Canada Ratifies WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation with Act to Amend HPA and CEPA

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Canada Ratifies WTO Agreement with Act Amending CEPA and HPROn December 12, 2016, an Act to Amend the Food and Drugs Act, the Hazardous Products Act, the Radiation Emitting Devices Act, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, the Pest Control Products Act and the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act and to make amendments to a related Act, formerly known as Bill C-13, was enacted. This legislation enabled Canada to ratify the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade Facilitation (TFA) on December 16, 2016.

The TFA, which entered into force on February 22, 2017, contains binding commitments for the 164 WTO Members to modernize and simplify border procedures. The legislative amendments contained in this Act relate to two specific provisions of the TFA:

  • Article 10.8.1: Importers may return to exporters goods rejected on account of their failure to meet certain health and technical requirements, unless an alternate way is provided for in laws and regulations.
  • Article 11.8: Technical regulations may not be applied to goods moving through the territory of a WTO Member from a point outside its territory to another foreign point (i.e. goods in transit).

As a result of the legislative changes, the following provisions in the TFA apply to hazardous products under the Hazardous Products Act (HPA), as follows:

  • Under Article 10.8.1 of the TFA, hazardous chemicals that do not comply with the HPA could be returned/re-consigned to the importer for removal from Canada at their expense unless they pose unacceptable risks to human health and safety, in which case they would be seized and not returned.
  • Under the Hazardous Products Regulations, the sale and importation of hazardous products that are "in transit" (being transported through Canada after being imported and before being exported, when the place of initial loading and the final destination are outside of Canada), and that are not intended for use in a work place in Canada, are exempt from the labelling and safety data sheet requirements of the HPA.
  • In addition, the HPA was amended to provide authority, consistent with other Health Canada legislation, to implement international agreements, such as the TFA.

For more information, please contact the Workplace Hazardous Materials Bureau at:

Email: WHMIS_SIMDUT@hc-sc.gc.ca

Telephone: 1-855-407-2665

Additional information can also be found online:



Bill C-13

Hazardous Products Act

For more information, please contact Mark Roehler.