Treated Articles in Canada and the United States
Does Your Product Meet the Exemptions?
14 December 2021
A treated article is an item that has been intentionally treated with a pesticide such as an antimicrobial, insecticide, or herbicide with the intention of protecting the item from degradation by pests. These products are exempt from registration in both Canada and the United States (U.S.) as long as the specific treated article criteria are met. The requirements between the jurisdictions are quite similar, as both require that the pesticidal active ingredient used to treat the article is registered for that purpose. There are also strict requirements regarding the strength of any pesticidal claims on the product labeling. This blog provides an overview of the specifics for each jurisdiction.
In Canada, pesticides are regulated by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) under the Pest Control Products Act (PCPA). To qualify for a treated article exemption, the pesticide that has been intentionally incorporated or applied to the article must be registered for this use under the PCPA and treatment of the article must provide a benefit such as preservation to the product itself. If the treated article has been manufactured outside of Canada, the exact source of the active ingredient used in manufacturing does not require registration under the PCPA as long as a source of the active ingredient is registered in Canada for the use in question, and the active ingredient is permitted for use in manufacturing in the country of origin. Articles that are exempt from registration are still subject to regulatory oversight. If a pesticide has been applied to an article in order for the article to act as a delivery mechanism, the article is not exempt and must be registered under the PCPA.
In most cases, there is no requirement for the label of a treated article to include a statement indicating that it has been treated. The PMRA has published general guidance on acceptable label claims for companies who wish to make claims.
In the U.S., pesticides are regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The exemption for treated articles is outlined in Title 40, Code of Federal Regulations (40 CFR) Section 152.25(a) and clarified by Pesticide Registration (PR) Notice 2000-1. Treated articles are exempt from registration under FIFRA provided that the antimicrobial used in the treatment is registered with the U.S. EPA for such use, and that the article does not bear any public health claims. If the treated article was manufactured outside of the U.S., the exact source of the active ingredient used in the treatment does not require registration under FIFRA as long as a source of the active ingredient is registered in the U.S. for the use in question, and the active ingredient is permitted for use in manufacturing in the country of origin. The label claims must indicate that the pesticide is intended to protect the article itself, and appropriate clarifying statements must also be displayed.
Examples of acceptable claims and clarifying statements are provided in the U.S. EPA Guide for Consumer Products Treated with Pesticides.
It is important to understand the regulatory requirements for pesticides and treated articles prior to manufacturing, importing, selling, or distributing these products in Canada and the U.S. Incorrect labelling of a treated article can result in the product being categorized as a pesticide, resulting in more rigorous regulatory requirements and possible enforcement actions if these requirements are not met. Do you have questions about this topic, the Pest Control Products Act (PCPA), the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), or a related topic? Do you need assistance preparing a registration dossier for a pesticide or verifying that your product label meets the treated article exemption? Contact our experts at Intertek. We're here to help!
To learn more about how we can support your business, visit: https://www.intertek.com/green/chemicals/.
Pest Control Products Act (S.C. 2002, c. 28)
Acceptable Claims for Articles Treated with Antimicrobial Preservatives
40 CFR 152.25
PR Notice 2000-1: Applicability of the Treated Articles Exemption to Antimicrobial Pesticides
U.S. EPA Guide for Consumer Products Treated with Pesticides