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April 30, 2012

Car Seats Bought in USA Not Legal in Canada

Car seat safety is once again in the news, reminding buyers that US seats are illegal to use in Canada. CTV reports that a happy new grandmother received an unhappy reminder when she was told she couldn’t bring her grandchild home in a US-bought seat.

Potential cost savings in the US draws a large number of Canadians to their stores. But according to Transport Canada, it’s illegal to import and use child seats that do not comply with Canadian standards.

Canadian safety regulations for car seats are stricter than other countries. Weight restrictions, levels of strength, flammability, padding thickness, and instructions for seat installation are all important factors in Canadian regulations. And border agents don’t need to tell consumers about Canadian regulations, so be sure you’re aware of them before making any purchases.

How can you be sure your child is in a Canadian approved car seat? Ensure the car seat has the National Safety Mark, as seen below. This means it is certified and up to Canadian safety standards. If you are caught using an illegal seat, you could be charged and fined under the Child Safety Seat Regulations. 

So while the US may have cheaper products, consider the consequences. It’s not worth the risk to you or your child.

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Author - Slater Vecchio

Slater Vecchio LLP is a boutique law firm located in British Columbia. Over the past 20 years, Slater Vecchio has represented thousands of clients and has grown into one of the largest personal injury and class action firms in the province.