Skip booklet index and go to page content

Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations - Guide to Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Classification


The Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations (hereafter referred to as the Regulations) adopted under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA), regulate hazardous waste and hazardous recyclable materials transported across international borders (as exports from , imports into, or transits through, Canada). The Regulations are the mechanism by which Canada implements its international obligations under the Basel Convention, the Canada-US Agreement on the Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Waste and relevant decisions of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The Regulations specify what is considered to be "hazardous waste" and "hazardous recyclable material", for the purpose of CEPA and the Regulations, and establish a permitting regime to control and track their transboundary movements between Canada and other countries. It is through this permitting process that Canada obtains consent from foreign importing and transit countries and provides consent for imports into Canada.

1.1 Purpose of this Guide to Classification

The Guide to Classification is a companion document to the Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations User Guide (also referred to as EIHWHRMR User Guide). Readers should have familiarized themselves with the Regulations by first reading the EIHWHRMR User Guide. Familiarity with the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDGR) administered by Transport Canada is also needed to fully understand some of the information provided in this guide. The Classification Guide is intended to provide practical advice to help determine if waste or recyclable material is subject to the Regulations, and to classify hazardous waste or hazardous recyclable material by selecting the codes that describe the waste or recyclable material for the purposes of notification (using the electronic system or administrative form) and movement tracking. However, should there be any discrepancy between this guide and the Regulations, the Regulations take precedence.

1.2 Approach to Classification

The basic approach relies on lists and hazard criteria. The lists are not intended to be comprehensive and therefore the list and hazard criteria are complementary. The hazard criteria, that include tests such as the Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure, are needed to characterize the hazards of wastes and recyclable materials that are not specifically listed.

1.3 Use of this Guide

This guide contains the following seven sections:

  1. Introduction
  2. What is Hazardous Waste under the Regulations?
  3. What is Hazardous Recyclable Material under the Regulations?
  4. Classifying Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material using Codes Required under the Regulations
  5. Classification Examples
  6. Sources of Additional Information
  7. Appendices

The appendices in this guide contain tables used in the classification of hazardous wastes and hazardous recyclable materials that are not directly found in the Regulations but are referenced in it (e.g., relevant lists and schedules from the OECD decisions and annexes to the Basel Convention). In some cases where it was not practical to provide a table (for example, the listing of all HS Codes would result in a large table), the appropriate reference is provided.

The Guide is intended for use by individuals who have some familiarity with the TDGR; however, it does not provide guidance on complying with the classification, placarding, or labeling requirements of the TDGR.

Date modified: