Submission Preparation Training - Guide to Submitting Applications for Registration under the Fertilizers Act
1. Fertilizer Program Mandate

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Regulated Products

Fertilizers and Supplements sold or imported into Canada are regulated under the authority of the federal Fertilizers Act administered by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

Fertilizer:

any substance or mixture of substances containing nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium or other essential plant food, manufactured, sold or represented for use as a plant nutrient.

Supplement:

any substance or mixture of substances, other than a fertilizer, that is manufactured, sold or represented for use in the improvement of the physical condition of soils or to aid plant growth or crop yields.

Examples of Fertilizers and Supplements:

  • N, P, K fertilizers
  • Micronutrients
  • Lawn and garden products
  • Fertilizer-Pesticides
  • Chemical supplements
  • Microbial supplements
  • Composts
  • Waste-derived materials including biosolids

Program Objectives

To ensure that all regulated products imported into or sold in Canada are:

  1. Safe with respect to human, plant, animal health and the environment;
  2. Properly labelled to promote safe use.

NOTE: The CFIA no longer regulates product efficacy or quality - as such, performance claims and nutrient guarantees are not verified

Regulatory Landscape

  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency Act
  • Fertilizers Act and Regulations
  • Health of Animals Regulations (for Enhanced Feed Ban)
  • Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA 99) Sch. II and IV
  • Pest Control Products Act

Key Program Activities

  1. Health and Safety

    Fertilizer Risk pathways:

    • Direct: Worker, handler, applicator, bystander
    • Indirect: Feed, grazing land; Food crop production (adsorption and absorption, plant uptake); Environment (soil, ground water, waterways)
  2. Market Access
    • Domestic: Registration and marketplace monitoring
    • Import Control: Registration requirements and import inspections
    • Exports: Authority to issue export certification was obtained through Agricultural Growth Act (Feb 2015) - This program is not in place yet.
  3. Consumer Protection
    • Label reviews: Adequate safety information including precautionary statements to protect the consumer.
    • Guaranteed analysis: Determines safe and sustainable product application (rate, frequency, target crop)
    • Product inspection: Marketplace monitoring of regulated products - label reviews, verification of registration, and sampling/testing for contaminants
  4. Other Activities
    • International Standard setting
    • Stakeholder engagement
    • OGD and FPT cooperation
    • Regulatory research and oversight
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