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).


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.


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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