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T-4- 129 – Requirements for micronutrient fertilizers

The 3 year regulatory transition period (October 26, 2020 to October 26, 2023) has now ended. As a result, regulated parties, including all manufacturers, importers, distributors and sellers of fertilizers and supplements must adhere to the amended Fertilizers Regulations. There are few notable exceptions for some product categories. Learn more about the implementation of the amended Fertilizers Regulations.

1. Purpose

micronutrients means boron, chlorine, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum or zinc;

micronutrient fertilizer means a fertilizer that is represented to contain a micronutrient;

The purpose of this document is to outline registration and labelling requirements for micronutrient fertilizers regulated under the Fertilizers Act.

2. Micronutrient registration

Micronutrient fertilizers, as defined in the Fertilizers Regulations, require registration and pre-market assessment prior to importation and sale in Canada. This applies to micronutrients mixed with other plant nutrients (for example, N, P and K) and those sold alone, irrespective of end use pattern (household plants, urban gardens, lawns or golf courses, nurseries, greenhouses or farm uses).

Mixtures containing micronutrients are exempt from registration only if:

  • each micronutrient fertilizer is registered for the proposed use of the mixture;
  • its directions for use are consistent with those of the registered product (for example, target crop, use pattern, application rate, frequency and method).
  • all other active ingredients in the mixture (including supplements) are either registered for the proposed use of the mixture or are exempt from registration (for example, materials on the List of Materials).

Note that:

  • if the direction for use of the registered micronutrient fertilizer or other active ingredient are not consistent with the registered product, the original registration must be amended accordingly (major amendment) or the final mixture must be registered.
  • if the mixture contains an unregistered and non-exempt active ingredient the final product requires registration. Alternately, the unregistered ingredient could be registered for that use, in which case the final mixture would be exempt from registration.
  • the product proponent is responsible for ensuring that all ingredients in their products are compliant with the regulations – this includes ensuring that registered ingredients maintain valid registrations. If a product is being sold as an exempt mixture that contains a registered a product, and the registered product's registration lapses or is cancelled, then the previously exempt product would no longer meet all requirements of the mixtures exemption, and would be out of compliance and subject to enforcement action.

3. Standards

All micronutrient fertilizers must adhere to the standards outlined in Trade memorandum T-4-93 with respect to the product's content, compositional criteria, contaminant levels and upper tolerances around the level of micronutrient(s) guaranteed on the label.

4. Registration application and labelling requirements

For guidance on registration requirements (information and data requirements, submission content and layout and associated fees) please consult the Guide to Submitting Applications for Registration under the Fertilizers Act. General labelling requirements which also apply to micronutrient fertilizers are provided in Trade Memorandum T-4-130 – Labeling requirements for fertilizers and supplements.

Specific labelling requirements apply to micronutrient mixtures and combination products. These products must either be:

  • labelled with the registration numbers of each registered product in the mixture and the term of each exempt material in the mixture (as set out in the List of Materials) is indicated on the label together with any other information sufficient to demonstrate that the fertilizer is exempt.

    or

  • the product is labelled with a statement indicating that the fertilizers and the supplements present in the mixture are either registered or exempt from registration;
  • the person who packaged the mixture, caused it to be packaged or the person who imported the mixture, maintains a record of the registration numbers and any information that demonstrates that the mixture is compliant with Fertilizers Regulations with respect to the safety of the product; and
  • informs the President of the Agency (designated inspectors) of the place where the record is kept.

For additional information on the record keeping requirements applicable to mixtures of registered or exempt fertilizer and supplement products please consult Trade Memorandum T-4-131 – Record keeping requirements under the Fertilizers Act and Regulations.

5. Contact information

Fertilizer Safety Section
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Phone: 1-855-212-7695
Email: cfia.paso-bpdpm.acia@inspection.gc.ca

Appendix 1 – Possible fertilizer and supplement mixtures and their registration requirements
Unregistered micronutrient(s) Registered fertilizer(s) and/or supplement(s)

Directions for use consistent with proposed use of the mixture
Registered fertilizer(s) and/or supplement(s)

Directions for use Not consistent with proposed use of the mixture
Exempt material(s)
Unregistered micronutrient(s)

Each micronutrient requires registration

or

The final mixture requires registration

Unregistered micronutrient requires registration

or

The final mixture requires registration

Unregistered micronutrient requires registration
and
Registration needs amendment to include the proposed use of the mixture

or

The final mixture requires registration

Unregistered micronutrient(s) requires registration

or

The final mixture requires registration

Registered fertilizer(s) and/or supplement(s)

Directions for use consistent with proposed use of the mixture

Final mixture requires registration

or

Unregistered micronutrient requires registration

Mixture exempt from registration

Final mixture requires registration

or

Registration needs amendment to include the proposed use of the mixture

Mixture exempt from registration
Registered fertilizer(s) and/or supplement(s)

Directions for use Not consistent with proposed use of the mixture

Final mixture requires registration

or

Unregistered micronutrient requires registration
and
Registration needs amendment to include the proposed use of the mixture

Final mixture requires registration

or

Registration needs amendment to include the proposed use of the mixture

Final mixture requires registration

or

Registrations each need amendments to include the proposed use of the mixture

Final mixture requires registration

or

Registration needs amendment to include the proposed use of the mixture