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New Substances Program - Operational Policies Manual

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3. Processing New Substances Notifications

3.C. Operational Policy for Early Termination of Assessment Periods


This document describes Environment Canada's operational policy for the early termination of assessment periods under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999) and the New Substances Notification Regulations (NSNR).


This document applies to all New Substances Notifications.


Under section 81 and section 106 of CEPA 1999, importers and manufacturers of new substances must provide prescribed information so that Environment Canada and Health Canada can assess the new substances to determine if they are "toxic" (in accordance with the criteria set out in section 64 of CEPA 1999) or capable of becoming "toxic." A substance is considered "new" if it is not listed on the Domestic Substances List (DSL). The notification requirements are established in the NSNR.

Import or manufacture of a new substance is not allowed until the period for assessment, as established in the NSNR, has expired. However, section 83(6) for chemicals and polymers, and section 108(6) for living organisms, of CEPA 1999 allows for assessments to be terminated at an earlier time. This means that import or manufacture of a substance may commence at that time.

Operational Policy

All new substances and Significant New Activity Notifications (SNAN's) are eligible for consideration for early termination if the evaluation is completed by Health Canada and Environment Canada prior to the end of the assessment period.

These provisions enable the program to take advantage of opportunities which could result in early completion of notifications (e.g. when the substance has already been assessed). Administrative procedures have been implemented to identify those notifications which have been completed early, thereby facilitating the application of the provisions to these files.

It should be noted that the program will not compromise the quality of its risk assessment or its ability to deal with other notifications in a timely fashion in order to apply an early termination to a notification.

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