Amending regulations for off-road small spark-ignition engines: frequently asked questions
- What is the purpose of these regulations?
- What are the key elements of these regulations?
- How do these regulations affect Canadian businesses?
- What is the timeline for implementation?
- Where can I get more information?
1. What is the purpose of these regulations?
The operation of small spark-ignition engines (e.g. small gasoline-powered machines) is a significant source of smog-forming air pollutants in Canada. Smog has been identified as a contributing factor in numerous adverse impacts on the health of Canadians including thousands of premature deaths across the country each year, increased hospital visits, as well as lost work and school days. Environmental problems attributed to smog include damage to vegetation and structures, and poor visibility and haze.
The Off-Road Small Spark-Ignition Engine Emission Regulations (2003) established emission standards for off-road engines with less than 19 kW output that are typically gasoline-fuelled and found in lawn and garden machines such as hedge trimmers, brush cutters, lawnmowers, garden tractors and snow blowers; in light-duty industrial machines such as generator sets, welders and pressure washers; and in light-duty logging machines such as chainsaws, log splitters and industrial shredders. The Regulations Amending the Off-Road Small Spark-Ignition Engine Emission Regulations and making a consequential amendment to another regulation (amendments) further strengthen Canada’s smog-forming emission standards for those machines. These more stringent standards are commonly referred to as ‘Phase 3’ emission standards.
2. What are the key elements of these regulations?
Canada’s amendments to the Off-Road Small Spark-Ignition Engine Emission Regulations introduce more stringent air pollutant emission standards for new small spark-ignition engines in alignment with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) standards. Key elements include:
- Stricter ‘Phase 3’ emission standards applicable to 2019 and later model year engines:
- more stringent exhaust emission standards for engines in non-handheld machines, compared to ‘Phase 2’ standards
- new evaporative emission standards
- Requirement for a unique identification number on every engine is added
- Canadian labelling requirements are clarified for engines that are not covered by an EPA certificate of conformity and not sold concurrently in Canada and the United States, and for engines that are excluded from the regulations
- Changes to improve the administration of the regulations:
- limiting the companies required to submit importation declarations to only those that import 50 or more engines in a year, and reducing the frequency of declarations for many importers from being on a per-shipment basis to an annual basis
- requiring that the Minister be notified in the case where an EPA certificate has been suspended or revoked in respect of an engine that has been imported in to Canada
- improving notice of defect provisions to be consistent with other vehicle and engine regulations, and to align the submission frequency with EPA requirements
3. How do these regulations affect Canadian businesses?
Persons, companies or businesses that have to conform to the Off-Road Small Spark-Ignition Engine Emission Regulations are those who:
- manufacture off-road small spark-ignition engines in Canada, including equipment/machine manufacturers who install fuel systems on engines;
- import off-road small spark-ignition engines into Canada for purpose of sale;
- import off-road small spark-ignition engines into Canada for their own use;
- sell to other persons, for the purpose of resale by those persons, off-road small spark-ignition engines obtained directly from a Canadian engine manufacturer or its agent (distributor of Canadian engines)
4. What is the timeline for implementation?
The amendments, made under the authority of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, come into force on March 22, 2018.
5. Where can I get more information?
The following links provide additional information and guidance on the parent regulations and these amendments:
- Sources of air pollution: transportation web page
- Parent regulations: Off-Road Small Spark-Ignition Engine Emission Regulations
- Amendments: Regulations Amending the Off-Road Small Spark-Ignition Engine Emission Regulations and Other Regulations and Making a Consequential Amendment to Another Regulation
For more information and to receive email notifications of updates regarding Environment and Climate Change Canada’s actions on vehicles and engines, please contact Environment and Climate Change Canada at: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information
- Federal regulatory management
- The Cabinet Directive on Regulatory Management
- The Canada-United States Regulatory Cooperation Council
This document is intended to provide contextual information on the Regulations Amending the Off-Road Small Spark-Ignition Engine Emission Regulations and making a consequential amendment to another regulation. It does not replace the Canadian Environmental Protection Act or the Regulations Amending the Off-Road Small Spark-Ignition Engine Emission Regulations and making a consequential amendment to another regulation. In the event of any discrepancies, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act and the Regulations Amending the Off-Road Small Spark-Ignition Engine Emission Regulations and making a consequential amendment to another regulation, shall prevail.
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