What is the Domestic Substances List and Why is it Important?

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By: Teah Jazey, Regulatory Affairs, and Product Safety Associate, email

While in the product development stage, there are many compliance items that you will need to check to ensure your formulation meets the requirements of the various regulations within Canada. In Canada we have two lists that must be checked to determine your ability to manufacture or import the substances or materials used in your formulation; the Domestic Substances List (DSL) and the Non-Domestic Substances List (NDSL).

The DSL was established by Environment Canada in 1994 as a way to categorize existing substances in use, manufactured, or imported in Canada on a commercial scale. This list is updated throughout the year as substances are being added and removed based on new information provided to Environment Canada. These updates to the list are posted through the Canada Gazette Part II.

The NDSL is a similar list to the DSL but comes with restrictions on importation or manufacturing within Canada. The NDSL essentially shows that the substance is in use in the United States and is listed on the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) chemical substance inventory, but is considered a “new substance” in Canada.

A component or substance not listed on the DSL is considered a “new substance” and is subject to stricter importation and manufacturing limits. Any new substance is subject to the New Substance Notification Regulations (NSNR) and will require Environment Canada to review the substance as a risk assessment for human health and any potential environmental impacts.

It is important to check these lists prior to production, manufacturing, or importation of any components in your chosen formulation to determine if there are any restrictions on any of the present substances. You can reach out to your suppliers/vendors for information on the raw material DSL status. They should be able to provide a letter to you indicating the status of the substance(s).

If you have any questions about the status of your components, Dell Tech is able to review your formulation to determine if there are any issues with the DSL listings of the substances in your formulation. Please also note that checking these listings is part of Dell Tech’s SDS authoring and CCCR consumer label consulting services. We will advise you of any potential issues during our review.

Dell Tech
Teah Jazey 
Regulatory Affairs and Product Safety Associate

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.

Contact us today for more information.


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