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Reply to Comments Received in Submissions on the Proposed Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations

Comments and Reply: Returns and Reroutements

A number of comments were received by both industry and association stakeholders with respect to the return provisions set out in the proposed Regulations.

Notification

A provincial stakeholder provided the following comment:

The conditions of export and import allow 90 to undertake the return. By making this requirement applicable to within 90 days of the Minister being advised, are you not advocating not advising the Minister as a means to buy more time to deal with a problem waste. Would better protection not be given by changing this to within 90 days of the waste/recyclable having been refused access to the intended destination instead of 90 days of advising the Minister?

Response: Both the Basel Convention and the OECD Decision set out consistent conditions with respect to returns. In both cases, once the competent authority has been notified of the inability to undertake the intended waste disposal or recycling of material, the return must occur within 90 days.

An association stakeholder provided the following comment.

In the case of a return, section 16 requires the importer that refuses the wastes or recyclables to notify in accordance with s.185(1) of CEPA, 99. This situation is abnormal since the importer is not the generator. The return should be notified only through a letter, which is the case in the current regime.

Response: Part 7, Division 8, of CEPA 1999 provides the authority to import, export, or convey in transit hazardous waste or hazardous recyclable material. In order to return such waste or recyclable material and meet the requirements of CEPA 1999, a new export or import permit must be obtained.

Conditions

Industry and association stakeholders provided the following comments with respect to the conditions of the returns.

The language of 16(1) is confusing; the importer should be called the original importer so as to differentiate between the original importer and the return importer. Similarly in clause 16(2) the text, for clarity should read "After an export permit is issued, the original importer must".

In the case of the refusal of materials by the importer, the proposed Regulations permit that the wastes or recyclables are to be rerouted to another facility in Canada or returned to the original exporter. To provide a larger degree of flexibility, the proposed Regulations should also allow that wastes or recyclables may be returned to another facility in a country other than Canada, which is actually the case. In certain cases, refused wastes are returned to a different facility in the U.S. rather than the facility from which they were exported, which will no longer be allowed in the proposed Regulations.

According to the proposed Regulations, we may return refused wastes to the authorized facility, once we have received confirmation from the Minister. Will this confirmation be for each return to the same facility or will we have a list mentioning all the authorized facilities? Currently, we get a letter for specific consent to do so.

Is the intent that the authorized carrier on the original import approval must also be the authorized carrier for the return export? It is unreasonable to assume that the authorized carrier for the import will be either available or permitted to carry the rejected waste depending on the reasons for rejection. The text should read "return the hazardous waste or hazardous recyclable material to the facility from which it was originally imported, using the authorized carriers named on the new export permit;"

In many instances of returns, a different border crossing may be used. It will be impossible to use the same border crossing in the case of a return.

With respect to 16(1)(d) the quantity returned does not specify if pounds or kilograms are the units.

Response: Provisions in the proposed Regulations are intended to facilitate returns of waste or recyclable material to the exporting country and the original foreign exporter or Canada and the original exporter, as required under Canada's international agreements. A simplified procedure for obtaining a new permit to re-export or re-import has been incorporated into the proposed Regulations, given that contracts and consent already exist between the original parties. If a waste or recyclable material is to be returned to a facility that is not the original exporter, or a facility outside Canada, a new notification and contract must be submitted to Environment Canada and a new permit obtained.

Once the notification to return a waste or recyclable material has been approved by the Minister, a permit will be issued for the re-export or re-import of the return to the authorized facility named in the permit.

Environment Canada agrees that a return of waste or recyclable material may require the use of new carriers or alternative border crossings that were not listed on the original export or import permit. As such, the proposed Regulations allow additional carriers and border crossings to be included in the notification for the return. The jurisdictional authorities must grant consent that the new carriers are authorized before a new export or import permit will be issued.

The quantity of waste or material to be returned must be reported in the same units of measure as they were in the original export or import permit.

Environment Canada will consider further clarification through compliance-promotion material.

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