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Canada’s CFIA No Longer Requires Efficacy Data for Fertilizer Registration
(May 2013)

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has made substantial changes to the Fertilizers Regulations, which include the discontinuation of market efficacy assessment and verification of performance claim as well as the cessation of marketplace monitoring of product quality and efficacy. While CFIA will no longer regulate the quality and effectiveness of fertilizers and supplements imported and sold in Canada, it will continue to ensure that these products are safe for humans, animals, plants and the environment. The updated Fertilizers Regulations were published on May 8, 2013 and are in effect now.

Changes to the Fertilizers Regulations include:

Exemptions from registration

Farm fertilizers in mineral form;

     ▲ Seeds treated with a registered fertilizer or a registered supplement; and

     ▲ Potting soils that contain a registered fertilizer or a registered supplement.


Standards for mixed fertilizers requiring a minimum nutrient content of 18% and 24% have been removed ;

    The minimum number of viable rhizobia inoculant cells per seed and in furrow has been removed;

    Regulations have been expanded to cover all supplements containing viable organisms (not only rhizobia) and there has been an amendment to
remove efficacy standards and focus on product safety;

    Standards for pre-inoculated seeds have been removed;

    The requirement for slow-release fertilizers to contain at least 25% of the total guaranteed nitrogen to be present in water-insoluble form has been
removed. Efficacy data for controlled release fertilizers is no longer required;

    Requirements for all products to be efficacious for the intended purpose has been removed;

    Requirements that lesser plant nutrients not be present at toxic levels has been expanded to cover all plant nutrients;

    Standards for combined nutrient level and the associated calculations in Section 13 have been removed; and

    Standards for nutrient and pesticide minimum levels and tolerances in Schedule I and in Section 14 have been removed, and Schedule I has
been repealed.


Guaranteed analysis requirements for tobacco fertilizers have been removed; and

    Guarantee for the minimum amount of water-insoluble nitrogen in per cent has been removed.


    Labeling requirement for slowly available plant nutrients in Section 17 has been removed; and

    Labeling requirements for tobacco fertilizers have been removed.

To view a detailed CFIA summary of Fertilizers Regulations, please click here.

Please Note: The requirements that all labeling be accurate and representative of the product has not been changed but in light of the efficacy and quality changes, alignment with this section will be reflected in the review of safety information only.

The updated Fertilizers Regulations are independent of CFIA’s regulatory modernization initiative that is currently ongoing. Additional amendments to the regulations for fertilizers and supplements will be put in place once the initiative and associated consultations are complete. Further amendments will build off of the changes published in the updated Fertilizers Regulations.

For more information, please
Contact TSG.
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