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Guide to Classification


Purpose of this Guide

The Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations (EIHWHRMR) implement a system of prior informed consent and tracking for transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and hazardous recyclable materials. Sections 2 and 3 of the Regulations define hazardous wastes and hazardous recyclable materials, respectively.

This guide is intended to provide practical advice on how to interpret the definitions, determine if a waste or material is covered by the Regulations, and select the codes that describe the waste or material for the purposes of notification. In addition, it is intended to provide specific guidance in determining how to classify a hazardous waste or recyclable material when completing the notification/administrative form. However, should there be any discrepancy between this guide and the Regulations, the Regulations take precedence.

Approach to Classification

The approach to determining whether a waste or recyclable material is hazardous and subject to these Regulations is based in part on the work of the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) Hazardous Waste Task Group. A number of changes have been made to the approach to harmonize definitions across Canada and between Canada and the United States (US), and to remain consistent with Canada’s commitments under the Basel Convention 1 and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Decision 2.

The basic approach relies on both lists and hazard criteria. Some listed hazardous wastes and hazardous recyclable materials are deemed to be included under the Regulations. The listing approach is not intended to be comprehensive, and criteria and tests are also needed to characterize the hazards of wastes and recyclables that are not listed specifically.

Use of this Guide

This guide is presented in the following six parts:

  • Part 1 – Introduction
  • Part 2 – Classifying Hazardous Wastes
  • Part 3 – Classifying Hazardous Recyclable Material
  • Part 4 – Codes Required under the EIHWHRMR
  • Part 5 – Classification Examples
  • Part 6 – Sources of Additional Information

The remainder of the Guide contains tables of lists and definitions used in the classification of hazardous wastes and hazardous recyclable materials that are not found in the Regulations (i.e., relevant lists and schedules from the OECD decisions and the annex to the Basel Convention). In some cases where a list is excessively long (e.g., HS Codes) the appropriate reference is provided. A list of tables is provided on Page ii of this guide.

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

1 The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, which entered into force on May 5, 1992.

2 Decision C(2001) 107/Final of the OECD, “Decision of the Council Concerning the Revision of Decision C(92)39/FINAL on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Wastes Destined for Recovery Operations”, May 21, 2001.

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