The Regulation respecting the recovery and reclamation of
products by enterprises will come into force in Québec on
July 14, 2011. It requires certain marketing or supplying
enterprises to account for the recovery and reclamation of products
listed in the Regulation. The Regulation applies to enterprises
that market a regulated product in Québec or generally act
as the first supplier. The Regulation also applies to an
enterprise, including a municipality, who acquires from outside
Québec a product covered by the Regulation for its own use,
or manufactures such a product.
The Regulation puts into action one of the principles advocated
by the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks
(the MSDEP) regarding the management of residual
materials, namely the responsibility of producers. The intended end
result is that the "environmental cost" of a product,
including the cost of managing it at the end of its useful life, is
internalized in the price of the product.
The MSDEP estimates that the costs associated with compliance
will reach $70.9 million per year, including $47.9 million for
electronic products only, generating an average 1.9% increase on
the cost of targeted products.
The products subject to the Regulation fit into 5
Electronic products, including desktop and laptop computers
their accessories, television sets, printers, scanners,
photocopiers, telephones (including cellular telephones), answering
machines, video game consoles, digital cameras, GPS, routers,
memory cards, hard drives, e-books and wireless devices;
Batteries, including rechargeable batteries, but excluding
certain specific batteries;
Mercury lamps, including fluorescent tubes and compact
Paint and paint containers, including varnishes and masonry
Oils, coolants and antifreeze, including their filters and
Enterprises that market a product which is comprised, in part,
of a regulated product (for example, a battery included in a toy)
must also recover and reclaim the component.
Paints and oils were already subject to the Regulation
respecting the recovery and reclamation of discarded paint
containers and the Regulation respecting the recovery and
reclamation of used oils, oil or fluid containers and used filters,
respectively. These regulations will be revoked by the new
Regulation, but will continue to apply to enterprises that
implemented recovery and reclamation programs under the previous
regulations, until 2013.
The Regulation provides that reports regarding the performance
of the recovery and reclamation program must be submitted yearly to
the MSDEP. Such reports must be subject to an audit by a third
party licensed to practice public accounting. Records must also be
kept, for every type of product covered by the Regulation, for a
period of 10 years.
Enterprises that fail to meet the recovery and reclamation
objectives set in the Regulation will be obligated to make a
consequential payment to the Green Fund. Examples of recovery
objectives are (for 2015):
40% recovery for desktops and laptops, such percentage to
increase to 65% in 2020;
25% recovery for cellular phones, such percentage to increase
to 65% in 2023;
20% recovery for single-use batteries, such percentage to
increase to 65% in 2024; and
40% recovery for fluorescent tubes, such percentage to increase
to 80% in 2023.
It is expected that some enterprises subject to the Regulation
will achieve compliance, in part, through membership in an
organization which implements a recovery and reclamation system.
However, a number of obligations will continue to apply,
notwithstanding such a membership.
The recovery and reclamation system must be implemented at a
date ranging between July, 2012 and July, 2013, depending on the
product. The paints and oils categories, already subject to
recovery and reclamation requirements, are subject to the
Regulation from the date of its coming into force.
Violation of the Regulation is punishable by a fine ranging
between $1,000 and $25,000 for a natural person, and $2,000 and
$250,000 for a legal person.
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