Hazardous Materials Information Review Act (HMIRA)

 In HMIRA, Product Safety, Trade Secret, Workplace Products


The Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) requires suppliers of hazardous products to provide employers, through safety data sheets (SDS) and labels, the necessary information to make it possible to safely use hazardous products in Canadian workplaces.

If suppliers want to protect certain information that is required to be disclosed on a safety data sheet (SDS) and label, they can protect it as confidential business information (CBI) by filing a claim under the Hazardous Materials Information Review Act (HMIRA).

A HMIRA registration cannot be used on consumer product labels, pesticides, cosmetics or natural health products. These categories each have unique label and regulatory requirements.

What is HMIRA?

HMIRA is a Canadian federal legislation enacted to protect confidential business information related to hazardous materials. Under HMIRA, businesses can submit claims to protect sensitive information deemed proprietary, such as chemical formulations and trade secrets, from disclosure on a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) and label. HMIRA provides a mechanism for businesses to safeguard their intellectual property while ensuring that workers have access to information regarding the hazardous materials they are using.

What is a HMIRA Claim?

An HMIRA claim is a formal request submitted by a business to Health Canada’s Hazardous Materials Information Review Commission (HMIRC) to protect specific information from disclosure on SDS and labels. Businesses may submit claims for various reasons, including protecting proprietary chemical formulations, manufacturing processes, or unique hazard information not otherwise publicly available. Upon receiving an HMIRA claim, the HMIRC reviews the request to determine its validity and assesses whether the requested information qualifies for protection under HMIRA.

What information can be claimed for CBI protection?

The following information can be claimed for exemption by suppliers or employers:

  • Chemical name, CAS-No. or concentration od the material, substance or mixture (including impurities, stabilizing solvents or stabilizing additives)
  • the name of any toxicological study that identifies the material, substance or mixture

Employers can also claim:

  • information about a hazardous product, other than the product identifier, that represents a means of identification
  • information that could be used to identify the supplier of a hazardous product

When can I start using the HMIRA Registry Number (RN)?

A HMIRA registry number may be used as soon as it is received. The supplier or employer claiming the trade secret must replace the CBI with the HMIRA RN and the date of filing (or the date the claim was granted), on the product SDS and, if applicable, on the label.

Does a HMIRA Registration ever expire?

Yes. A HMIRA registry number expires after 3 years. If the formula changes or new information changes the SDS classification, you must apply for a new registration number. A new HMIRA Registry number is assigned with every renewal.

What is a Generic Chemical Name (GCN)?

A GCN is a chemical name which is less specific than the true chemical name but no more general than is necessary to protect the Confidential Business Information (CBI). A GCN should be unique and unambiguous, and a claimant should be able to explain or justify to Health Canada, upon request, the extent of the name modification that is necessary to protect the CBI. The GCN, like all other information in the SDS, is subject to the prohibition in section 14.2 of the HPA, and must not convey false or misleading information about the nature of the chemical.

For example “2,2,3,3,4,4,5,5,6,6,6-undecafluoro-N,N-bis(2-hydroxyethyl) hexanamide” could be written as “Polyhalo-N-bis(hydroxylalkyl) alkanamide”

How Dell Tech Can Help

Dell Tech can submit and manage your HMIRA claims including correspondence with Health Canada on your behalf. Related services include:


Dell Tech has provided professional, confidential consulting services to the specialty chemical 

industry in Canada, the USA, Europe, and Asia for the last 40 years.

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