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Canada’s First-Ever Mandatory Recall for a Consumer Product Targets Magnet Sets

Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Canadian government announced June 21 the country’s first-ever mandatory recall for a consumer product. According to a press release, a company was ordered to issue a recall and stop sale after it failed to take voluntary action to remove from the marketplace novelty magnet sets containing small, powerful magnets that can be easily swallowed by children, potentially causing serious health effects. The company has complied with the order and a recall notice was published on Health Canada's Web site.

The press release notes that the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act authorizes a range of compliance and enforcement actions, including recalls, seizures or prosecution. Orders can direct companies to recall unsafe products or to take measures such as stopping the sale, importation or manufacturing of a product. If a company refuses to comply with an order it can face daily fines of up to $25,000 until the product is removed from store shelves.

Health Canada has advised consumers to immediately stop using the magnet sets at issue and to follow instructions for their safe disposal. The U.S. is also moving to address concerns about the safety of these products and last September issued a proposed mandatory federal safety standard that would prohibit sets containing magnets not meeting certain specifications.

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