent or treat disease (ex. “Prevents and kills acne and bacteria”). A product that is authorized as a drug has a DIN (Drug Identification Number) or an NPN (Natural Product Number) on its label. If you are unsure whether a product is a cosmetic or a drug, you can consult the Drug Product Database or the Licensed Natural Health Products.
Cosmetics
Cosmetic Legislation
Under section 2 of the Food and Drugs Act, a cosmetic includes “any substance or mixture of substances, manufactured, sold or represented for use in cleansing, improving or altering the complexion, skin, hair or teeth and includes deodorants and perfumes.” This includes cosmetics used by professional esthetic services, bulk institutional products (such as hand soap in school rest rooms), as well as “handmade” cosmetics sold at craft sales or home-based businesses.

Health Canada sets safety rules through the Food and Drugs Act and the Cosmetic Regulations. All cosmetics sold in Canada must:

  • be free from contamination and substances that may harm you when you use the cosmetic normally and according to the directions on the label. Health Canada sets out a list of ingredients that are banned or limited in cosmetics, called the Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist.
  • be manufactured, prepared, preserved, packed and stored under clean conditions. All cosmetic manufacturers are encouraged to adhere to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs).
  • have their composition declared to the government via Notification (In other words, manufacturers must tell the government what is in their cosmetics so that their ingredients can be monitored and checked against the Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist.) If a safety concern arises, the cosmetic is prohibited from the market.
Requirement for Cosmetic Notification Forms (CNFs)

The manufacturer and importer must notify Health Canada that it is selling the product and provide a list of the product’s ingredients. Additionally, cosmetics are subject to the requirements of the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act and Regulations and any chemicals found in cosmetics may be subject to the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.

  • Section 30 of the Cosmetic Regulations require manufacturers (ie. cosmetic vendors) to complete and submit a Cosmetic Notification Form (CNF) for each of their products (and submit the required documents, such as labels and inserts). A CNF must be submitted at the latest 10 days after the vendor first sells the cosmetic. There is no fee associated with the cosmetic notification process.
  • Once a vendor completes a CNF, they automatically get a case number and submission number. Their CNF submission is entered into Health Canada’s cosmetics database and will be manually reviewed.
  • Once reviewed, the vendor will receive a Cosmetic Number (CN). This number is what market managers may request to see to ensure vendors have gone through the notification process.
  • If there are issues with the product or CNF, Health Canada will contact the notifier.
  • NOTE: there is currently a 3-4 month back log for reviewing CNFs.
  • Market managers should ask cosmetic vendors for their Cosmetic Number (CN) for each product being sold as this is proof that the vendor has notified their cosmetic to Health Canada.
  • Submission of the CNF does not constitute approval for sale by Health Canada, agreement that the product is classified as a cosmetic nor that the product complies with all legislative requirements. Manufacturers and importers are responsible for making sure their cosmetics meet the requirements of the Food and Drugs Act and its Cosmetic Regulations