Information for importers and manufacturers of products containing mercury

Federal regulations may apply to you

The Products Containing Mercury Regulations (the regulations) aim to reduce the risks to the environment and human health from mercury found in imported and manufactured products. These regulations, developed under the authority of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA), came into force on November 8, 2015.

These regulations prohibit the import and manufacture of products containing mercury or any of its compounds, with some exemptions for essential products which have no technically or economically viable alternatives.

For products exempted from this prohibition, labelling, reporting and record keeping requirements may still apply. Consult the regulations for product-specific requirements.

Examples of prohibited products

Some examples of prohibited mercury-containing products include:

  • household thermometers and thermostats
  • measuring devices such as barometers and hydrometers
  • batteries
  • switches and relays
  • tire balancing products

Main requirements of the regulations

While the regulations prohibit the import and manufacture of mercury-containing products in Canada, there are exemptions that allow for the import and manufacture of a small number of products, under certain conditions, such as:

  • products listed in the schedule of the regulations, or
  • products granted a permit approved by the Minister
Some examples* of exempted products and their respective mercury content limit
(where applicable)
Exempted product Mercury content limit
Dental amalgam No limits
Compact fluorescent lamp ≤ 25 watts 4 mg per lamp
T8 4-foot or less straight fluorescent lamp with normal lifetime 4 mg per lamp
Cold cathode tubing for signage (e.g. neon signs) or cove lighting 100 mg per 2.44 m
Thermometer used in scientific research applications No limits
Replacement parts No limits

* Non-exhaustive list - Refer to the schedule of the regulations for a complete list.
A part that is required for a product to continue to function and for which there is no mercury-free alternative or product listed in the schedule of the regulations that could serve as a direct substitute.

Products regulated by another federal department or agency

Many mercury-containing products are already subject to other federal regulatory controls. The regulations do not apply to such products as the risks they pose are already being managed by another federal department or agency.

These products include, but are not limited to: waste, food, drugs, cosmetics and pest control products. Refer to section 2 of the regulations for more details.

Labelling requirements

Mercury-containing products allowed by the regulations are required to have the following statement in a readily visible location on the product and/or the package:

Contains mercury / Contient du mercure


Other required labelling information includes safe handling procedures, measures to be taken in case of accidental breakage, and options available for disposal and recycling.

In addition, certain specified products must display the symbol "Hg", including items such as fluorescent lamps and cold cathode tubing.

 

Refer to sections 8 and 9 of the regulations for more information.

mercury symbol HG on light bulb

Reporting requirements

Manufacturers and importers of mercury-containing products allowed by the regulations are required to report every three years on their activities (import, manufacture) and to provide product information (quantities, mercury content, etc.).

A first report for the year 2016 was required by March 31, 2017. The next report will be required by March 31, 2020 and will cover the year 2019.

For more information on the regulations, consult the Products Containing Mercury Regulations web section.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your regional Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) office by email:

Atlantic: ec.promoatlcompro.ec@canada.ca

Quebec: ec.mercureqc-mercuryqc.ec@canada.ca

Ontario: ec.promcon-on-compro.ec@canada.ca

Prairie and Northern: ec.promconrpn-compropnr.ec@canada.ca

Pacific and Yukon: ec.mercurerpy-mercurypyr.ec@canada.ca

All regulations under CEPA are subject to the Compliance and enforcement policy for the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999.

For information regarding reproduction rights, please contact Environment and Climate Change Canada's Public inquiries centre at 1-800-668-6767 (in Canada only) or 819-938-3860 or via email at: ec.enviroinfo.ec@canada.ca.

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, 2018
ISBN 978-0-660-26763-0
Cat. No.: En14-325/2018E-PDF

Note

This material has been prepared for convenience of reference only and does not have an official character. For the purpose of interpreting and applying the regulations, users must consult the regulations on Justice Canada's website.
Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: