The Global Language of Business

Leveraging standards to manage product incident reporting to Health Canada

Since its inception in 2009, the GS1 Canada Product Recall service enables the industry to better manage recalls between trading partners.  Product recall notifications are based on the GS1 standard and are delivered via a cloud-based platform that supports a one-to-many publication capability.  The service allows manufacturers to manage recall notifications from a central source and eliminates the need to manage multiple proprietary trading partner forms and business processes.  The result is an increase in the efficiency and accuracy of recall notifications and product removal.


  • Capitalizing on industry’s investment: Adoption of global standards (including use of GTIN and GDTI); Use of the national product registry (ECCnet); Use of the national product recall service
  • Incident reports are transmitted directly to Health Canada, fulfilling a regulated reporting requirement
  • Instant response from Health Canada with submission number and incident report number.  Retailers and manufacturers are able to manage a single, automated workflow.
  • The Incident Management service provides users with an electronic dashboard to improve visibility to the status of all product incidents.

A product incident is one where a consumer reports a serious effect or injury arising from a potential product defect or inadequate labelling.  Federal regulation requires that retailers, distributors and manufacturers report a product incident within 2 days of a consumer complaint.  This regulation applies to most non-food products sold in Canada.

GS1 Canada operates a Product Incident Management service which enables retailers to automate and manage the necessary workflow with Health Canada and the impacted manufacturer or importer.  This service was initiated in 2013 and operates in tandem with the GS1 Canada Product Recall service.


With the support of key general merchandise retailers, GS1 Canada initiated the dialogue with Health Canada.  GS1 Canada articulated an incremental value proposition for both the regulator and retailers.  Health Canada agreed to support the general merchandise industry by integrating their existing systems & procedures with the GS1 Canada service.

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