I get a lot of questions about the CNF process and have seen a lot of the same questions being asked in FB groups as well. So here are the top 5 questions answered!
When will I hear back?
Health Canada can take anywhere from a couple of months up to a year to review your forms and send a confirmation of review. As long as you’ve submitted the forms within 10 days of your first sale, you are OK to start selling your products. You don’t need to wait for the confirmation.
What will Health Canada send back?
Health Canada will send a confirmation of the review email back to you anytime you submit a new form or make amendments to an old form. This is a record that they have your forms on file, not that the product has been ‘approved’. The manufacturer (you) is responsible to make sure that the cosmetics follow all regulatory requirements.
The review may contain any amendments Health Canada made on your behalf like updating the INCI of certain ingredients. It will have the product name and cosmetic number included so you know which product the email is referring to. Make sure to update your labels with any amendments made to your submitted ingredients.
Do I list into-the-pot or out-of-the-pot ingredients?
Health Canada would like to see the final ingredients in the product listed in the CNF and on the labels. For soap, that means saponified oils/butter, glycerin, but not lye as it’s consumed in the saponification process.
Do I have to submit CNF for melt and pour soaps?
Yup! Melt and pour soaps are still soaps, which means they are a cosmetic in Canada. You can find a complete list of ingredients in your base from your supplier.
Do I need a form for each product?
Save yourself some time and headaches by submitting all recipes with the same base formula on 1 form. For example, if you have the same ratios of oils/butter in a soap recipe and only swap out the additives like botanicals, fragrance, color, then you only need to submit 1 form for all those recipes.
Make sure to list the variable ingredients as ‘May contain’ ingredients.
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