September 13, 2007

Shopping cross-border for child’s safety seats is dangerous and illegal, warns BCAA

Burnaby, British Columbia – Shopping in the U.S. for a child’s car safety seat or booster seat for use in Canada may be cheap and convenient, but it is dangerous and illegal, warns the British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA) Traffic Safety Foundation (TSF).

TSF says it is receiving a significant increase in the number of inquiries from parents who have purchased or are considering the purchase of a seat from outside of Canada, and is also seeing an increase in the number of seats at its child passenger safety inspection clinics that were purchased in other countries for use in Canada.

“Many parents are looking for the best deals, and without knowing the facts, are buying child safety seats from south of the border, the UK, and other countries,” says David Dunne, Director of Provincial Programs for BCAA TSF. He says that child and booster seats sold in the U.S. and other countries do not meet Canadian regulations and therefore are illegal for use in Canada. As well, if there is a recall notice issued, parents may not have a way of knowing about the recall.

Anyone importing a seat must insure that it complies with Canada’s Motor Vehicle Restraint Systems and Booster Cushions Safety Regulations (RSSR), and appropriate Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (CMVSS). Each country has its own standards; for example, a U.S.-approved booster seat allows for a lower weight limit than Canadian standards. Seats sold in Canada that comply with the regulations will carry the CMVSS national Safety Mark.

BCAA warns that the use of non-compliant safety seats may risk the child’s safety, and could result in legal repercussions including confiscation of the seat at the Canadian border, or after it has entered Canada; fines; voided insurance coverage in case of injury or death; and possible criminal charges and/or civil litigation. For more information about child safety seats, visit or call 1-877-247-5551.

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