1. As of October 21, 2016, according to the Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material Regulations (EIHWHRMR), waste and recyclable material being exported for disposal or recycling are considered hazardous waste or hazardous recyclable material if:
- they are defined as, or considered to be, “hazardous” under the legislation of the importing country or that of a transit country;
- their importation is prohibited under the legislation of the importing country; or
- they are one of the “hazardous wastes” or “other wastes” in the Basel Convention, and the importing country is a party to the Basel Convention.
2. As a result, metals, plastics, paper, and other household-generated wastes may now, under certain circumstances, be defined as hazardous waste or hazardous recyclable material under the EIHWHRMR, when exported overseas for recycling or disposal purposes. If the contents of a shipment triggers the definition, a permit, issued by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), would be required before the shipment leaves Canada.
3. China has recently taken steps to restrict imports of waste and undesired scrap materials.
4. On January 1, 2018, China amended the Catalogue of Solid Wastes Forbidden to Import into China to include some mixed or unsorted scrap paper, cardboard, some specified scrap plastics, and unsorted loads of scrap plastic, and other materials including scrap metal, vanadium slag and used or scrap textiles. See below examples of newly added commodities into the Catalogue of prohibited imports (without being exhaustive):
- Waste and scrap of ethylene polymer
- Aluminum - plastic composite film
- Styrene scrap
- Waste and scrap of vinyl chloride polymer
- Plastic waste scrap and scrap, not including waste plastic beverage bottles
- Waste plastic drink bottles
- Other plastic waste scrap and scrap, not including scrap disc broken material
- Scrap disc broken material
- Smelting steel produced by vanadium scum, slag, vanadium pentoxide content> 20% (except smelting steel produced by the granular slag)
- Other smelting steel produced by vanadium scum, slag (except smelting steel produced by the granular slag)
- Slag, ore ash and residue containing other metals and their compounds, vanadium pentoxide> 20% (except for smelting steel)
- 10% <vanadium pentoxide ≤ 20% (except for smelting steel) containing slag, ore ash and residue containing other metals and their compounds
- Other recycled paper or cardboard (including unselected waste)
- Other animal fine wool waste (including waste yarn, excluding recycled fiber)
- Other animal coarse waste (including waste yarn, excluding recycled fiber)
- Other animal fine hair or coarse hair recycling fiber
- Waste cotton yarn (including waste cotton)
- Recycled fiber of cotton
- Other waste cotton
- Synthetic fiber waste (including falling cotton, waste yarn and recycled fiber)
- Man-made fiber waste (including falling cotton, waste yarn and recycled fiber)
- New or unused textile materials, etc. (new or unused, including waste lines, ropes, cables, cables and their products)
- New or unused textile materials, etc. (new or unused, including waste lines, ropes, cable
Note: Canada is seeking clarification from China on the amended list, as the list is very broad. Additionally, China has indicated that it will be tightening up the quality control specifications on many other scrap materials, such as acceptable levels of contaminants
5. This means that, if a shipment contains waste and recyclable materials subject to China’s import prohibition, the materials will be considered hazardous under the EIHWHRMR and are not allowed to be imported into China from Canada without an export permit issued by ECCC.
6. Shipments that proceed without proper permits will be considered unlawful exports. This means that, the exporter will be required to make all necessary arrangements to return the shipment to Canada or to an alternative destination and could be prosecuted under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999for violation of the provisions of the Act and the EIHWHRMR.
7. Please note that the changes to the Catalogue of Solid Wastes of China will not have any impact on exports to USA.
- A consolidated version of the EIHWHRMR is available on Justice Canada’s Web site at http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-2005-149/
- Memorandum D19-7-3 Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material
- More information on how to comply with the EIHWHRMR is available at https://goo.gl/3xzPq2
- ECCC will issue updates as new information on China’s prohibition becomes available. Additional information on managing and reducing waste is available at the Environment and Climate Change Canada Web site https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/managing-reducing-waste.html
- ECCC contact information:
Waste Reduction and Management Division
Environmental Protection Branch
Environment and Climate Change Canada
351 St-Joseph Blvd, 9th floor
Gatineau (Quebec) K1A 0H3
- Date modified: