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Significant New Activity (SNAc) Orders and Notices

Significant New Activity approach for existing chemical substances

As part of the Chemicals Management Plan, the Domestic Substances List (DSL) may be amended from time to time to indicate that the Significant New Activity (SNAc) provisions of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act,1999 (CEPA 1999) apply to some existing substances.

An amendment to the DSL will be made if Environment Canada or Health Canada suspect that a significant new activity in relation to a substance may result in the substance being released in amounts or conditions that could result in it meeting one or more criteria set out in section 64 of CEPA 1999. It will require that adequate additional information is provided by the proponent who wishes to manufacture, import or use the substance for activities indicated in the order. The additional information will allow Environment Canada and Health Canada to assess the potential environmental and human health risks associated with the new activities before they are undertaken.

Please note that SNAc provisions do not apply to the manufacture or importation of an existing substance for a use that is regulated under Acts of Parliament listed in Next link will take you to another Web site Schedule 2 of CEPA 1999, including the Pest Control Products Act, the Fertilizers Act and the Feeds Act.

Please also note that SNAc provisions do not apply to the manufacture or importation of an existing living organism for a use that is regulated under Acts of Parliament listed in Next link will take you to another Web site Schedule 4 of CEPA 1999, including the Pest Control Products Act, the Seeds Act, the Fertilizers Act, the Feeds Act and the Health of Animals Act.

Review of current Significant New Activity Orders and Notices

Environment Canada and Health Canada have initiated a review of Significant New Activity (SNAc) Orders and Notices currently in place under CEPA 1999.

Purpose and rationale of the review

Since publication of the first SNAc in 2001, policies and practices have evolved, particularly with respect to the nature and scope of SNAcs, as well as the wording used to identify "significant new activities". This review of SNAcs is being undertaken to ensure that SNAcs are in step with current information, policies and approaches.

The SNAc review will apply all elements of the Next link will take you to another Web site Policy on the Use of Significant New Activity Provisions of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (published in December 2013). Resulting changes to SNAcs are expected to provide greater clarity of scope and improved ease of compliance by industry.

Proposed scope of the review

The review will consider SNAcs currently in place and will:

  • review completed risk assessments for substances subject to a SNAc and other available information to confirm that the rationale for applying the SNAc is consistent with current policies;
  • confirm that the information requested in the SNAc is consistent with current SNAc policy and approach; and,
  • review wording to ensure clarity and consistency with current approach to drafting of SNAc requirements.

The review of SNAcs will be undertaken by grouping SNAcs either by substance type or by the type of "new activities" described. This will facilitate an efficient review process and allow for consistency in application of new approaches to similar SNAcs. Specific SNAcs may be reviewed earlier than scheduled, depending on stakeholder input.

Outcome of the review

Following the review process, there may be no changes needed for certain SNAcs or, for others, rescissions or amendments may be warranted. As the review will be implemented via a phased approach, information on the results of the review process will be published on an ongoing basis as elements of the review are completed. Elements of this review may be subject to external consultation. Please communicate your interest in participating in these consultations via the contact information provided below.

After considering comments received, a Notice or Order may be published (as appropriate) to indicate that the SNAc provisions no longer apply to certain substances or that the content of published SNAcs has been revised.

If you have any questions or comments on this review or would like to submit information that could be relevant to the review, please contact us. Indicate on the envelope or subject line "Review of Current Significant New Activity Orders and Notices".

SNAc review groups

For a detailed list of substances in the SNAc Review Groups, please refer to the SNAc Review Groups webpage.

List of SNAc review groups in order of priority
SNAc Review Group Description Chemical Substances Review Timeline
New Substances - Next link will take you to another Web site Nanomaterials - 33 SNAcs for nanomaterials, published between 2008 and 2013. See List of Nanomaterials SNAc Review Group 2014-2015
Existing Substances - Aromatic Azo and Benzidine based substances - 66 SNAcs published between 2008 and 2013, included in the Aromatic Azo and Benzidine-based Substance Grouping Initiative. See List of Aromatic Azo and Benzidine-Based Substances SNAc Review Group 2014-2015
New and Existing Substances - Consumer Product wording - 45 SNAcs for both new and existing substances published between 2004 and 2014 that reference "consumer product" in the definition of new activities. See List of Consumer Product SNAc Review Group 2015-2016
Existing Substances - High Hazard, Not in Commerce - (176 substances including SNAcs published as part of the 145 PBiT Substances, 52 Substances with High Hazard Potential and Challenge initiatives). See List of High Hazard, Not in Commerce Substances SNAc Review Group 2016
Remaining Existing Substances - 29 SNAcs published between 2009 and 2014. See List of Remaining Existing Substances SNAc Review Group 2017
Remaining New Substances SNAcs - 83 SNAcs published between 2001 and 2014. See List of Remaining New Substances SNAc Review Group 2017

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