Exporting your Natural Health Products to Canada

Exporting Dietary Supplements to Canada

If you are already selling your dietary supplements in the United States or other countries outside of Canada, chances are you want to grow your business by exporting your dietary supplements and natural health products to Canada too. After all, the value of the natural products industry in Canada is estimated at over 3 billion dollars [1] so why not start shipping now!

Canada has a unique set of regulations that control the importation of dietary supplements and natural health products into the country. So your goal when considering exporting your products to Canada is to ship to a licensed facility in Canada, that is, a facility that holds a Site Licence for Importation of Natural Health Products (NHPs). These facilities have submitted a site licence application to Health Canada and have been awarded an importer site license based on their ongoing procedures such as facility sanitation, environmental controls, finished product release, complaint management and records retention just to name a few. For a complete list consult Health Canada’s Natural Health Products Directorate guideline on Good Manufacturing Practice [2].

But here’s the good news: If you currently manufacture your products according to NSF International Standard 173, Section 8 for Dietary Supplements you are for the most part compliant with Canadian GMPs and the finish line is within sight.

Here’s a check list of what you need to get done before exporting dietary supplements to Canada:

  • Carefully select the site licensed facility in Canada you want to use for importing dietary supplements and natural health product and ensure that a QA person is employed there.
  • Ensure your manufacturing and contractor facilities are compliant with Canada’s Natural Health Products Directorate’s Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).
  • Confirm that any additional buildings used in your supply chain are GMP compliant, such as packaging and testing facilities.
  • Arrange for the addition of your building and your dietary supplements for export to Canada are added to your Canadian importer’s site.
  • Establish a quality technical agreement for you to use with your Canadian importer of dietary supplements to make sure all sections of the GMP are covered off by both parties.
  • Be prepared to provide the written product release specifications for your dietary supplements as per Health Canada’s Quality of Natural Health Products guide [3].
  • Ensure you have written evidence that your dietary supplement meets its shelf life at expiry.
  • Ensure you have evidence that your product meets its shelf life at expiry.

TIP: Want to promote your manufacturing site as Health Canada certified when exploring new importers and new opportunities? Apply for a Health Canada foreign site reference number [4], Contact us for more information.

Before exporting your products, ensure all product labels are in English and French.

International registration of US dietary supplements is getting easier and faster in Canada!

  1. https://www.chfa.ca/nhp/nhp-fast-facts
  2. http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/alt_formats/hpfb-dgpsa/pdf/prodnatur/gmp-bpf-eng.pdf
  3. http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/prodnatur/legislation/docs/eq-paq-eng.php
  4. http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/prodnatur/applications/licen-site-exploit/form/index-eng.php