Notice to industry - Regulation of nitrification and urease inhibitors under the Fertilizers Act

June 7, 2019

Nitrification and urease inhibitors imported into or sold in Canada are now subject to registration as supplements under the Fertilizers Act and Fertilizers Regulations, administered by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

Supplement: means 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. (Fertilizers Act)

Nitrification and urease inhibitors are nitrogen management products that can be applied with many forms of nitrogen-based fertilizers to increase nutrient use efficiency. Effective immediately, Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) will not require nitrification inhibitors to be registered under the Pest Control Products Act (PCPA), and will be amending the Pest Control Products Regulations to exempt these products from all provisions of the PCPA.

Registration requirements specific to nitrification and urease inhibitors

Nitrification and urease inhibitors require a full safety data assessment (Level III) to support registration as laid out in the Guide to Submitting Applications for Registration under the Fertilizers Act. In addition to a standard Level III safety data package, the environmental benefit of the product must also be demonstrated. This includes a detailed description of the exact mode of action and a comparison to an appropriate soluble control.

Assessments conducted by other domestic or international regulatory bodies, do not automatically exempt the product from full safety data requirements. However, all information previously submitted to other jurisdictions is admissible to support registration under the Fertilizers Act and will be considered in the evaluation process.

Phased-in implementation

CFIA is moving forward with a phased-in implementation period beginning June 30, 2019. During the first year the CFIA will provide information letters to companies that are found marketing nitrification or urease inhibitors without registration.

After June 30, 2020, products not registered and for which no application for registration under the Fertilizer Act is actively under review, will be deemed in contravention of the Act and may be subject to enforcement action (such as product detention). CFIA will not take action against unregistered products found in the marketplace for which an application for registration was submitted prior to June 30, 2020, and is actively under review by the CFIA.

Learn more about the regulation of nitrification and urease inhibitors

Additional information

For more information, please contact:

Fertilizer Safety Section
c/o Pre-market Application Submissions Office (PASO)
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
59 Camelot Drive
Ottawa, ON K1A 0Y9
Phone: 1-855-212-7695
Fax: 613-773-7115

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