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Brochure Regarding the New Substances Notification Regulations


New Substances Notification Regulations (NSNR)

New Substances Notification Regulations (Chemicals and Polymers)
New Substances Notification Regulations (Organisms)
New Substances Fees Regulations
Regulations Amending the New Substances Fees Regulations
Masked Name Regulations

Who do these regulations apply to?

Any person who intends to import or manufacture a new substance in Canada must submit a notification to the New Substances Program prior to importing or manufacturing the substance. The NSNR apply to chemicals, polymers, biochemicals, biopolymers and animate products of biotechnology. Product of biotechnology include micro-organisms, such as bacteria and fungi, and organisms other than micro-organisms, such as genetically-modified fish and livestock. The NSNR apply to new substances manufactured in or imported into Canada

What is a new substance?

A new substance is any substance that is not listed on the Domestic Substances List (DSL).

What is the DSL?

The DSL is a compilation of substances that were in Canadian commerce between 1984 and 1986 or that were added to the DSL in accordance with the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999). The DSL undergoes regular revisions as new substances qualify for listing through the New Substances assessment process.

Substances are listed according to their Chemical Abstract Service (CAS) registry number, their American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) number or their Enzyme Commission Number assigned by the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (IUBMB), e.g.:

  • Phthalic anhydride (CAS 85-44-9);
  • Bacillus thuringiensis (ATCC 13367);
  • Amylase - an enzyme (

The DSL can be viewed on Environment Canada's Website.

Are any substances exempt from theNSNR?

A substance intended for a use regulated under another Federal Act listed in Schedule 2 or 4 of CEPA 1999, and that requires notice and assessment of potential risk to the environment and human health prior to import or manufacture is exempt from the NSNR. Substances imported or manufactured below the threshold quantities are also exempt from the NSNR (see pertinent regulations for details on criteria).

What are the NSNR (Chemicals and Polymers) and NSNR(Organisms)?

The Regulations are made in accordance with CEPA 1999 and specify the requirements for the notification of new substances. They prescribe the information that must be submitted, when it must be submitted and the time in which the government must complete the risk assessment.

Why were these regulations created?

The NSNR are a result of public policy that requires the government to implement a program that necessitates a risk assessment be conducted before a new substance is released into the environment. Potential adverse effects of the new substance on the environment and human health must be evaluated and, if necessary, action taken to manage any identified risk.

Why must you notify?

These regulations are legal requirements under CEPA 1999.

Enforcement of the NSNR (Chemicals and Polymers) and NSNR (Organisms) will be conducted in accordance with the Compliance and Enforcement Policy of CEPA 1999.

We all benefit when you comply with the Law

You want to import or manufacture a new substance. What should you do?

If you want to import or manufacture a new substance contact the New Substances Information Line or visit the Evaluating New Substances website for information to determine if it is a new substance, and how to prepare and submit a notification package.

Notifiers may be required to pay the prescribed fees at the time of notification or when a special service is requested in accordance with the New Substances Fees Regulations and the Regulations Amending the New Substances Fees Regulations.

Where can you get more information?


In Canada (toll free): 1-800-567-1999
Outside Canada: (819) 953-7156
Facsimile: (819) 953-7155

Evaluating New Substances

Or contact your nearest Environment Canada office:

British Columbia and Yukon:
(604) 664-9100 -

Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nunavut and Northwest Territories:
(780) 951-8951 -

(416) 739-5867 -

(514) 283-2335 -

New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador:
(902) 426-0773 -

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