Health Canada proposes stronger rules regarding the importation of pesticides for personal use


Health Canada is concerned about the dangers of unregistered pesticides being brought into Canada. Unregistered pesticides brought in from other countries have not been assessed for safety by the Department, and may not be labelled or packaged properly for safe use in Canada.

The current Pest Control Products Regulations allow pesticides (regardless of their registration status in Canada) to be imported into the country for personal use in or around the home when the pesticide is 500 g or 500 mL or less, and when the value is $100 or less. This means that small quantities of potentially highly toxic pesticides can be brought into and used in Canada. Such products can be dangerous and cause harm, including death, especially if used inappropriately.

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Today, Health Canada is proposing to revise the current personal use import exemption to prohibit certain unregistered pesticides from entering the country, in order to better protect the health, safety and environment of Canadians. Some of the proposed changes include only allowing imports of pesticides that are equivalent to a Canadian registered domestic product, with packaging and labelling in either English or French, and that are already authorized for use in another country. In addition, the proposed changes would mean that unregistered pesticides can no longer be imported via online purchases that are shipped to Canada.

Quick Facts

  • Health Canada’s primary objective in regulating pesticides is to protect Canadians’ health and their environment.
  • All pesticides must undergo a rigorous science-based review before being registered in Canada.
  • Pesticide labels have detailed instructions and warnings that must be followed to protect health and the environment.

Associated Links

Backgrounder – Proposed changes to the Personal Use Import Exemption in the Pest Control Products Regulations
The Regulation of Pesticides in Canada
Use pesticides safely