Eligibility and permit process
Obtain and submit movement documents
Environment and Climate Change Canada
Who must apply
The Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations (EIHWHRMR) require anyone proposing to export or import a hazardous waste (HW) or hazardous recyclable material (HRM) to submit a notice which serves as an application for a permit from the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada. No shipment can proceed without a valid permit. Those proposing to use Canada as a country of transit for HW and HRM, or to ship Canadian HW and HRM between Canadian facilities via a foreign country are also subject to this requirement. The objectives of the Regulations are to:
- ensure that HW and HRM are managed appropriately to protect the environment and human health, and
- fulfill Canada’s international obligations regarding the international movement of HW and HRM
Import, export, and transit permits are issued when the countries involved are party to the Basel Convention, or the Canada-USA Agreement, or are subject to OECD Decision C(2001)107/Final, and there is no restriction under Canadian law or the laws of the countries of import, export, or transit, and authorities of all countries involved formally agree with the movement.
- own or operate the facility from or to which the HW or HRM will be shipped, OR
- buy or sell HRM for the purposes of recycling in Canada or another country that is party to the OECD Decision
These restrictions do not apply to applicants for Transit permits unless the origin and destination are both within Canada.
The e-Notification and Permitting system is the preferred method of providing notice and applying for a permit. The secure online system is accessible through Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Single Window web site, and enables you to submit applications, track the status of your submissions, and obtain permits online. Once you have set up your account, you are able to reuse information in future notices. e-Notification is not available for transits, re-routings, returns, and requests for amendments, which must be submitted via email, mail, registered mail, fax, or courier.
Permit applications must contain complete, accurate, and consistent information regarding the following:
- the description and quantity of the hazardous waste (HW) or hazardous recyclable material (HRM);
- the exporter, importer, and carriers involved;
- the facilities that will handle the HW or HRM;
- the type of disposal or recycling operations to be used; and
- insurance coverage
Applications must include any documents required by foreign countries (where applicable), and signed contracts between exporter(s) and importers(s) and authorized facilities. All documents must match the information provided in the application.
Once all notification requirements of the Regulations are met, Environment and Climate Change Canada notifies the competent authority in the foreign country(ies) or the provincial/territorial authority. If all authorities consent, Environment and Climate Change Canada will issue a permit. If any authorities object to the application, the application cannot proceed.
Between 2010 and 2016, the Waste Reduction and Management Division received an average of 2,167 permit applications per year, and tracked 37,250 shipments annually. The service standard commitment for processing applications is 60 days from date of receiving a complete and accurate application.
Other applications under these Regulations include:
- Request to amend permit
- Request to reroute shipment
- Request to return shipment
- Request for advanced approval of a facility
- Request for a permit of equivalent level of environmental safety (PELES)
Once a permit is issued, every shipment of hazardous waste or hazardous recyclable material must be accompanied by a copy of the permit, a completed movement document, and any other documents where required; and must be shipped according to the terms of the permit and Regulations. The Canada Border Services Agency will check for compliance before allowing hazardous waste or recyclables to pass through customs. Permit requirements are fulfilled only once confirmation of disposal or recycling is received from the importer.
The Department of National Defence (DND) is exempt from some requirements for importing hazardous waste and hazardous recyclable material.
What is “hazardous”
Before applying, confirm that your waste or recyclables are considered hazardous in Canada, and whether they are considered hazardous in the country of import, export, and transit. State on your application whether the country of import, export, or transit considers the waste or recyclables to be hazardous.
- Is your waste to be disposed using an operation listed on Schedule 1?
- Are your recyclables to be processed using an operation on Schedule 2?
If you answer YES to either question, use the following tests to determine whether your wastes and recyclables are defined or considered hazardous under Canadian law. If your item is found on Schedule 1 or 2, AND it meets any one of these criteria, you must apply for an export, import or transit permit.
- listed in column 2 of Schedule 3, or
- Class 2, 4, 5, 6, 8 or 9 under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations, or
- listed in column 2 of Schedule 4 and one of Classes 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 or 9 of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations, or
- listed in column 1 of Schedule 5 in a concentration at or greater than the limit shown in column 2, or
- produces a leachate containing a constituent listed in column 2 of Schedule 6 in a concentration at or greater than shown in column 3, or is
- listed in column 2 of Schedule 7, is pure or is the only active ingredient, and is unused
- Mercury wastes and recyclables are considered hazardous unless shipped in quantities less than 50 mL per shipment, unless they are identified as Class 6.2 under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations.
- Hazardous waste and hazardous recyclables exclude:
- goods exported, imported or shipped in transit in a quantity of less than 5 kg or 5 L per shipment
- goods collected from households in the normal course of regular municipal waste collection, and
- personal or household effects not resulting from commercial use
- is in a quantity of 25 kg or 25 L or less, and
- is exported or imported for conducting measurements, tests or research on the material, and
- is accompanied by a shipping document, as defined in section 1.4 of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations, that includes the words “test samples”, and
- does not contain an infectious substance as defined in section 1.4 of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations
- is set out in Schedule 8, and
- produces a leachate containing a constituent set out in column 2 of Schedule 6 in a concentration at or greater than shown in column 3, and
- is to be recycled at an authorized facility in the country of import using an operation listed in Schedule 2
Despite the above, a waste or recyclable is considered hazardous for export if it will be disposed of or processed using an operation listed in Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 and will be exported to or transit a country where:
- it is defined or considered to be hazardous
- its importation is prohibited by the country of import, or
- it is listed in Article 1, subparagraphs 1(a) or 2 of the Basel Convention
Information provided on this web site is in plain language and does not contain or supersede the detailed requirements of the regulations. It is important that you review and comply with the Export Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations (EIHWHRMR) and related regulations before initiating a shipment. Other legislation and regulations that may apply include:
- Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999
- Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDGR)
- Interprovincial Movement of Hazardous Wastes Regulations
- PCB Waste Exports Regulations
Contact the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission if your waste or recyclable is radioactive.
Contact Natural Resources Canada if your wastes or recyclable is explosive.
Biomedical waste can be imported and exported only the for purpose of disposal.
Periodically, notices and advisories are issued by Canada and its international partners. It is the responsibility of those making or receiving shipments of HW and HRM to monitor and be aware of any notices and advisories that apply.
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