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Canadian restrictions on portable lasers (Official info release from Laserglow)

Justin

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Hello LPF!

I've seen a bunch of posts in the last little while relating to new Canadian regulations regarding portable lasers. Before any more speculation takes place, I would like to provide you with the correct information, which I have obtained by meeting with representatives from Health Canada.

Quick summary: As of June 2011, it is illegal to sell or provide high-powered portable lasers (Class 3B and Class 4) to consumers in Canada. That means you.

Before the inevitable discussion starts: It doesn't matter what you intend to use them for, or that you already have one, or whether you think that you're not a "consumer" because you think you're a "laser expert", hobbyist, inventor, or whatever. If you are not a scientist working in a laser lab at a University, or a CLSO, or an OEM which is integrating these lasers into other devices for commercial purposes, then you are a consumer. If your organization's primary activity does not involve high-powered lasers, then you are a consumer. If you do not have a clearly-defined commercial or academic requirement for a high-powered portable device, which cannot be fulfilled with a lower-powered or non-portable device, then you are a consumer. In fact, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that, as far as Health Canada is concerned, every person on this forum is probably a consumer.

The actual regulation which was implemented in June 2011 is called the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA) and you can find the full mind-numbing legal document here: Canada Consumer Product Safety Act

Specifically, in Section 2 they define "danger to human health or safety”:

“danger to human health or safety” means any unreasonable hazard — existing or potential — that is posed by a consumer product during or as a result of its normal or foreseeable use and that may reasonably be expected to cause the death of an individual exposed to it or have an adverse effect on that individual’s health — including an injury — whether or not the death or adverse effect occurs immediately after the exposure to the hazard, and includes any exposure to a consumer product that may reasonably be expected to have a chronic adverse effect on human health.

Now, whether you agree with them or not, Health Canada has classified all portable Class 3B and 4 lasers as "a danger to human health or safety", as defined by the CCPSA. There is no debate to be made about this, it's done and there's little chance of getting them to change their minds.

What does this mean for the Canadian laser industry and Canadian laser purchasers?:
-If you attempt to import a portable laser which is Class 3B or higher you can expect to have it seized, as we have seen already.
-If you attempt to sell or make available a portable laser which is Class 3B or higher, Health Canada has an incredible array of powers to utilize against you, including product seizure, mandatory recall, huge fines, etc. Note, it doesn't need to be a sale. Giving one of these to your brother for free would be considered a violation.
-Sales to other countries are unaffected. Laserglow can continue to sell these lasers to anybody located outside of Canada. Health Canada are only concerned where the product is to be delivered inside of Canada.
-If you are legitimately a non-consumer (academic or commercial researcher, engineer, etc.) you will be asked to prove this before Laserglow can sell a high-powered portable laser to you. You will need to provide proof that you have an LSO (Laser Safety Officer), your LSO's qualifications, and a description of your intended application. We require this information in order to protect ourselves in case Health Canada ever audits our sales records, which they might.

I have been doing a great deal of research on this topic, and I've been in discussions with Health Canada directly, so if you have any specific questions please let me know.

I will not respond to questions seeking loopholes in these regulations. There are no loopholes. The regulations are purposefully structured to be extremely conservative and broad in scope. We are not allowed to sell high-powered portable lasers to consumers in Canada. If you are not some kind of professional laser researcher or engineer using portable lasers for your work, you are a consumer. It is not illegal to own the ones you already have, but don't give them away or sell them within Canada.

Please direct all complaints to Health Canada, I'm just the messenger!
 

RyanElectro

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If this is true, how did many of our forum members buy many of the Class 3B and up products from Laserglow before without any issues?
 
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Ears and Eggs

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Hmm. So is it still okay to harvest a diode and build lasers for ourselves? (assuming it is never given/sold to anyone else) The rules in question seem to be aimed at change in possession?
 

AnthoT

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This is horrible :( are Canadians at least able to build their own lasers not buy them.....


-Anthony
 

Eudaimonium

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Holy he!! this is pretty d@mn strict.

Why did they go so nuts all of a sudden?

So is it still legal for you folks over there to import parts, modules, components and optics which may or may not end up being used in construction of a laser device falling into IIIb or IV category? It only says it's illegal to "make it available", not "construction for personal entertainment and for the he|| of it".

Say, is green module legal to import, or a laser diode? It's the crucial operating part of a laser.

Additionally, is construction of lasers without any intent of ever giving/selling them illegal?
 

AnthoT

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Holy he!! this is pretty d@mn strict.

Why did they go so nuts all of a sudden?

So is it still legal for you folks over there to import parts, modules, components and optics which may or may not end up being used in construction of a laser device falling into IIIb or IV category? It only says it's illegal to "make it available", not "construction for personal entertainment and for the he|| of it".

Say, is green module legal to import, or a laser diode? It's the crucial operating part of a laser.

Additionally, is construction of lasers without any intent of ever giving/selling them illegal?

I'd love to know the same thing.......

-Anthony
 

Arayan

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In Italy are banned also class IIIa laser pointers, I cohabit with this law for years...
 

RyanElectro

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We Canadians have many laws... but when are they actually followed? ie. Marijuana laws.
 

AnthoT

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We Canadians have many laws... but when are they actually followed? ie. Marijuana laws.
Hopefully they won't be enforced. I'm pretty sure with the "radiating emiting devices act" they had every right to remove a laser pointer but I'm not sure. :thinking:

-Anthony
 
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ARG

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If someone were a member of the ILDA would that qualify them as not being a consumer?

Does this restriction apply to components?

Edit: Does this apply to lab lasers in any way?
 
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DTR

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Quick summary: As of June 2011, it is illegal to sell or provide high-powered portable lasers (Class 3B and Class 4) to consumers in Canada.
I would take this to mean fully assembled portable lasers not components.
 

Justin

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If someone were a member of the ILDA would that qualify them as not being a consumer?

Does this restriction apply to components?

Edit: Does this apply to lab lasers in any way?
This restriction applies to "portable lasers", which we take to mean lasers with a battery compartment. Lab lasers and alignment lasers are not affected. Membership in ILDA does not make you a non-consumer.

As I said "If you are not a scientist working in a laser lab at a University, or a CLSO, or an OEM which is integrating these lasers into other devices for commercial purposes, then you are a consumer. If your organization's primary activity does not involve high-powered lasers, then you are a consumer. If you do not have a clearly-defined commercial or academic requirement for a high-powered portable device, which cannot be fulfilled with a lower-powered or non-portable device, then you are a consumer."
 

Justin

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Hmm. So is it still okay to harvest a diode and build lasers for ourselves? (assuming it is never given/sold to anyone else) The rules in question seem to be aimed at change in possession?
The regulations pertain to consumer product safety, not possession, so if you build it yourself and never give it to anybody else then the regulations cannot apply to you.
 

AnthoT

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The regulations pertain to consumer product safety, not possession, so if you build it yourself and never give it to anybody else then the regulations cannot apply to you.
Aaaaawwwww yeeaaaaa!!!!!!!

Thank god!!!!!!!!! I'm so happy and relieved right now that at least the components are not illegal. I enjoy building lasers from scratch do I'll keep on doing so! :D :D :D


-Anthony
 
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ARG

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The regulations pertain to consumer product safety, not possession, so if you build it yourself and never give it to anybody else then the regulations cannot apply to you.
What about selling/importing laser kits?
 




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