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ARCHIVED - A Guidance Document for Distinguishing Waste, Recyclable Materials and Products for Regulations Under CEPA 1999

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background

The Export and Import of Hazardous Waste Regulations (EIHWR) were put in place in 1992, under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, to control transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and hazardous recyclable materials in accordance with Canada's international obligations. On March 31, 2000, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999) came into force, and the EIHWR were maintained in force under CEPA 1999. CEPA 1999 provided expanded authority to control interprovincial/interterritorial movement of hazardous wastes and hazardous recyclable material.

Any waste or recyclable material that is deemed "hazardous" as per the criteria and lists referred to in the EIHWR and which is intended for export or import is subject to the EIHWR and requires notice before any transboundary movement can legally take place.

Classification of a substance or mixture is therefore an important stage prior to its transfer to a treatment or disposal facility. Because it is not within the authority of the EIHWR or the regulations on interprovincial/interterritorial movements of hazardous waste and hazardous recyclable materials (IMHWHRM) to control products, it is important to determine whether the substance or mixture is truly a waste, recyclable material or product. In addition, for the purposes of EIHWR, it is necessary to distinguish between wastes and recyclable materials as different levels of controls are applied.

However, it can be difficult to use regulatory definitions alone to make a clear distinction

  • between waste and recyclable materials, and
  • between recyclable materials and products.

Accordingly, there is a need for guidance as to how to determine whether a substance or mixture proposed for export or import is a "waste", "recyclable material" or "product". Armed with knowledge of the distinction, it is easier to determine whether or not the substance or mixture is subject to the EIHWR or the IMHWHRM.

1.2 Objectives and Scope

This document provides guidance in distinguishing wastes and recyclable material from products, for the purposes of the EIHWR or the IMHWHRM.

It is anticipated that the Guidance Document will be of use to waste management companies, importers and exporters and others who are in the business of exporting/importing wastes and recyclable materials subject to the EIHWR, as well as enforcement officers, customs officers, and stakeholders with an interest in environmental/health issues relevant to hazardous wastes and hazardous recyclable material.

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