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T-4- 116 – Regulatory requirements for products that are or contain polymers

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Effective October 26, 2020, the amended Fertilizers Regulations are in force. Regulated parties can comply with either the "new" regulations or the "old" regulations for a period of 3 years. This applies to the manufacture, sale, import or export of fertilizers and supplements regulated under the Fertilizers Act.

April 2021

1. Purpose

The purpose of this document is to provide guidance regarding regulatory requirements for products that are polymers or contain polymers, whether naturally derived or synthetic, when represented as fertilizers or supplements, under the Fertilizers Act.

2. Registration requirement

polymers are materials made of long, repeating chains of molecules. The materials have unique properties, depending on the type of monomers being bonded and how they are bonded.

Fertilizer or supplement products that are or contain polymers require registration under the Fertilizers Act prior to importation or sale in Canada.

A polymer that directly or indirectly affects the performance of a fertilizer or supplement product is itself considered a supplement. As such, whether it is sold alone or in combination with a fertilizer or supplement (as a coating for example) it requires registration prior to importation or sale in Canada unless:

Mixtures containing polymers are exempt from registration only if:

Note that:

3. Standards

All regulated products must adhere to prescribed standards as outlined in Trade memorandum T-4-93 with respect to the product's composition and contaminant levels.

4. Registration application and labelling

For general guidance on submitting applications for product registration, please consult the Guide to Submitting Applications for Registration under the Fertilizers Act. General labelling requirements are outlined in Trade memorandum T-4-130.

active ingredient means an ingredient of a fertilizer or supplement to which its performance as a fertilizer or supplement is attributed.

Polymers that are active ingredients must be guaranteed as a minimum percentage in the final product formulation by weight. The description of the polymer must be in agreement with the corresponding Chemical Abstract Service Registry Number (CAS RN) listing.

Products that are or contain polymers require a full safety assessment (Level III) and are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

5. Safety data requirements

Safety data requirements specific to polymers/products containing polymers include:

6. Research authorization for novel supplements

Research Authorization must be obtained from the CFIA prior to environmental release of any novel supplement for experimental purposes. A supplement that is not registered for the use pattern being tested and not exempt from registration or that contains a novel trait is considered a "novel". For information on how to obtain a research authorization please consult T-4-103.

7. Contact information

Fertilizer Safety Section
c/o Pre-market Application Submissions Office (PASO)
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
59 Camelot Drive
Ottawa, ON K1A 0Y9
Phone: 1-855-212-7695
Fax: 613-773-7115

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