Help the Government of Canada organize its website!
Complete an anonymous 5-minute questionnaire. Start now.
PCB Labelling, Reporting and Records
Objectives of the PCB Regulations
Labelling Equipment and Containers
Labels for Cables and Pipelines in Use
Labels for Dismantled Cables and Pipelines
Storage Labelling Requirements
Transfer Site and Destruction Site Labelling Requirements
Retention of Labels
Other Obligations under the PCB Regulations
In case of discrepancy between this fact sheet and the Regulations, the Regulations will prevail.
Objectives of the PCB Regulations
The PCB Regulations (SOR/2008-273) came into force on September 5, 2008 and were amended by the Regulations Amending the PCB Regulations (SOR/2010-57) which came into force March 11, 2010. The PCB Regulations and its subsequent amendments are consolidated and published by the Minister of Justice. In this information sheet the term "Regulations" refers to the Consolidated PCB Regulations including all amendments to the original Regulations.The purpose of these Regulations is to improve the protection of Canada's environment and the health of Canadians by minimizing the risks posed by the use, storage and release of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and by accelerating the elimination of these substances. The Regulations set specific labelling, reporting and record-keeping requirements as listed below.
Labelling Equipment and Containers (part 4, sections 29–32)
Labels are required for the following equipment and containers of liquids in use. Labels can be affixed at any time but no later than 30 days after the equipment or liquid ceases to be used:
- Equipment in use containing 500 mg/kg or more of PCBs and subject to the December 31, 2009 end-of-use deadline
- Equipment in use containing 50 mg/kg or more but less than 500 mg/ kg of PCBs at prescribed1 locations and subject to the December 31, 2009 end-of-use deadline
- Equipment in use containing 50 mg/kg or more but less than 500 mg/kg of PCBs and subject to the December 31, 2025 end-of-use deadline
- Liquids containing 500 mg/kg or more of PCBs used to service equipment and subject to the December 31, 2009 end-of-use deadline
Specific labels are required on equipment for which an extension has been applied for under section 17. These labels must state a unique identification number for the equipment as assigned by the owner.
Labels for all equipment and containers, except capacitors, must measure at least 150 mm by 150 mm. Labels must state "ATTENTION: Contains 50 mg/kg or more of PCBs / contient 50 mg/kg ou plus de BPC," in black lettering on a white background, in a font no smaller than 36 points. Labels for capacitors must measure at least 76 mm by 76 mm. See Figure 1.
Figure 1: Subsection 29(4) labelling requirements
* The unique identification number applies only to equipment or a container in use for which an extension is granted.
Labels for Cables and Pipelines in Use (part 4, subsection 30(1))
Labels are required in a readily visible location on accessible parts of the cable, pipeline or associated equipment; or a notice shall be placed at the entrance of the room, tunnel or facility and must measure at least 150 mm by 150 mm. See Figure 1.
Labels for Dismantled Cables and Pipelines (part 4, subsection 30(2))
If a part of a cable, pipeline or associated equipment is dismantled, a label must be affixed on each dismantled part no later than 30 days after the day on which it is dismantled.
Storage Labelling Requirements (part 4, section 31)
A label is required on any stored product containing 50 mg/kg or more of PCBs that conforms to the requirements of subsection 29(4). This label must read "Date of Commencement of Storage" and include the date on which the storage began. See Figure 2.
Figure 2: Storage label for all equipment and containers in storage
Transfer Site and Destruction Site Labelling Requirements (part 4, subsections 31(2) and (3))
Labels as shown in Figure 1 shall be affixed in a readily visible location on any container that is a fixed tank and used at the facility for the storage of PCBs or products containing PCBs in a concentration of 50 mg/kg or more.
In addition, a notice as shown in Figure 1 shall be placed in a readily visible location near the entrance of the transfer or destruction facility.
Exceptions (part 4, paragraph 29(3)(a) and subsection 31(4))
Labels are not required for equipment in use that is too small, including light ballasts, until the day the equipment ceases to be used and is placed in a container that bears a label. The owner of the equipment that is stored shall affix in a readily visible location a label on the container in which this equipment is being stored.
Equipment in use or in storage that already bears a label on the day the Regulations came into effect (September 5, 2008) that indicated the presence of PCBs does not need to be relabelled. However, the statement "Date of Commencement of Storage/Date de début de stockage" and the date on which the storage began must be added to existing labels.
Retention of Labels (part 4, section 32)
The person who is required to affix a label shall ensure the product or container bears that label for the duration that the person possesses the product or container.
Reporting Requirements (part 4, sections 33–42)
Details of the reporting requirements are outlined in sections 33–42 of the Regulations. Note that there are different annual reporting requirements based on the type of PCB, permitted activity and/or releases into the environment. Reports shall be submitted electronically unless no such format is provided.
Annual reporting is required on or before March 31 each year beginning March 31, 2009, for the following:
- End-of-use equipment and liquids and solids containing 500 mg/kg or more of PCBs and subject to the December 31, 2009 deadline
- End-of-use equipment and liquids and solids containing 50 to 500 mg/kg of PCBs in prescribed locations subject to the December 31, 2009 deadline
- Liquids for servicing equipment containing 500 mg/kg or more of PCBs subject to the December 31, 2009 deadline
- Extension of end-of-use subject to the December 31, 2014 deadline
- Colouring pigment manufacturers, exporters or importers
- Manufacturers of solid products containing PCBs
- PCB storage sites
- Transfer sites
- Destruction facilities
Period reported on: previous calendar year (January 1 to December 31 of each year).
Annual reporting for end-of-use equipment subject to the 2025 deadline is required on or before the following deadlines (subsection 39(2)):
March 31, 2010 – period covered from September 5, 2008 to December 31, 2009
March 31, 2014 – for the years 2010 to 2013
March 31, 2018 – for the years 2014 to 2017
March 31, 2022 – for the years 2018 to 2021
March 31, 2026 – for the years 2022 to 2025
March 31, 2027* – for 2026
March 31, 2030* – for the years 2027 to 2029
Applies to light ballasts and pole-top electrical transformers and their pole-top auxiliary electrical equipment.
* Reporting in 2027 and 2030 to track storage and destruction of PCBs removed from service by December 31, 2025.
Releases into the Environment
Written report sent to:
Manager of Inspection Program, Environmental Enforcement Division, Enforcement Branch of the Department of the Environment in the region where the release occurs.
Submission deadline: As soon as possible, Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, (CEPA 1999) section 95.
Record Keeping (part 4, sections 43–45)
Who is required to maintain records?
The owner of PCBs or products containing PCBs, including the owner of equipment for which an extension has been granted; the person engaged in the manufacture, processing, use, sale, offer for sale, storage, import or export of PCBs or products containing PCBs; and the owner or operator of a PCB storage site.
What records need to be maintained?
Records demonstrating due diligence that activities are conducted in accordance with CEPA 1999 and the PCB Regulations:
- records of all inspections listing all inspected items and describing deficiencies, measures taken to remedy deficiencies, dates of inspections and names of inspectors
- records of all inspections conducted on the equipment for which an extension of the end-of-use date has been granted
The person(s) required to maintain these records shall do so by retaining the PCB records at their principal place of business in Canada or at the place they conduct the activity for at least five years after the destruction of the PCBs.
Other Obligations under the PCB Regulations
Persons who own, control or possess PCBs or products containing PCBs have other obligations under the new Regulations. To learn more about these obligations, you can refer to other Environment Canada information sheets, or you can consult the Regulations online.
Or you can consult the Consolidated Regulations on the Department of Justice website.
1 Prescribed locations (subparagraph 16(1)(b)(i)) means a drinking water treatment plant, food or feed processing plant, child care facility, preschool, primary school, secondary school, hospital, or senior citizens' care facility, or the property on which such a plant or facility is located, and an area within 100 metres of such plant or facility.
- Date Modified: