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In Vitro Diagnostic (IVD) Device Registration and Approval in Canada


  • How does Health Canada classify IVDs?
  • Which license type is required in Canada for in vitro diagnostic devices?
  • What is the QMS requirement for IVD registration in Canada?

If you're interested in selling in vitro diagnostic (IVD) devices in Canada, you must first register and obtain the proper license from Health Canada.

As is the case with medical devices, your IVD's classification determines the required license type. Health Canada has a four-tier, risk-based classification system (Class I, II, III, and IV) for IVD products under its jurisdiction.

Health Canada IVD Medical Device License (MDL)

A Medical Device License (MDL) is required for all medical devices, including In Vitro Diagnostic Devices (IVDs), of class II, III, or IV before they can be sold in Canada. The device manufacturer must apply for the MDL. Health Canada MDL submissions require the manufacturer to submit data to Health Canada, or attest to possessing data, that supports the safety and effectiveness of the device.

An MDL is not required for Class I devices. If you have a Class I IVD and intend to sell it directly to consumers (rather than through distributors), you need a Medical Device Establishment License (MDEL).

Canada IVD quality management system requirements

Manufacturers of Class II, III, and IV IVD devices must hold ISO 13485 standard for quality management systems, and also comply with additional quality system requirements of the Canadian Medical Devices Regulations (CMDR). As part of your IVD MDL application process, Emergo can support implementation of a compliant ISO 13485 quality management system, or update your existing system to meet Health Canada requirements.

Get more details about QMS requirements for medical devices in Canada in our free white paper: Achieving QMS Compliance for Canada Beyond ISO 13485.

How Emergo can help you obtain Canadian IVD approval

With offices in British Columbia and Ontario, Emergo has years of experience helping IVD companies register their products with Health Canada. Our IVD registration services include:

  • Identifying the classification of your IVD device under the Health Canada system
  • Determining applicable Health Canada fees
  • Compiling your MDL or MDEL application and submitting it to Health Canada
  • Adapting your existing ISO 13485 quality system to meet CMDR requirements
  • Conducting customized on-site training for ISO 13485 and CMDR compliance

We also help companies with IVD registration in Europe and other markets.

Common IVD MDL registration questions

How long does it take to secure an MDL for an IVD in Canada?
The time required to secure your MDL depends on your device classification. Download our Canada IVD process chart for estimated timeframes by device classification.

What should we include in our Health Canada MDL submission?
The requirements for your IVD Medical Device License application depend on your device classification. However, the submission documentation for a Class III or IV IVD is similar to a US FDA 510(k) or EU Technical File, with some key differences. Get more information about MDL submissions requirements in our free 17-page white paper: Preparing a Canada MDL Application

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