Q&As related to COVID-19 Call to Suppliers

Q&As relating to COVID-19 Call to Suppliers

Attention! Are you a business that can supply products and services in support of Canada’s response to COVID-19?

Canada wants to hear from you. Find out more here.

We are providing answers to the most frequently asked questions we’ve received regarding the Government of Canada’s call for emergency goods and services in response to COVID-19.

If you don’t find the answer to your question here, you can contact the National InfoLine at 1-800-811-1148 (Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Eastern) or by email at BPME.OSME@tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca.

Information about the Call to suppliers

Q: What does the Government of Canada need?

The Government of Canada needs information about products and services businesses can supply in support of Canada’s response to COVID-19. This includes medical products for prevention, like disposable N95 masks, vinyl gloves and hand sanitizer. It also includes different services, such as security, nursing, and food services. The full list is posted on the Calling all suppliers – Help Canada combat Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) page on Buyandsell.gc.ca. Information regarding product specifications is also available.

Q: I can provide other products and services that aren’t on your list that could help. How do I let the Government of Canada know? [Updated 2020-04-24]

On March 12, 2020, the Calling all suppliers – Help Canada combat Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was launched. To date, the Government of Canada has received more than 26,000 submissions, from both Canadian, and international businesses. In an effort to expedite the contracting process to procure life-saving personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical supplies, our primary focus is on suppliers who have all of the necessary specifications, certifications, and licenses to import, sell, and distribute PPE and medical devices in Canada.

If you are a business that has other products or services that could help Canada, we recommend that you subscribe to our free automated Email Notification Service to stay informed of new tender opportunities posted on the Buyandsell.gc.ca website. We also suggest that you stay informed on the latest COVID-19 procurement-related news and website updates by signing up to receive email notifications for COVID-19 news updates.

In addition, if your business has access to personal protective equipment that can help our front line health care workers, the Government of Canada encourages all businesses to make products available to provinces, territories, hospital groups and associations, and other groups in communities across Canada. If you are interested in donating PPE or other medical supplies to support frontline health care staff, please complete the following form on the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) website: www.canada.ca/donation-form-ppe.

Q: Where can I find the 3D printing specifications for the manufacturing of personal protective equipment (PPE)? [Updated 2020-04-24]

Please refer to Health Canada’s guidance and requirements regarding 3D printing and other manufacturing of personal protective equipment in response to COVID-19.

Q: What do I need to provide in the submission form?

The electronic submission form prompts you to provide information about your business and about the products and services you can offer to support the Government of Canada’s response to COVID-19. Please ensure that your goods meet the Specifications for COVID-19 Products. This includes information about the quantity you can supply of each product or service and its availability. You will also be asked to indicate the name of a contact person in your business with their phone number and email address so that you can be contacted easily if need be. The form also asks whether your business location can be accessed by a Government of Canada official.

Q: When will someone contact me?

Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) has a dedicated team of procurement specialists who are assessing all responses as they come in.

We are experiencing a high volume of submissions. Our procurement specialists are working to assess, categorize and prioritize the submissions received against the Government’s COVID-19 response needs.

We will contact suppliers who can meet identified requirements as they arise. Please note, however, that this does not mean every company that has submitted a response will be contacted by our procurement specialists.

Q: Can an international (foreign) company supply goods (for example: China, India, US, EU)?

Yes. An international (foreign) company may respond to the COVID-19 call to action. There are currently no restrictions.

Q: Can a Canadian company supply goods that have been sourced from China?

Yes, however all goods must meet all certification standards that are accepted by Canada. (See the next questions for further details.)

Q: What are the certification standards for the emergency goods requested (for example: N95 and surgical masks, medical gowns)?

The specifications for certain types of products, including certification standards where applicable, are listed on the Specifications for COVID-19 Products page on Buyandsell.gc.ca.

Q: What types of certifications are required for the goods requested (for example: FDA, CSA, CE, other)?

The specifications for certain types of products, including certification standards where applicable, are listed on the Specifications for COVID-19 Products page on Buyandsell.gc.ca. The most common certifications are set by:

  • Canadian Standards Association (CSA)
  • US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Conformité Européenne Mark (CE Mark)
  • World Health Organisation (WHO)

Q: Do I need a license to sell or distribute medical devices in Canada? [New 2020-04-24]

Yes, Personal protective equipment, including devices such as N95 respirators, gowns, masks, gloves & face shields, are medical devices in Canada and are subject to requirements under the Medical Devices Regulations. In general, anyone who imports or sells a medical device for human use in Canada requires a Medical Device Establishment Licence (MDEL).

In light of the unprecedented demand and urgent need for products that can help limit the spread of COVID-19, Health Canada is expediting approvals of product reviews, as well as relevant establishment licences related to these types of products.

For full details, see information posted by Health Canada at Personal protective equipment against COVID-19.

Q: How long does it take to get a license? [New 2020-04-24]

Health Canada will expedite the review and issuance of MDELs for companies requesting to manufacture, import or distribute Class I medical devices (such as N95 facepiece respirators, gowns, masks, face shields) or nasal pharyngeal swabs in relation to COVID-19. For information on how to request an expedited MDEL application review, see Expedited access information posted by Health Canada.

Q: If I want to start manufacturing health products in response to COVID-19, how do I get authorization?
[New 2020-04-24]

In Canada, health products including hand sanitizers and disinfectants and medical devices such as N95 respirators, surgical masks, gloves, face shields, goggles, gowns, ventilators, thermometers and diagnostic tests are subject to requirements under regulations enforced by Health Canada.

In light of the unprecedented demand and urgent need for products that can help limit the spread of COVID-19, Health Canada is expediting authorizations related to these types of products. Visit Health Canada’s COVID-19 health product industry webpage for more information.

Q: A link on the Innovation Canada online form for Canadian manufacturers takes me to PSPC’s Call to suppliers for goods and services. Should I complete this form instead? [New 2020-04-24]

No, you should go back to the online form for Canadian manufacturers, hosted by Innovation Canada on the Call to action: Canadian manufacturers needed to help combat COVID-19 page. The link you clicked on takes you to information posted on Buyandsell.gc.ca about the specifications for different COVID-19 related medical supplies. Once you have the information you need about the specifications, please return to the online form on Innovation Canada’s “Call to action for Canadian manufacturers” page to submit information about how your business can help.

Q: Do I need a licence to produce and sell hand sanitizer in Canada? [New 2020-04-24]

Yes, a licence is required to produce and sell hand sanitizer in Canada. In light of the COVID-19 crisis, Health Canada has simplified that process and has introduced interim measures to expedite the manufacture and sale of alcohol-based hand sanitizer and an interim guide on the production of ethanol for use in alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

Q: What are the specifications relating to the manufacture and sale of COVID-19 testing kits? [New 2020-04-24]

Only COVID-19 diagnostic tests authorized by Health Canada can be imported or sold in Canada. On March 18, 2020, the Minister of Health approved an interim order (IO) to expedite the review of these medical devices, including test kits related to COVID-19.

For more information on the process to submit an application to have a COVID-19 medical device approved, a list of currently authorized diagnostic devices, and the status of submitted applications, please refer to Health Canada’s Diagnostic devices for use against coronavirus (COVID-19).

Q: Is there a complete list of the emergency goods and services that the Government of Canada requires in response to the COVID-19 situation? [Updated 2020-04-24]

No. In an effort to expedite the contracting process to procure life-saving personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical supplies, our primary focus is on suppliers who have all of the necessary specifications, certifications, and licenses to import, sell, and distribute PPE and medical devices in Canada.

If you are a business that has other products or services that could help Canada, we recommend that you subscribe to our free automated Email Notification Service to stay informed of new tender opportunities posted on the Buyandsell.gc.ca website. We also suggest that you stay informed on the latest COVID-19 procurement-related news and website updates by signing up to receive email notifications for COVID-19 news updates.

Q: What would be the timeline for shipping goods?

This will be determined on a case-by-case basis, depending on requirements (for example: urgency, location, quantities).

Q: Are details available with regard to contract amounts?

PSPC is looking to purchase most of the items currently listed, therefore specific quantities or dollar values are not specified. The call-out will serve to identify suppliers who can provide these emergency goods and services.

Q: What types of food services/ IT support/ personal/ other services does the GC require?

PSPC is still assessing all of its emergency response requirements. As the situation is evolving, we are working quickly to identify needs to source emergency supplies. Please be sure to subscribe to the Buyandsell.gc.ca newsfeed (available via email, ATOM, or RSS) to stay current.

Q: What quantities is the government looking to purchase of the emergency goods and services requested?

PSPC seeks to purchase most of the items currently listed and is assessing all of its emergency response requirements.

Q: Will there be assistance for customs clearance of goods?

PSPC is investigating how it can facilitate processing at points of entry across Canada, while ensuring that the customs process is followed.

Q: Is the submission form available in Chinese?

No. The form is only available in English and French.

Other information for businesses

Q: Where can I obtain COVID-related R&D or other business funding? [Updated 2020-04-24]

If you are a Canadian business that can assist Canada in meeting the need for medical supplies, please visit Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada’s Call to action: Canadian manufacturers needed to help combat COVID-19 .

For information about opportunities for funding for R&D and testing of prototypes, visit Innovative Solutions Canada’s COVID-19 funding opportunities.

The Government of Canada made funding available for 47 coronavirus (COVID-19) research projects. For details, please visit Government of Canada invests $27M in coronavirus research – Details of the funded projects.

Q: I have developed a prototype that could help with COVID-19. Can I get support or funding to test my prototype? [New 2020-04-24]

The Government of Canada will be launching a Testing Stream open Call for Proposals for any type of innovative prototype, in Spring-Summer 2020. Sign up to the Innovative Solutions Canada newsfeed to get a notification when new funding opportunities launch.

Q: Where can businesses get information to help them throughout the COVID-19 crisis? [Updated 2020-04-24]

The Government of Canada has created a website to help businesses during the COVID-19 crisis. You will find information to help you support your employees, develop a business contingency plan (business preparedness), as well as information on international trade, business travel and events. Please visit Resources for Canadian Businesses – COVID-19.

Q: How do I find out if my business is considered an essential service?

Canadian provinces and territories are responsible for determining what an essential service is during an emergency response situation. You should therefore consult your provincial or territorial website for information and guidance.

Q: Where can businesses find information about becoming a Government of Canada supplier?

If you are new to doing business with the Government of Canada, the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises can answer your questions about how to become a supplier and obtain a Procurement Business Number.

General information about COVID-19

Q: Where can I find answers to my questions about COVID-19?

For questions related to COVID-19, please visit the Government of Canada’s Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Outbreak update web page.

Q: How can a Canadian citizen offer help? [Updated 2020-04-24]

Due to the evolving nature of the COVID-19 situation, Canadian citizens should always consult their municipal, provincial or territorial website to ensure that they are following the most recent self-care guidance. Canadians may also refer to the COVID 19: How you can make a difference information on the government’s Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Canada’s Response website for suggestions.

Q: How can I donate personal protective equipment such as masks and hospital gowns or other medical supplies? [Updated 2020-04-24]

If you wish to donate personal protective equipment or other medical supplies, please complete the Public Health Agency Canada Donations to help combat COVID-19 submission form.

Q: Where can I go for help if I have been laid off from my job?

The Government of Canada has created an economic response plan with funding and measures available to help Canadians facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. You can find information about support for individuals and businesses at Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan – Support for Individuals and Businesses

Q: What is the status of my application for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)? [New 2020-04-24]

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit is being jointly delivered by Service Canada and the Canada Revenue Agency. You may find answers related to the submission process and the benefits program at Questions and Answers on the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. You may also find answers to your questions by contacting 1-833-966-2099.