The federal government of Canada just enacted the Cross-border Movement of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations in February 2021. This was established under the Environmental Violations Administrative Monetary Penalties Act, Canada Shipping Act, the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. 

What does this mean for Canadian importers? We’ll take a closer look with the help of a McMillan LLP report, a North American law firm specializing in many major business sectors.

Read on to learn more about these requirements.

This requirement replaces 3 regulations under the CEPA. These include:

  • the Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations,
  • the PCB Waste Export Regulations from 1996
  • and the Interprovincial Movement of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations.

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Why were these regulations combined in favor of the Cross-border Movement of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations?

As McMillan explains:

“While the majority of current permitting and movement-tracking requirements will be maintained, the Regulations are intended to provide greater clarity and consistency with respect to these regulatory requirements. The Regulations consolidate the requirements for the import and export of hazardous waste and hazardous recyclable material for both interprovincial and international movement.”

It’s important to keep in mind that most of the goods movement (import/export) tracking and permitting requirements are maintained and must still be complied with. The new regulations are focused on bringing a more streamlined approach to the export and import of hazardous recyclable material or waste.

The regulations also change the current permitting process and they remove any inconsistency with terminology. The main focus is to address the lack of flexibility when it comes to shifting to an electronic movement system.

What changes are made to the current requirements?

First, there are changes to the permitting process. The maximum permit duration will increase from 1 year to 3 years, when it comes to transporting hazardous recyclable material — which is an important part of many businesses’ supply chain processes.

The regulations will also include the conditions that are leading to the permit being refused, suspended or revoked, depending on the situation.

Also, the regulations will show distinguishing between the permits for import, export, transit through or a return to Canada, a return to the foreign country and so on.

The next change is in regards to the implementation of the electronic movement tracking system. The focus is to transfer from paper tracking to electric movement, so shipments can be followed more efficiently by CSBA and by the importer themselves if needed.

There’s also a change to the definition of the hazardous recyclable material and hazardous waste. There are also new definitions for the applications of UN numbers, batteries used, mercury, electronic and electrical equipment or residual quantities and toxicity characteristic leaching procedure.

Other changes related to the waste containing PCBs. Any provisions related to this will be integrated into the hazardous recyclable material or hazardous waste provisions. Any of the current prohibitions regarding the waste with PCB concentration of 50 mg/kg will end up removed. Now the export of waste with PCBs is permitted if the conditions are met and there is a permit under the regulations. 

Making these changes is very important because there was a lot of confusion regarding the processing, transportation, importing and exporting of hazardous waste in Canada. These modified requirements will hopefully put those issues to bed, and it will be a lot easier to focus on delivering a better and more efficient, highly reputable system. And improving the bottom line of your business!

To stay informed on the various rules and regulations that may apply to your imported goods, or if you are unsure as to whether your goods are considered “hazardous,” it’s critical that you connect with a qualified customs broker. Click here to start the conversation.