T-4- 128 – Customer formula 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.
The purpose of this document is to outline regulatory requirements (including exemptions from registration) for customer formula fertilizers regulated under the Fertilizers Act and Regulations.
2. Exemption from registration
Customer formula fertilizer means a fertilizer prepared in accordance with a written formula that sets out the name, amount and guaranteed analysis of each ingredient and the signature of the person for whose use for fertilizing purposes it has been prepared;
"Customer formula fertilizers" (see adjacent text box) are exempt from registration under the Fertilizers Act. To satisfy the conditions of the exemption, a customer formula fertilizer must:
- be prepared in response to a written request from the person who will use the product for fertilizing purposes – it cannot be prepared in advance of that request in anticipation of a demand existing within the Canadian marketplace; and
- not contain seeds or growing media.
A customer formula fertilizer that contains a pesticide registered under the Pest Control Products Act (PCPA) for the purpose of the fertilizer mixture, a micronutrient, or both, is exempt from registration. In the case of a customer formula fertilizer that contains a pesticide, the pesticide must comply with the requirements of the PCPA in respect of its approved use (including application rate, target crop, etc.).
Under the Fertilizers Act, a fertilizer that contains a supplement is regulated as a fertilizer. When a mixture of fertilizer(s) and supplement(s) meets the definition of a customer formula fertilizer, it is exempt from registration. A customer formula fertilizer may only contain supplements that are either:
- exempt from registration; or
- registered for use in fertilizer mixtures and labelled with directions for use that are consistent with those of the customer formula fertilizer.
All customer-formula fertilizers must adhere to the safety standards outlined in Trade memorandum T-4-93 with respect to the product's composition and contaminant levels.
4. Labelling requirements
General labelling requirements as well as labelling requirements specific to customer formula fertilizers with and without intentionally incorporated micronutrients or pesticides are provided in Trade memorandum T-4-130.
5. Contact information
Fertilizer Safety Section
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
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