Child car seat cross border shopping – what parents and caregivers should know
Consumer Information Notice
Child Restraint Systems
Updated: April 24, 2012
Cross border shopping may be tempting, but when it comes to buying a child’s car seat or booster seat for use in Canada, Transport Canada and Health Canada warn consumers against it.
Transport Canada and Health Canada are concerned that parents and caregivers may not know that it is illegal to import and use in Canada a seat that does not comply with Canadian standards. Many consumers are looking south of the border and in other countries for the best buy without knowing all of the facts. Some are either bringing the seats with them across the border or are buying them by mail order and having them shipped home.
Transport Canada has received a number of inquiries from parents and caregivers who have either purchased a seat, or are considering purchasing a seat from outside of Canada. Transport Canada has also been advised by Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers and certified child passenger safety technicians that seats purchased in other countries are being privately imported into Canada and are showing up at car seat clinics across Canada.
Additionally, if the seat is purchased outside of Canada and a recall notice is issued, the parent or caregiver may not be informed of the recall or have legal recourse with the manufacturer.
Under Health Canada’s Restraint Systems and Booster Seats for Motor Vehicles Regulations, and in accordance with the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act, child, infant, and booster seats that do not comply with certain specifications of Transport Canada’s Motor Vehicle Restraint Systems and Booster Seat Safety Regulations (RSSR) must not be imported, advertised or sold in Canada whether by individuals or for commercial purposes. Furthermore, provincial and territorial legislation does not allow their use in Canada. Their laws are enforced on roadways by provincial and territorial police.
Child, infant, or booster seats purchased outside Canada, including those purchased online from non-Canadian vendors, may not comply with Canada’s Motor Vehicle Restraint Systems and Booster Seat Safety Regulations and the applicable Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (CMVSS), and thus would not carry the National Safety Mark. Every country has its respective child seat standards. Canadian regulations are rigorous and differ from those in other countries, as explained here.
In summary, when purchasing a child seat for use in Canada, parents and caregivers should look for the National Safety Mark label attached to the seat, indicating that the seat complies with Canadian regulations and standards, and is therefore legal for use in Canada. When shopping online for a child seat, please ensure that the vendor is offering a seat that is certified to Canadian standards and carries the National Safety Mark.
National Safety Mark
Transport Canada and Health Canada take this opportunity to remind parents and caregivers to always use a child seat appropriate for your child’s stage of physical development, weight and height, and to ensure that the child seat is used and installed correctly in the vehicle in accordance with the child seat manufacturer’s instructions and the vehicle’s user guide.
For more information about child seats and child passenger safety, visit Transport Canada’s Child Safety Web page at http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng//motorvehiclesafety/safedrivers-childsafety-index-53.htm, or call Transport Canada’s Road Safety Information Centre at 1-800-333-0371 (toll-free in Canada).
Transport Canada, Ottawa
Public Enquiries, Road Safety
1-800-333-0371 (long distance, Canada)
1-613-998-8616 (Ottawa region and from other countries)
Health Canada, Ottawa
Health Canada, Ottawa
Note: This consumer information notice was developed in collaboration with the BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation (TSF). To learn more about BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation’s comprehensive Child Passenger Safety Program, please visit their Web site at: www.ChildSeatInfo.ca.