Cosmetics Compliance Seminar focuses on regulations in Canada

By Simon Bendle

- Last updated on GMT

Cosmetics Compliance Seminar focuses on regulations in Canada

Related tags Cosmetics compliance seminar Federal government of the united states Regulation United states

Canada’s regulatory framework for cosmetics and their importation will come under the spotlight at this month’s Cosmetics Compliance Seminar in California.

Gordon Greenwood, managing partner at law firm Maclaren Corlett LLP, will examine the principal differences between US and Canadian regulations and outline how industry players can best stay informed and up-to-date.

“The laws are not the same,”​ Greenwood told Cosmetics Design. “You boil it down to the fact that there are different governments and government departments who have their own regulations.

“Historically - although we hope this is changing - there’s very little coordination between the two countries. And yet commercially you would think there’s no border at all.”

Put state and federal regulations on the radar
Greenwood, who has 38 years’ experience working in the field of cosmetics regulations, will speak on the second day of the seminar, which runs from April 17-18 at the Marines’ Memorial Club & Hotel, San Francisco.

His presentation is titled, “Our Neighbor to the North: Skiing the Beginner’s Slope of Cosmetics Regulation.

“The relationship between state-federal, federal-provincial is more distinctive in Canada than it is in the US,” ​said Greenwood, outlining some of the key differences between the two countries.

“At the risk of being overly general, in Canada the federal government regulates the product and its ingredients, it’s manufacture, everything dealing with getting the product on the shelf. The province regulates its sale, its use…

“In the US, however, there is less distinction because the state can enter more of the field of regulation that the federal government would do in Canada. So you can end up with laws that are competing or the states will jump in before the Fed.”

“It’s an awful surprise for a Canadian manufacturer to find that they can sell everywhere in the US but when they get to California with what they call Prop 65… all of a sudden they are a huge risk,” Greenwood added.

“And an American sending their product to Canada just assumes Canada is an English-speaking


country and ‘we have offices there and everything must be the same’.

“But no - the regulatory scheme is different… if you're selling a product in Quebec then basically your label has to be bilingual. The whole thing.”

Know the regulations or suffer the consequences...
Not doing your homework can lead to class action law suits and large fines, said Greenwood, whose presentation will also examine how manufacturers can use trade associations, professional bodies and online resources to stay informed. 

Making sure goods are in the right category and packaged correctly is key, Greenwood said: “Is your product a cosmetic? A drug? A medical device? What class are you in?

“It’s very important to make sure that irrespective of what you might believe your product does that you are aware of what those categories are and you don’t overstep that boundary.”

Registration for the Cosmetics Compliance Seminar​ closes at noon Pacific time on Wednesday, April 8, 2015.

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