Like countless other shoppers, you’re looking forward to unbeatable deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But before heading to the mall or letting your fingers do the shopping, Health Canada reminds you to make informed buying decisions.
It also urges you to be aware of the potential risks associated with both online and cross-border shopping.
In Canada, for example, consumer products must meet all current legislative and regulatory requirements. If you’re shopping on websites based in other countries, however, you may find products that are prohibited here or are counterfeit or not as advertised. You may also find products that have been recalled for failing to meet Canadian regulatory requirements and ones that don’t have the necessary labelling or instructions, which could lead to misuse or injury.
Even when buying from Canadian-based retailers, remember that Health Canada doesn’t approve every product before it’s sold. Industry is responsible for ensuring the products it puts on the Canadian market meet the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act. Products are monitored for health or safety risks after they’ve been released onto the market but not every product is checked or tested.
Visit Buying Consumer Products Online to learn more about the potential risks of buying consumer products online and how to reduce those risks. You can also check the Recalls and Safety Alerts Database for information about products that have been recalled.
Health Canada also reminds you to be aware of prohibited products and cross-border shopping rules. Some consumer products aren’t allowed into Canada and can be detained at the border. Check out Information for Canadians Travelling Outside of Canada for a list of products that can’t be sold, imported or advertised in Canada. That includes baby walkers, balloon blowing kits, infant self-feeding devices, jequirity beans, lawn darts with elongated tips, relight candles, yo-yo balls with long cords, and certain novelty magnet sets and children’s toys with small powerful magnets.
If you’re planning to shop south of the border or online, remember that some consumer products have Canadian safety requirements that differ from those in other countries. Examples include baby gates; car seats; cribs, cradles and bassinets; hockey helmets and face protectors; lighters; playpens and strollers.
Finally, some consumer products lead to more health and safety incidents or require particular care, Health Canada notes. Those products include TVs, electronics and lithium ion batteries, and USB chargers. If you’re unsure if a product is certified, ask the retailer to show you the certification mark on the product before purchasing it.