Child Car Seat Certification and Compliance

Under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act, Transport Canada enforces regulations on the safety performance of child car seats.

Manufacturers of new child car seats must submit product samples, all required labelling, installation instructions, and test documentation for review. We verify that the manufacturer has the appropriate certification, registration and recall capabilities. Once a manufacturer is able to satisfy these requirements, Transport Canada issues and authorizes the manufacturers to use and apply the National Safety Mark (NSM) to their specific products. These seats can then be legally sold in Canada.

Transport Canada may demand test records from manufacturers at any time. Manufacturers maintain these records and must be prepared to demonstrate that they followed the prescribed test method defined by Transport Canada and that the seat passed the tests.

Beyond the original authorization of a manufacturer's National Safety Mark, we conduct compliance-enforcement testing on an annual basis. We buy child car seats from retail stores, inspect and test them to verify that they meet all applicable requirements. If one fails to meet compliance standards or we find something of concern, we dig deeper to determine the cause and possible solutions or remedial measures that may be needed.

Remedial measures vary from the issuance of a Notice of Defect by the manufacturer, to a Transport Canada Public Notice or Consumer Information Notice, or other appropriate action.

If a manufacturer does not issue a Notice of Defect where Transport Canada believes the company must, Transport Canada refers the case to the Department of Justice to determine the need for legal action.

Only seats meeting all prescribed safety standards and certified by their manufacturers can be sold in Canada.