Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations - User Guide: chapter 2


2.1 What is the purpose of the Regulations?

The purpose of the Regulations is to:

  • ensure that hazardous waste and hazardous recyclable material that are transported across Canadian international borders (to be exported, imported, or to transit through Canada) are managed appropriately to protect the environment and human health, and
  • implement Canada’s international obligations with respect to the transboundary movement of hazardous waste and hazardous recyclable material.

The Regulations set out the conditions for the export, import, and transit of hazardous waste and hazardous recyclable material shipped across the Canadian border. This helps to ensure that shipments of waste and recyclable material entering into, leaving, or passing through Canada can be controlled and tracked by Environment and Climate Change Canada, in collaboration with other government agencies.

The Regulations 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 may also have different definitions for what they consider to be hazardous waste or hazardous recyclable material. Anyone who arranges the shipment of any type of waste or recyclable material should first verify if it is considered to be hazardous in Canada. With respect to exports, imports or transits through Canada please consult the Guide to Classification for more information. Also, in situations where the waste or recyclable material may be exported, one should determine if the countries to which the waste or recyclable material will be exported and through which the waste or recyclable material will transit have national laws that in any way prohibit, restrict, or control the import or transit of the waste or material. Again, please consult the Guide to Classification for more information.

2.2 How do the Regulations and CEPA work together?

CEPA  provides the authority to enact regulations governing the export, import, and transit of hazardous waste and hazardous recyclable material. It also includes a number of provisions for the transboundary movement of hazardous waste and hazardous recyclable material. The provisions under CEPA and those in the Regulations need to be read and applied together as a whole in order to ensure compliance.

The Regulations are administered by the Waste Reduction and Management Division (WRMD) of Environment and Climate Change Canada:

Waste Reduction and Management Division
Environment and Climate Change Canada
Place Vincent Massey
351 St-Joseph, 9th Floor
Gatineau QC K1A 0H3
ec.notification.ec@canada.ca

2.3 What are the main requirements set out in the Act and the Regulations for exports, imports and transits of hazardous waste and hazardous recyclable material?

Section 185 of CEPA requires that anyone who exports, imports or conveys hazardous waste or hazardous recyclable material 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, a transit through Canada, or a transit through a country other than Canada.

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

  • the nature and quantity of the hazardous waste or hazardous recyclable material involved,
  • the addresses and sites of the exporters, importers, and carriers,
  • the proposed disposal or recycling operations for the hazardous waste or hazardous recyclable material,
  • written contracts between the exporters and importers, and
  • insurance coverage information.

Once all of the notification requirements set out in the Regulations are met, Environment and Climate Change Canada notifies the 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,  Environment and Climate Change Canada will issue the requested permit.

Every shipment of hazardous waste or hazardous recyclable material must be accompanied by a copy of the movement document and permit (and any other relevant documents), and must be shipped according to the requirements set out in both the Regulations and the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDGR). The appropriate documents must also be provided to the Canada Border Services Agency.

The Canadian importer or Canadian exporter of the hazardous waste or hazardous recyclable material must return a completed copy of the movement document to Environment and Climate Change Canada within three working days of the delivery of a shipment. The disposal or recycling must take place within the time specified in the Regulations, and the Canadian importer or Canadian exporter must, within 30 days of this operation, provide Environment and Climate Change Canada with a written, dated and signed confirmation indicating that it has been completed in accordance with the permit and in a manner that protects to environment and human health.

Timeline Requirements
Informing ECCC of delivery of shipment within 3 working days after delivery
Completing the disposal or recycling operation within timeline specified in the Regulations
Providing ECCC with a confirmation of the completion of the disposal or recycling operation within 30 days after completion of the operation

The regulations 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 waste or recyclable material 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.

2.4 How are the Regulations set up?

The Regulations are divided into six parts:

  • Part I - general provisions regarding the notice
  • Part II - conditions for exports
  • Part III - conditions for imports
  • Part IV - conditions for transits
  • Part V - conditions for returns
  • Part VI - miscellaneous matters

Ten schedules form part of the Regulations:

  • Schedule 1 - Disposal Operations for Hazardous Waste
  • Schedule 2 - Recycling Operations for Hazardous Recyclable Material
  • Schedule 3 - Hazardous Wastes and Hazardous Recyclable Materials
  • Schedule 4
    • Part 1 - Hazardous Wastes and Hazardous Recyclable Materials from Non-Specific Sources
    • Part 2 - Hazardous Wastes and Hazardous Recyclable Materials from Specific Sources
  • Schedule 5 - Environmentally Hazardous Substances
  • Schedule 6 - Hazardous Constituents Controlled under Leachate Test and Regulated Limits
  • Schedule 7
    • Part 1 - Acute Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Chemicals
    • Part 2 - Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Chemicals
  • Schedule 8 - Excluded Materials
  • Schedule 9 - Movement Document
  • Schedule 10 - Persistent Organic Pollutants

Schedules 1 and 2 specify the disposal and recycling operations that are subject to the Regulations. 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.

Schedules 3, 4, and 7 are lists of hazardous wastes and hazardous recyclable materials that are subject to the Regulations. The identification numbers must be provided as part of the notification under the Regulations.

Schedules 5 and 6 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 Regulations.

Schedule 10 lists the names of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and the triggers for the declaration of POPs within a hazardous waste or hazardous recyclable material.Footnote1

2.5 Who is subject to the Regulations?

The Regulations apply to all individuals and corporations involved in some aspect of the import, export, or transit of hazardous waste or hazardous recyclable material in Canada. The Regulations define the responsibilities of exporters, importers, carriers and disposal and recycling facilities.

2.6 Which authorities are involved?

The Regulations are administered by Environment and Climate Change Canada. The competent authority for all Canadian imports, exports, and transits is the Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Waste Reduction and Management Division, which is also the contact point for the competent authorities in other countries. Canadian companies wishing to import or export hazardous waste or hazardous recyclable material do not need to contact the provincial and foreign authorities directly during the notification process; rather, Environment and Climate Change Canada will contact provincial and foreign authorities and forward the response to the notifier.

The role of Environment and Climate Change Canada includes:

  • developing the Regulations and any subsequent amendments,
  • processing all export, import, and transit notices and accompanying documents,
  • corresponding with the authorities in the provinces or territories and in foreign countries where the waste will be sent for recycling or disposal to get responses (consent or refusal),
  • issuing permits to export, import, or transit, and
  • enforcing regulatory compliance.

Two other federal agencies are involved in the compliance and administration of the Regulations. One is Transport Canada, since most shipments are also subject to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations; the other is the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), which helps to control hazardous waste and hazardous recyclable material crossing the border by verifying that the proper documents accompany each shipment.

The shipments of hazardous waste or hazardous recyclable material 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 on the waste or recyclable material a particular disposal or recycling operation. The provinces and territories may also have their own environmental legislation relating to the transportation of dangerous goods and waste management, including recyclables.

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