Sellers of nonprescription drugs, supplements, and natural health products (NHPs) on Amazon’s Canadian marketplace will soon be required to respond to updated regulatory requirements. In accordance with Canada’s laws, all NHPs and supplements must be assigned a registration number by Health Canada, which will be strictly enforced by Amazon.ca beginning in October.
In their official Drugs, Drug Paraphernalia & Dietary Supplements policies, Amazon’s Canadian marketplace has added a restriction against “products that are not labelled or packaged as required by Health Canada regulations,” including “products that are not labelled with a ‘drug identification number’ or ‘natural product number’ as applicable.” Amazon will remove supplements and NHPs that do comply with these restrictions, requiring registration numbers to be associated with all applicable products on the marketplace.
From a safety and compliance standpoint, this is a positive shift for both manufacturers and brands, particularly those who have been impacted by an influx of counterfeit, illegally sourced, and outdated products in other marketplaces. “This move by Amazon is a win-win for consumers and brands alike,” Jennifer Brand, Netrush Director of Global Expansion, explains. “It creates a level playing field for so many brand owners who invest the considerable time and resources complying with Health Canada regulations by licensing their products with Health Canada and ensuring the Canadian consumer access to natural products high in quality, safety, and efficacy. When enforced, this measure should reduce the flow of non-licensed goods currently being offered on this marketplace from outside of Canada and within.”
These requirements, for obvious reasons, can make the sale of natural health products more challenging in Canada, particularly for US-based brands and sellers. We experienced these hurdles firsthand: Netrush invested in the resources necessary to obtain a Health Canada–approved site license for our facility in Mississauga, Ontario, in late 2017, allowing us to import, represent, and sell non-Canadian NHPs on Canadian marketplaces, including Amazon.ca.