Cross-border Movement of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations: User guide

Acronyms

CEPA
Canadian Environmental Protection Act
CNMTS
Canadian Notification and Movement Tracking System
CBSA
Canada Border Services Agency
CDR
Confirmation of Disposal or Recycling
ECCC
Environment and Climate Change Canada
EIHWHRMR
Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations
HW
Hazardous Waste
HRM
Hazardous Recyclable Material
MD
Movement document
OECD
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
TDGR
Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations
XBR
Cross-border Movement of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations

1 Introduction

What is the purpose of this guide

The Cross-border Movement of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations (referred hereinafter as the “XBR”) User Guide is designed to help people who are involved in international movements of Hazardous Waste (HW) and Hazardous Recyclable Material (HRM) understand and implement the requirements of the XBR. This guide only covers the international movement portion of the XBR.

It will be useful to anyone who generates, handles, transports, exports, imports, treats, recycles, stores, or disposes of HW or HRM where international shipments are involved.

How do I use this guide

This guide is divided into 16 sections, each dealing with a different aspect of the Regulations. Each section provides answers to the most common questions about the various provisions of the Regulations; however, in the event of a discrepancy between this guide and the Regulations, the Regulations always take precedence.

2 Background

In Canada, all 3 levels of government contribute to environmental protection and have a role to play in managing hazardous waste (HW) and hazardous recyclable material (HRM):

Canada implements the terms of international agreements to which it is a party through domestic regulations, under the authority of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA). Canada is party to 4 international agreements regarding the transboundary movement of HW and HRM:

In signing these international agreements, Canada made a commitment to develop national legislation to promote the environmentally sound management of HW and HRM to protect the environment and human health from the risks posed by transboundary movement of waste and recyclable material. The current Cross-border Movement of Hazardous Waste and hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations (referred to as XBR in this guide), made pursuant to CEPA 1999, revoked and replaced the 1992 Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations (EIHWHRMR), Interprovincial Movement of Hazardous Waste Regulations (IMHWR), and PCB Regulations in October 2021.

3 General information

3.1 What is the purpose of the Regulations

The purpose of the Regulations is to:

This guide will focus on Part 1 of the XBR, which set out the conditions for the export, import, and transit of HW and HRM shipped across the Canadian border. This helps to ensure that shipments of HW and HRM entering into, leaving, or passing through Canada can be controlled and tracked by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), provincial competent authorities, foreign competent authorities in collaboration with other government agencies.

The CEPA and XBR also ensure that the import and transit countries have consented to the transboundary movement before any shipment takes place. Not every country considers the same types of waste or recyclable materials to be hazardous. Provinces and territories in Canada also have different definitions for what they consider to be HW or HRM. Anyone who arranges the shipment of any type of waste or recyclable material should first determine if it is considered to be hazardous in Canada or other countries if exported. Basel Convention defines HW and HRM. Also, in situations where the waste or recyclable material may be exported to a non-Basel Convention participating country, one should determine:

  1. if the countries to which the waste or recyclable material will be exported or;
  2. through which it will transit have national laws that in any way prohibit, restrict, or control the import or transit of the waste or material.

3.2 How do the XBR and CEPA work together

CEPA provides the legislative authority to enact XBR governing the export, import, and transit of HW and HRM. It also includes a number of provisions for the transboundary movement of HW and HRM. The provisions under CEPA and those in the XBR need to be read and applied together as a whole in order to ensure compliance.

The XBR are administered by the Waste Reduction and Management Division (WRMD) of ECCC:

Waste Reduction and Management Division
Environment and Climate Change Canada
Place Vincent Massey
351 St-Joseph, 9th Floor
Gatineau QC  J8Y 3Z5

Please contact the following email addresses for questions regarding:

3.3 What are the main requirements set out in the Act and the XBR for exports, imports and transits of HW and HRM

Section 185 of CEPA requires that anyone who exports, imports or conveys HW or HRM in transit must notify the Minister and obtain a permit before the movement can take place. An international movement can consist of an export from Canada, an import into Canada from a country other than Canada, a transit through Canada, a return to Canada, or a return to foreign country of origin.

The notification requirements are set out in the XBR, and include information such as:

Once all of the notification requirements set out in the XBR are met, ECCC notifies the competent authorities in the jurisdiction of destination, as well as competent authorities of transit countries if applicable. If any of those authorities objects to the proposed shipment, the shipment cannot proceed. If all authorities consent and if all criteria have been met, ECCC will issue the requested permit.

Movement document (MD) and permit (and any other relevant documents) must be immediately produced when requested, and must be shipped according to the requirements set out in the XBR. Movement information must be submitted to ECCC through CNMTS. The appropriate documents must also be provided to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

The Canadian importer or Canadian exporter of the HW or HRM must submit the part A of the MD to ECCC in CNMTS within 3 working days after the day on which the shipment is shipped from the facility. Within 3 working days after the day on which the shipment is delivered to the receiving facility, Part B of the MD completed by each authorized carrier and Part C of the MD must be submitted in CNMTS as well. Once the shipment is delivered to the receiving facility, the disposal or recycling must take place within the time specified in the XBR, and the Canadian importer or Canadian exporter must, within 30 days of this operation, provide ECCC with an electronic confirmation in CNMTS. This electronic confirmation must indicate that the disposal or recycling was completed in accordance with the permit and in a manner that protects the environment and human health.

The XBR also include requirements with respect to liability insurance coverage that must be held by the exporter, importer or carriers as well as requirements related to alternative arrangements that may be made or related to the return or take-back of HW or HRM that cannot be disposed of or recycled in accordance with the permit or that is refused by the competent authority of the country of import.

3.4 How are the XBR set up

The XBR are divided into 3 parts (this guide will focus on Part I only):

The XBR include the following 12 schedules:

Schedules 1, 2, 6, 7, 8 and 9 are related to the definition of HW and HRM. Schedules 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12 are related to the information on the notification and MDs.

Schedule 1 specifies the code for different disposal and recycling operations. These operations are meant to implement the disposal and recycling operations set out under both the Basel Convention and OECD Decision C (2001)107/Final. Please note that DC and RC codes in Schedule 1 are Canadian operations.

Schedules 6 and 8 are lists of HW, HRM and substances that are subject to the XBR. The identification numbers must be provided as part of the notification under the XBR.

Schedules 2 and 7 are lists of constituents that may be contained in waste or recyclable material at concentrations that would render them hazardous. The identification numbers must be provided as part of the notification under the XBR.

Schedule 5 lists the names of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and the triggers for the required declaration of POPs within a HW or HRM.

3.5 Who is subject to Part 1 of the XBR

The Part 1 of the XBR apply to all individuals and corporations involved in some aspect of the import, export, or transit of HW or HRM in Canada. The XBR define the responsibilities of permit holders, consignor, consignee, carriers and disposal and recycling facilities.

3.6 Which authorities are involved

The XBR are administered by ECCC. The competent authority for all Canadian imports, exports, transits, return and reroute is the ECCC’s Waste Reduction and Management Division, which is also the contact point for the competent authorities in other countries and the Canadian provinces competent authorities. Canadian companies wishing to import, export, or transit through Canada HW or HRM do not need to contact the provincial and foreign authorities directly during the notification process; rather, ECCC will contact provincial and foreign competent authorities on behalf of the applicant, and forward the response to the applicant.

The role of ECCC includes:

Two other federal agencies are involved in the compliance and administration of the XBR. One is Transport Canada, since most shipments are also subject to the TDGR; the other is the CBSA, which helps to control HW and HRM crossing the border by verifying that the proper documents accompany each shipment.

The shipments of HW or HRM must also conform to applicable provincial and territorial laws and regulations (the licensing of disposal and recycling facilities is managed by provinces and territories). All imports into Canada are subject to the review and confirmation from provincial or territorial authorities at destination that the facilities are authorized to perform the recycling or disposal operations on the wastes identified in the documentation. The provinces and territories may also have additional environmental legislation relating to the transportation of dangerous goods and waste management of HW and HRM.

4 Definitions and interpretation

4.1 References to definitions

The XBR set out detailed definitions and interpretations in section 1 to 5 of the XBR, importantly, the definitions of HW and HRM.

4.2 Authorized facilities and authorized carriers

Authorization for facilities and carriers must be made in a form that is applicable and acceptable to the responsible jurisdiction, through either regulation, legislation, or permit. The applicant must submit a notification to ECCC containing the unique identification number issued by either the province or territory of import or the country of export or import.

5 General provisions

5. 1 Which operations are considered disposal or recycling

Schedules 1 of the XBR specifies the processes that are considered disposal and recycling operations, respectively. There are 2 types of disposal and recycling operations that are referred to in this guide as interim operations and final operations. Interim disposal operations are those identified with the following code:

Interim recycling operations are those identified with the following code:

All other operation in Schedule 1 are considered final disposal or recycling operations.

It is important to note that the operations described in these lists may not be environmentally acceptable practices in all countries or provinces. These operations are meant to capture the disposal and recycling operations identified under both the Basel Convention and OECD Decision C(2001)107/Final.

5.2 Can I ship HW or HRM to or from any country

No. the country of destination must be a party to the Convention or the Canada-USA Agreement or must be subject to OECD Decision C(2001)107/FINAL and the import of the HW or HRM must not be prohibited by that country.

To determine whether the country of destination is party to the Convention or is subject to OECD Decision, please consult the list of parties to the Basel Convention and the list of OECD member countries.

If you are a Canadian company considering exporting waste or recyclable materials to another country, please be aware of ECCC’s Service standard and performance for HW export and import permits. As such, please ensure to apply for a permit at least 2 months – ideally 3 months – in advance of your anticipated first shipment.

6 Notification

6.1 What is notification

Section 185 of CEPA, 1999 and Part 1 of the XBR

Notification is the process by which a person wanting to transport HW or HRM notifies the Minister of ECCC of their plans to send or receive international shipments of HW or HRM. It serves as the application for a permit, without which no shipment can proceed.

The information required in the notification is outlined in Part 1 Divisions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 of the XBR depending on the permit requested. ECCC has developed the CNMTS to facilitate the notification process for applicants. The online system, accessible through ECCC’s Single Window website, allows companies to submit import, export, transit, return and reroute notifications to ECCC, track the status of their submissions, and obtain permits and other official documentation. In addition, companies may clone previous submissions for future notifications, which should simplify the notification process as well as help reduce administrative errors. Once submitted, ECCC reviews the notification to ensure that it is complete and meets the technical requirements of the XBR before forwarding it to the appropriate provincial, territorial or foreign government competent authorities for consent.

While ECCC is the point of contact between the applicant and the competent authorities in the provincial, territorial or foreign governments, it cannot predict or control the length of time it will take these authorities to respond to a request for consent. Therefore, the length of time required to obtain a permit can vary greatly, and is affected by such factors as the type of waste or material, the destination, the disposal or recycling operation to be used, and the number of transit countries involved.

In general, the person submitting a complete and accurate notification should allow at least 60 days for the review process to be completed for shipments of waste or recyclable material to or from the United States, and for recyclable material to or from OECD member countries. More time should be allowed for shipments to other countries. It is important to plan this processing time in your project of the transboundary movement of HW or HRM.

Only after the applicant has received a permit is the shipment allowed to proceed. Permits are normally valid for up to 1 year; the export, import, or transit may take place within the period specified in the permit. Permits are also valid up to 36 months after the day on which it is issued for the import/export/transit of HRM in following cases:

6.2 Notification procedures

6.2.1 Notification Reference Number

All notifications that are submitted through the CNMTS, the Notification Reference Number is assigned once the notification passes validation and has been successfully submitted to ECCC for processing. For more details regarding CNMTS, please refer to CNMTS user guide.

If the applicant cannot access the CNMTS due to unforeseen circumstances, please contact ECCC Notification team by email at notification@ec.gc.ca or by phone at 1-844-524-5295.

The Notification Reference Number is important for tracking the shipment and its associated documentation. For example, the notification reference number and line-item number of the waste or recyclable material description must be entered on the MD that accompanies the HW or HRM during transport.

6.2.2 Conditions when notifying for HW or HRM

In the case of an export or import, the same notification cannot include HW and HRM. Separate notifications must be made. In the case of a transit, however, a single notification can include both HW and HRM.

A single notification may be submitted for a series of international shipments of HW or HRM if it

This allows for the notification of multiple types of HW or HRM from one site to another site within 1 year of the issuance of a permit.

HW and HRM can be returned with or without initial permit or MD. For returns based on an existing permit/MD, a return notification can only consist of waste lines from a single original permit. If waste lines from multiple original permits must be returned, each original permit requires a corresponding return permit for its waste lines. For example, a MD with 2 different permits will require 2 return notifications, one for each permit with corresponding waste lines in each return notification.

A reroute notification can include waste lines from multiple permits. Once approved, a letter of consent will be issued instead of a permit.

6.2.3 Site-specific notification

The notification procedure is site-specific, meaning that the HW or HRM must originate from the same person and the same facility, and be shipped to the same authorized facility at the same location. If a person wishes to ship to or from multiple sites, a new notification must be submitted for each site.

This is necessary in order to be consistent with the notification procedures of the Basel Convention and OECD Decision C(2001)107/Final.

6.2.4 Language

The notification and all attachments may be submitted to Environment and Climate Change Canada in either English or French. If requested by the importing country, ECCC will also ask the Canadian exporter to provide the information in the language specified by the foreign authority.

6.3 What must the notification contain

The person who submits the notification (the applicant) must ensure that the notification meets all regulatory requirements specified in Part 1 of the XBR. These requirements are summarized in section 9 Summary of conditions on exports, imports and transits of this guide.

6.4 Who must notify

For imports, and exports, transit of HW or HRM to, and from and through Canada, the applicant is responsible for completing the notification and for making sure that all of the documents that must accompany it are provided to ECCC. For further conditions concerning applicants, consult the “9 Summary of conditions on exports, imports and transits” of this guide.

In the case of a transit through Canada, the applicant can either be the importer, the exporter, the carrier moving the waste through Canada, or their authorized representative. In the case of a transit through a country other than Canada (where Canada is the origin and destination of the HW or HRM), the applicant can either be the importer, the exporter, the carrier moving the waste, or their authorized representative.

In cases where the importer or exporter owns many facilities, the notification may be submitted by the head office; however, the notification must indicate the actual authorized shipping and receiving sites. Note also that, under current legislation, a partnership (limited partnerships, general partnerships, etc.) is not a corporation and is not considered as a “person”, as defined under the Interpretation Act, and therefore cannot notify.

6.5 Summary of notification information requirements

The information requirements for notification are outlined in Schedule 3 of the XBR:

Within Schedule 3, all 6 sections follow a similar structure, with differences for each of the 6 specific permit type. They outline the information requirements for a permit type. For a full and detailed list of full requirements, please consult Schedule 3 of the XBR. Those requirements include, but are not limited to:

7 Appropriate authorities

After the Waste Reduction and Management Division (WRMD) has received the notification and its accompanying documents, a thorough administrative and technical review of the accuracy and completion of the application is conducted. If the notification meets all regulatory requirements, the information is forwarded to the appropriate competent authorities.

In the case of an export to a country that is a party to the Basel Convention, WRMD submits the notification information, on behalf of the applicant, to the competent authority in the country of import, as designated under the Basel Convention, for review and consent. For exports to the United States of America (USA), the notification information is sent to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA). If applicable, the notification is also sent to the competent authorities of all transit countries.

In the case of an import, WRMD submits the notification information to the appropriate authorities in the province or territory where the disposal or recycling operation is to take place, since the provinces and territories license the treatment facilities.

In the case of transit, ECCC has the authority to consent or object to a notification.

ECCC must receive acknowledgement from the authority that has jurisdiction over the receiving facility that the HW or HRM is authorized for movement and disposal or recycling operations. If any competent authority objects, a permit will not be issued and the shipment cannot proceed.

The Minister will issue a permit once the notification has been satisfactorily completed and all authorizations are in place. Imports, exports, or conveyances in transit of HW or HRM are prohibited without a permit.

8 Contracts and insurance

8.1 What contracts or arrangements are required

Except in cases where Canada is only a country of transit, the XBR require the existence of a written contract or series of contracts, in the case of an export: between the Canadian exporter and the foreign receiver; or, in the case of an import: between the Canadian importer and foreign exporter. When an interim operation is applicable, a contract is required between the receiving facility and the authorized facility that will perform the final disposal or recycling operation. Contracts do not need to be provided with the notification, and will not be reviewed by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), but still need to be in place with all the parties declared in the notification.

If the Canadian exporter buys or sells materials for the purposes of recycling, and exports them to a country that is subject to OECD Decision C(2001)107/Final, the exporter must have a contract with the facility from which the material will be exported.

If the Canadian importer buys or sells materials for the purpose of recycling, the importer must have a contract with the facility where the material will be recycled.

Contracts must be signed by all of the parties involved. If the Canadian importer and foreign exporter (or the Canadian exporter and foreign receiver) are the same legal entity, company representatives from both countries must sign the contract.

8.2 What must the contract include

The requirements of the contracts are in the conditions of import and export under section 14 and 26 of the XBR respectively. Briefly, the contract between the Canadian importer and foreign exporter (in the case of an import) or the Canadian exporter and the foreign receiver (in the case of an export) must contain the following informationFootnote 1:

For an import into Canada, the contract must also include:

For an export from Canada, the contract must also include:

Any financial details or other confidential business information does not need to be part of the information provided to ECCC as part of the notification. The contracts need to cover the period of time for which activities under the permit will be conducted, including transportation, disposal or recycling and providing confirmation of the disposal or recycling.

8.3 Who must be insured

Permit holder and all authorized carriers of HW and HRM must be covered by liability insurance. All authorized carriers involved in international shipments of HW and HRM in which Canada is involved must also be insured.

The insurance policy and its number do not need to be provided with the notification, and will not be reviewed by ECCC.

The type, amount, and time period for insurance coverage are described in Division 7 of the XBR.

8.4 What insurance coverage is required

The amount of liability insurance required for imports, exports, export from and import into Canada following transit through a foreign country, return to Canada, and return to foreign country of origin of HW is at least $5 million while the minimum is $1 million for HRM. The amount of liability insurance to be held by an authorized carrier that transports a shipment that contains HW or HRM in Canada is the amount required under federal or provincial legislation that applies to it in respect of the transport of that shipment.

Insurance must cover:

The insurance must cover liability that arises for:

9 Summary of conditions on exports, imports and transits

9.1 Imports

9.1.1 From where the waste or material may be imported

The country of origin must be a party to the Basel Convention or the Canada-USA Agreement or must be subject to OECD Decision C(2001)107/FINAL and the export of the HW or HRM must not be prohibited by that country (paragraph 14(1)(c) of the XBR).

9.1.2 What may be imported

The XBR set out the conditions for the import of HW and HRM.

Some substances that fall within the XBR’s definition of HW or HRM may be prohibited from import by other Canadian laws and, therefore, cannot be imported under the XBR. Other substances have additional conditions placed on them by the XBR. For example, biomedical waste, as defined by the XBR, and infectious substances, as set out in the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDGR), may be exported only for disposal.

9.1.3 Who may import

A person (the applicant) may apply for a permit to import HW or HRM if (section 7 of the XBR):

9.1.4 Department of National Defence exemption

Paragraphs 8(4)(b) to (e) and sections 14 to 18 of the XBR do not apply to the import of HW or HRM by the Department of National Defence (DND) (section 6 of the XBR).

The stipulations governing this exemption are that the HW or HRM is owned and operated by:

9.1.5 Permits

An import permit will be issued by the Minister only after consent has been obtained from the authorities of the countries of transit and the provincial authorities of destination, in accordance with section 185 of CEPA.

The conditions that must be met are specified in both the XBR and the import permit. They are as follows:

This information is similar to that required for notification. A Canadian importer may notify ECCC with his or her plans to import HW or HRM, but it is only after a rigorous approval process that a permit will be issued indicating what may be imported and how the import must be carried out.

Although the XBR does not require the permit or MD to accompany the HW or HRM, other regulations and agencies may require those documents to be produced immediately upon request.

Shipments of HW or HRM may be subject to other local, provincial, national, or international laws, regulations, and agreements. The provisions of the XBR do not override or replace any other current federal or international laws, regulations, or agreements concerning the transportation of dangerous goods under which any given shipment of HW or HRM may be controlled.

It is important to note that most of the HW and HRM subject to the XBR may also be subject to the TDGR. Canadian importers and authorized carriers must comply with the applicable requirements of the TDGR.

9.1.6 Time limits

The receiving facility performing the final disposal or recycling operations must complete the disposal of all of the HW, or the recycling of all of the HRM,

The following disposal and recycling operations set out in the XBR are interim operations that may take place prior to final disposal or recycling:

The receiving facility performing these interim operations has 180 days to complete these interim disposal or recycling operations starting after the day shipment was delivered, after which time the waste or material must undergo final disposal or recycling (paragraph 14(1)(p) of the XBR).

The authorized facility, other than a receiving facility, must complete the performing final disposal of all of the HW, or the recycling of all of the HRM that was sent to the authorized facility by the receiving facility,

Within 30 days after the date on which the interim or final disposal or recycling took place, the permit holder must provide the Minister with written confirmation that the operation has been completed. This confirmation must be submitted using CNMTS (subsection 17 (1) of the XBR).

9.1.7 Refusal of shipments

Section 186 of CEPA prohibits the abandonment of any waste or material for which a permit has been issued.

Paragraph 14(1)(u) and (v) of the XBR sets out the conditions that must be followed when a shipment is not accepted. Below are the 2 conditions:

  1. alternate arrangements are undertaken to dispose of the waste or recycle the material, or
  2. the waste or material is returned to the original country of export (see Section 10 Summary of conditions on Returns and Reroutes of this Guide)

Please refer to paragraph 14(1)(u) if the permit holder is notified that the receiving facility does not accept HW or HRM that is contained in a shipment that is shipped in accordance with the Act and the XBR, or that it cannot, or refuses to, dispose of that HW or recycle that HRM in accordance with the permit.

Please refer to paragraph 14(1)(v) if a shipment is imported in accordance with the Act and the XBR but the Minister notifies the permit holder that the Minister does not accept HW or HRM that is contained in the shipment or that HW or HRM that is contained in the shipment cannot be moved, disposed of or recycled in accordance with the permit,

9.1.8 Movement Document

Before a shipment that contains HW or HRM is shipped from a facility under one or more permits, Part A of the MD must be completed. Within 3 working days after the day on which the shipment is shipped from the facility, Part A of the MD must be submitted to ECCC using CNMTS.

A copy of the MD and permit must also be produced immediately upon request to CBSA by the Canadian importer or authorized carrier. The Canadian importer must complete Part C of the MD upon receipt of the shipment.

Part B and C of the MD must be submitted in CNMTS within 3 working days after the date on which the HW or HRM was delivered to the foreign receiver and, if required, the provincial authority.

9.1.9 Record retention

The permit holder and every authorized carrier must keep required documents listed in section 18 of the XBR for a period of 5 years after the latest day on which the permit expires. CNMTS cannot be used as an instrument to fulfill this obligation.

9.2 Exports

9.2.1 Where may the HW or HRM be exported

The country of destination must be a party to the Convention or the Canada-USA Agreement or must be subject to OECD Decision C(2001)107/FINAL and the import of the HW or HRM must not be prohibited by that country (paragraph 26(1)(c) of the XBR).

No exports may be shipped south of 60° South latitude or to Antarctica.

9.2.2 What may be exported

The XBR set out the conditions for the export of HW and HRM.

Some substances that fall within the XBR’s definition of HW or HRM may be prohibited from export by other Canadian laws and, therefore, cannot be exported under the XBR. Other substances have additional conditions placed on them by the XBR. For example, biomedical waste, as defined by the XBR, and infectious substances, as set out in the TDGR, may be exported only for final disposal.

9.2.3 Who may export

A person may apply for a permit to export HW or HRM if:

An entity or resident who is not the owner or operator of the facility from which the HW or HRM is to be shipped cannot export HW or HRMs to a country of destination that is not subject to OECD Decision C(2001)107/FINAL.

9.2.4 Permits

A permit will be issued by the Minister only after consent has been obtained from the foreign competent authorities in the countries of transit and destination, in accordance with section 185 of Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA).

The conditions that must be met are specified in both the XBR and the export permit. They are as follows:

A Canadian exporter may notify ECCC with his or her plans to export HR or HRM, but it is only after a rigorous review and approval process that a permit can be issued indicating what may be exported and how the export must be carried out.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the export permit, the Canadian exporter or authorized carrier must ensure that copies of both the permit and MD are provided to CBSA.

Shipments of HW may also be subject to other local, provincial, national, or international laws, regulations, and agreements. The provisions of the XBR do not override or replace any other current federal or international laws, regulations, or agreements concerning the transportation of dangerous goods under which any given shipment of HW may be controlled.

It is important to note that most of the HW and HRM subject to the XBR may also be subject to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDGR). Exporters and authorized carriers must comply with the applicable requirements of the TDGR.

9.2.5 Time limits

The receiving facility performing the final disposal or recycling operations must complete the disposal of all of the HW, or the recycling of all of the HRM,

The following disposal and recycling operations set out in the XBR are interim operations that may take place prior to final disposal or recycling:

The receiving facility performing these interim operations has 180 days to complete these interim disposal or recycling operations starting after the day shipment was delivered, after which time the waste or material must undergo final disposal or recycling (paragraph 26(1)(q) of the XBR).

The authorized facility, other than a receiving facility, must complete the disposal of all of the HW, or the recycling of all of the HRM that was sent to the authorized facility by the receiving facility,

Within 30 days after the date on which the interim or final disposal or recycling took place, the permit holder must provide the Minister with written confirmation that the operation has been completed. This confirmation must be submitted using CNMTS (subsection 29 (1) of the XBR).

9.2.6 Refusal of shipments

Section 186 of CEPA prohibits the abandonment of any waste or material for which a permit has been issued.

Paragraph 26(1)(v) and (w) of the XBR sets out the conditions that must be followed when a shipment is not accepted. Below are the two conditions:

Paragraph 26(1)(v) applies if the permit holder is notified that the receiving facility does not accept HW or HRM that is contained in a shipment that is shipped in accordance with the Act and the XBR, or that it cannot, or refuses to, dispose of that HW or recycle that HRM in accordance with the permit,

  1. the permit holder must immediately notify the Minister and the foreign importer of the situation and the reason for it,
  2. the permit holder must store the HW or HRM in a facility that is authorized for that purpose by the authorities of the jurisdiction in which the facility is located,
  3. within 90 days after the day on which the Minister is notified or within any other period of time that is agreed to by the Minister and the competent authority of the country of destination, the permit holder must either:
    1. make all necessary arrangements to dispose of the HW by means of a final disposal operation, or to recycle the HRM by means of a final recycling operation, at another authorized facility in the country of destination and provide the Minister with the name and address of, and the name of a contact person for, that authorized facility, the reference number of the MD and, for each type of HW or HRM, the line number of the applicable line entry in the MD, the quantity in kilograms or litres and the applicable disposal or recycling code set out in column 1 of either Part 1 or 2 of Schedule 1, or
    2. in accordance with Division 5 of this Part, return the HW or HRM to Canada under an import permit for the return,
  4. the HW or HRM must not be transported to an authorized facility referred to in clause (iii)(A) unless the permit holder has received confirmation from the Minister that the competent authority of the country of destination has approved its disposal or recycling at that authorized facility, and
  5. if the HW or HRM is transported to an authorized facility referred to in clause (iii)(A) for disposal or recycling, the authorized facility must complete the disposal of all of the HW by means of a final disposal operation, or the recycling of all of the HRM by means of a final recycling operation, within 1 year after the expiry of the period referred to in subparagraph (iii).

Paragraph 26(1)(w) applies if a shipment is exported in accordance with the Act and these XBR but the competent authority of either the country of destination or a country of transit notifies the permit holder that it does not accept HW or HRM that is contained in the shipment or that HW or HRM that is contained in the shipment cannot be moved, disposed of or recycled, in accordance with the permit,

  1. the permit holder must immediately notify the Minister and the foreign importer of the situation and the reason for it,
  2. if necessary, the permit holder must store the HW or HRM in a facility that is identified for that purpose by that competent authority,
  3. within 90 days after the day on which the Minister is notified or within any other period of time that is agreed to by the Minister and that competent authority, the permit holder must either:
    1. make all necessary arrangements to dispose of the HW by means of a final disposal operation, or to recycle the HRM by means of a final recycling operation, at an authorized facility in the country that is represented by the competent authority and provide the Minister with the name and address of, and the name of a contact person for, that authorized facility, the reference number of the MD and, for each type of HW or HRM, the line number of the applicable line entry in the MD, the quantity in kilograms or litres and the applicable disposal or recycling code set out in column 1 of either Part 1 or 2 of Schedule 1, or
    2. in accordance with Division 5 of this Part, return the HW or HRM to Canada under an import permit for the return,
  4. the HW or HRM must not be transported to an authorized facility referred to in clause (iii)(A) unless the permit holder has received confirmation from the Minister that the competent authority of the country in which the authorized facility is located has approved its disposal or recycling at that authorized facility, and
  5. if the HW or HRM is transported to an authorized facility referred to in clause (iii)(A) for disposal or recycling, the authorized facility must complete the disposal of all of the HW by means of a final disposal operation, or the recycling of all of the HRM by means of a final recycling operation, within 1 year after the expiry of the period referred to in subparagraph (iii).

9.2.7 Movement Document

Before a shipment that contains HW or HRM is shipped from a facility under one or more permits, Part A of the MD must be completed.

The permit holder has three working days after the date on which the waste or material was shipped to submit a copy of the MD in CNMTS, with Parts A completed, to the Minister and, if required, the provincial authority.

A copy of the MD and export permit must be produced immediate upon request to the CBSA. The permit holder must ensure that the foreign receiver completes Part C of the MD on receipt of the shipment, and provides a copy of the MD and the export permit to the Canadian exporter. If the waste or material is not regulated as hazardous in the foreign jurisdiction, the exporter may, in accordance with the contract, sign Part C of the document on behalf of the foreign receiver.

Part B and C of the MD must be submitted in CNMTS within 3 working days after the date on which the HW or HRM was delivered to the foreign receiver and, if required, the provincial authority.

9.2.8 Record retention

The permit holder and every authorized carrier must keep required documents listed in section 30 of the XBR for a period of 5 years after the latest day on which the permit expires. CNMTS cannot be used as an instrument to fulfill this obligation.

9.3 Export from and Import to Canada Following Transit Through a Foreign Country

9.3.1 What constitutes an Export from and Import to Canada Following Transit Through a Foreign Country

This movement involves the export of HW or HRM out of Canada and the subsequent import of the waste of material back to Canada, without any disposal or recycling operation happening in the transit country. For example, a waste shipment leaves Alberta, passing through USA before arriving receiving facility in Quebec.

9.3.2 What may be conveyed in an Export from and Import to Canada Following Transit Through a Foreign Country

The XBR set out the conditions for the Export from and Import to Canada Following Transit Through a Foreign Country of HW and HRM.

Some substances considered HW or HRM under the XBR may be prohibited from import, export, or transit by other Canadian laws or the laws of the country(ies) in transit, and, therefore, cannot be conveyed in transit under the XBR (subsection 38(b) of the XBR).

9.3.3 Permits

An Export from and Import to Canada Following Transit Through a Foreign Country permit will be issued by the Minister only after consent has been obtained from the authorities of the countries of transit, in accordance with section 185 of CEPA.

An applicant may apply for a permit to export HW or HRM and to import it to Canada after it is conveyed in transit through a foreign country if:

The conditions that must be met are specified in both the XBR and the transit permit. They are as follows:

In addition to meeting the requirements of the transit permit, the Canadian exporter must ensure that copies of both the permit and MD are provided to the CBSA.

Shipments of HW or HRM may be subject to other local, provincial, national, or international laws, regulations, and agreements. The provisions of the XBR do not override or replace any other current federal or international laws, regulations, or agreements concerning the transportation of dangerous goods under which any given shipment of HW or HRM may be controlled.

It is important to note that most of the waste and recyclable material subject to the XBR may also be subject to the TDGR. Exporters and authorized carriers must comply with the applicable requirements of the TDGR.

9.3.4 Movement Document

Before a shipment that contains HW or HRM is shipped from a facility under one or more permits, Part A of the MD must be completed. Within 3 working days after the day on which the shipment is shipped from the facility, Part A of the MD must be submitted to ECCC using CNMTS.

A copy of the MD and permit must also be produced immediately upon request to CBSA. The receiver must complete Part C of the MD upon receipt of the shipment.

Part B and C of the MD must be submitted in CNMTS within 3 working days after the date on which the HW or HRM was delivered to the foreign receiver and, if required, the provincial authority.

Confirmation of recycling or disposal is not required for the movements under this type of permit.

9.3.5 Record retention

The permit holder and every authorized carrier must keep required documents listed in section 41 of the XBR for a period of 5 years after the latest day on which the permit expires. CNMTS cannot be used as an instrument to fulfill this obligation.

9.4 Transit through Canada

9.4.1 What constitutes a transit through Canada

A transit through Canada is basically the import of Hazardous Waste (HW) or Hazardous Recyclable Material (HRM) into Canada and the subsequent export of the waste of material from Canada without any disposal or recycling operation happening in Canada.

9.4.2 What may be conveyed in Transit

The XBR set out the conditions for the transit of HW and HRM.

Some substances considered HW or HRM under the XBR may be prohibited from import, export, or transit by other Canadian laws and, therefore, cannot be conveyed in transit under the XBR.

9.4.3 Permits

A transit permit will be issued by the Minister in accordance with section 185 of CEPA.

An application for a permit to convey HW or HRM in transit through Canada may be made by any person using CNMTS.

The conditions that must be met are specified in both the XBR and the transit permit. They are as follows:

In addition to meeting the requirements of the transit permit, the permit holder must ensure that copies of both the permit and MD are provided to the CBSA immediately upon request.

Shipments of HW or HRM may be subject to other local, provincial, national, or international laws, regulations, and agreements. The provisions of the XBR do not override or replace any other current federal or international laws, regulations, or agreements concerning the transportation of dangerous goods under which any given shipment of HW or HRM may be controlled.

It is important to note that most of the waste and recyclable material subject to the XBR may also be subject to the TDGR. Exporters and authorized carriers must comply with the applicable requirements of the TDGR.

9.4.4 Movement Document

Before a shipment that contains HW or HRM is shipped from a facility under one or more permits, Part A of the MD must be completed. Within 3 working days after the day on which the shipment leaves Canada, Part A of the MD must be submitted to ECCC using CNMTS.

A copy of the MD and permit must also be produced immediately upon request to CBSA.

Part B of the MD must be submitted in CNMTS within 3 working days after the shipment leaves Canada and, if required, to the provincial authority. Part C and confirmation of disposal or recycling do not apply for movements generated under this type of permit.

9.4.5 Record retention

The permit holder and every authorized carrier must keep required documents listed in section 51 of the XBR for a period of 5 years after the latest day on which the permit expires. CNMTS cannot be used as an instrument to fulfill this obligation.

10 Summary of conditions on Returns and Reroutes

For any questions related to notification/permit, you can contact the Notification team at notification@ec.gc.ca.

Under Part 7, Division 8 of CEPA, a new permit to export or import for the purposes of a return must be obtained in order to return HW or HRM that is refused or cannot be disposed of or recycled in accordance with the original import or export permit. Each return permit can only contain HW or HRM from the same original permit. If an original shipment contains HW or HRM from multiple permits, HW or HRM generated from different original permits require a separate return permit. These Divisions also allow for a permit for returns that did not have an original import or export permit.

The provisions for returns set out in Division 5 and Division 6 of the XBR and conditions under paragraph 185(1)(c) of the Act are intended to facilitate returns of HW or HRM to either the exporting country and the original foreign exporter, or to Canada and the original Canadian exporter, as required under international agreements. Alternatively, a permit holder can submit a reroute notification to the minister. Upon approval, the shipment can be redirected to an alternative facility within the same country, and processed by means of final operation at the alternative facility. In summary, a return or a reroute might be required:

In case of returning a shipment back to Canada, the holder of the export permit or permits must apply for an import permit to return to Canada HW or HRM that was exported from Canada. For more information, refer to sections 9.1.5 Permits and 9.1.7 Refusal of shipments. Return notification must be submitted using CNMTS, under permit type “Return”. For detailed regulatory requirements, consult Division 5 of the XBR. Confirmation of disposal or recycling does not apply for movements generated under this type of permit.

In case of returning a shipment back to country of origin, the holder of the import permit or permits must apply for an export permit to return to foreign country of origin HW or HRM that was imported to Canada. For more information, refer to sections 9.2.4 Permits and 9.2.6 Refusal of shipments. Return notification must be submitted using CNMTS, under permit type “Return”. For detailed regulatory requirements, consult Division 6 of the XBR. Confirmation of disposal or recycling does not apply for movements generated under this type of permit.

Once the notification to return waste or recyclable material has been approved by the Minister, a permit is issued for the export or import for the purpose of a return. The return is destined to the facility from which the waste or recyclable material was initially shipped. For returns, a treatment operation code is not required for those waste lines. No return can proceed unless the Minister is notified and an export or import permit for the purposes of a return is issued.

10.1 Returns to Canada (Imports for the purposes of a return)

If the HW or HRM is refused or if it cannot be disposed of or recycled in accordance with the import permit, or the minister or competent authority refuses the shipment, the permit holder must make arrangements to import the HW or HRM back to the facility set out in the original export permit from which it was shipped, in accordance with the return provisions set out in Division 5 of the XBR.

10.1.1 Notification procedure

In submitting a notification for a permit for the purposes of a return, the original Canadian exporter must advise the Minister of the following:

10.1.2 Import permit

Once an import permit has been issued for the purposes of returning HW or HRM to Canada, the original Canadian exporter must:

10.2 Returns to the Foreign Country of Origin (Exports for the purposes of a return)

If the HW or HRM is refused or if it cannot be disposed of or recycled in accordance with the import permit, or the minister or competent authority refuses the shipment, the original Canadian importer must make arrangements to export the waste or material back to the foreign exporter at the facility set out in the original import permit from which it was shipped, in accordance with the return provisions set out in Division 6 of the XBR. The permit holder has 90 days or within any other period of time that is agreed to by the Minister and the competent authority after notifying the minister to make all necessary arrangements to dispose HW or HRM.

10.2.1 Notification procedure

In submitting a notification for an export permit for the purposes of a return, the permit holder must advise the Minister of the following:

10.2.2 Export permit

Once an export permit has been issued for the purposes of returning HW or HRM to the foreign country from which it was exported, the permit holder must:

10.3 Reroute

Reroute is applicable when an imported or exported shipment cannot be accepted or processed at specified facility in accordance with the condition set out in the permit. The permit holder has the option to reroute the HW or HRM to another facility within the same country for processing. In such case, the permit holder must notify the Minister using CNMTS and obtain a letter of consent prior to moving the shipment to an alternative facility within the same country where HW or HRM will be treated. The permit holder has 90 days or agreed upon days between the Minister and the other competent authority after notifying the minister to make all necessary arrangements to dispose HW or HRM by means of final operation.

Reroute request must be submitted to ECCC through CNMTS. To learn how to submit a reroute notification through CNMTS, please refer to the CNMTS user guide. Upon notification approval, a letter of consent will be issued. Permit holder must obtain this letter of consent before making any actual movements. A Confirmation of Disposal or Recycling (CDR) is still required for those waste lines under the original MD number. Important: The MD in CNMTS is used for international shipments; hence, in case of reroute, you do not need to submit a new MD.

11 Movement Document

For any questions related to MDs, you can contact the Movement team at dm-md@ec.gc.ca.

11.1 What is a Movement Document

The Basel Convention, which Canada ratified in August 1992, prohibits the shipment of HW and HRM across international borders without prior notification and approval.

Individuals or corporations wishing to transport HW or HRM for import into, export from, or transit through Canada (or from Canada, transiting through the United States of America (US), and back into Canada) should contact the appropriate authority for international shipments. Knowledge of the requirements that must be met reduces the risk of shipments of HW or HRM being held up or rejected at a border crossing.

International shipments of waste or recyclable material that come to, pass through, or go out of Canada are subject to the requirements of the XBR. The XBR, made pursuant to CEPA, contain a number of documentation requirements, including the use of a MD.

The MD provides detailed information on the types and amounts of HW or HRM being shipped, a record of the various firms or individuals involved in the shipment, and information on the treatment, storage, and disposal of the waste or recyclable material when they reach their final destination.

The document is made up of three separate parts – Part A, B and C. Part A contains shipping details, Part B contains carrier information, and Part C contains receiving information. It is intended to make it easier for all parties involved in the movement to meet the necessary completion and distribution requirements. The MD is found in Schedule 4 of the XBR).

11.2 When must a Movement Document be used

The Basel Convention and the Canada-USA Agreement require that the waste or material be accompanied by a MD from the time it is shipped to the time it is received.

The MD serves the needs of both the federal, provincial and territorial governments with respect to the tracking of HW and HRM.

Requirements for the distribution of copies of the MD may differ among various provincial and territorial jurisdictions. For example, some require an original, signed MD, while for others a copy is sufficient.

MDs may also be required by some jurisdictions for waste other than HW and HRM. Exporters, importers, and carriers are encouraged to contact the appropriate jurisdictions to determine provincial and territorial requirements.

11.3 Responsibilities associated with the Movement Document

The permit holder is responsible for ensuring that copies of the MD are properly completed and distributed to the foreign receiver/exporter, to the appropriate authorities (ECCC and the province or territory of origin) and to the authorized carrier.

The permit holder is responsible to enter MDs in CNMTS.

12 Confirmation of disposal or recycling

The receiving facility is responsible for its disposal or recycling. Canada’s international obligations specify the time frame within which this operation must take place, according to the type of operation.

12.1 Interim disposal or recycling operations

Interim disposal or recycling operations that may take place prior to final disposal or recycling include:

The receiving facility (could alternatively be referred to as the “transfer station”) must complete the operation within a period of 180 days after the day on which the shipment is delivered to it (or within a shorter period if required by the competent authority).

12.2 Final disposal or recycling operations

All other disposal or recycling operations (including those made following interim disposal or recycling) must be completed by the receiving facility within 1 year or by the authorized facility within 18 months after the day of delivery to the receiving facility.

If the authority of the jurisdiction requires that the hazardous waste or material be disposed of or recycled within a shorter period of time, the authorized facility must comply with this requirement.

12.3 Confirmation of disposal or recycling

Within 30 days after the completion of the disposal or recycling operation, confirmation of disposal or recycling must be submitted in CNMTS for each applicable wastes. For more information on how to submit a Confirmation of Disposal or Recycling, refer to the CNMTS user guide.

13 Pre-consented facilities

A pre-consented facility is one that has been approved in advance by the competent government authority to receive shipments of certain types of waste destined for recycling.

Canadian facilities can contact notification@ec.gc.ca to get more information and may apply for preapproval by submitting the following information (outlined in OECD Decision C(2001)107/Final) to ECCC’s WRMD:

This and any additional information required will be forwarded to the province in which the facility is located. The province may then grant approval for the facility to receive a certain quantity of a specific recyclable material over a given period of time. The same mechanism exists under the XBR.

No export or import to a pre-approved facility may begin until a permit has been issued by the Minister.

14 Waste export reductions plans

Subsection 188(1) of CEPA provides the Minister with the authority to request an exporter or class of exporters of a type of HW for final disposal to submit and implement a plan for the purpose of reducing or phasing out the export of the waste.

Subsection 191(g) of CEPA takes into account the proximity or benefit of using the nearest appropriate disposal facility, and the increased production of goods responsible for generating the HW for disposal. The XBR define the information to be included in such plans as follows:

  1. information with respect to the HW to which the plan applies, namely
    • the International Waste Identification Code (IWIC)
    • the applicable code set out in List A of Annex VIII to the Basel Convention
    • the identification number set out in column 1 of Schedule 3, 4 or 7
    • information set out in the applicable schedules to the Transportation of TDGR namely
      • the applicable United Nations (UN) number, set out in column 1 of Schedule 1 or column 5 of Schedule 3
      • the applicable class, set out in column 3 of Schedule 1 or the primary class, set out in column 4 of Schedule 3
      • the applicable packing group and category, set out in column 4 of Schedule 1
  2. the name, quantity, and concentration of any Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP) set out in Schedule 5 that is contained in the HW referred to in the plan
  3. if the exporter generates the HW referred to in the plan, the name and a description of the process that generated the waste, and the activity in which that process is used
  4. the origin of the HW, if the exporter does not generate the waste referred to in the plan
  5. the quantity of HW exported at the start of the implementation of the plan and the quantity of export reduction to be achieved at each stage of the plan
  6. a description of the manner in which the exporter will reduce or phase out exports of the HW referred to in the plan
  7. the options considered for reducing or phasing out the export of the HW referred to in the plan, including options for disposing of or recycling it in Canada
  8. the stages of the plan and a schedule for implementing the plan
  9. for each stage of the plan, an estimate of the quantity of goods produced that generates the HW to which the plan applies, and a description of the impact of any changes to the quantity produced on the reduction or phasing out of exports of that waste

15 Refusal to issue a permit

In accordance with Part 7, Division 8 of CEPA, the Minister may refuse to issue a permit to import, export, or transit HW or HRM if the Minister is of the opinion that the waste or material will not be managed in a manner that protects the environment and human health.

The XBR set out the criteria under which the Minister would make this determination.

16 Permit of equivalent level of environmental safety

Under section 190 of the CEPA, 1999, the Minister has the authority to issue a permit of equivalent level of environmental safety (PELES).  Such a permit can authorize an activity to be conducted in a manner that does not comply with the requirements of division 8, part 7 of CEPA regarding the control and movement of HW and HRM.

To issue this type of permit, the Minister must be satisfied that the proposed activities provide a level of environmental safety that is at least equivalent to that provided by complying with the requirements of division 8 of CEPA. Such a variance from the regulations under specific conditions must be consistent with Canada’s international obligations and will be issued on a case-by-case basis.

To apply for a PELES

Please visit our website for guidance on how to apply.

To obtain a copy of a PELES

Current PELES are displayed on our website at the address above. Should you request a copy of a specific PELES, please write to the Minister at the following address: notification@ec.gc.ca.

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