As of September 21, 2020, the Government of Ontario has released the final regulation for Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE). Ultimately, this is important for retailers as they may be captured as a producer and have associated obligations for lighting and electronics like computers, TVs, headphones are more.
Under this new Individual Producer Responsibility (IPR) recycling regulation, brand holders, first importers or marketers of EEE are now required to take on the full cost to recycle their goods and must meet annual management requirements. The regulation also moves the oversight of EEE recycling obligations to the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (RPRA).
In contrast to the draft regulation released in 2019, the scope has been narrowed to information technology, telecommunications and audio visual equipment (ITT/AV) and lighting – small and large appliances are not included. For more information on the consultation process including initial government proposals and RCC’s advocacy positions, please see our previous EEE webpage.
Part 1 – Definitions defines ITT/AV and lighting as:
ITT/AV means EEE, of which the primary purpose is collecting, storing, processing, presenting or communicating information, including sounds and images, recording or reproducing sounds and images, including but not limited to the examples set out in section 1 of Schedule 1, but does not include equipment or products that fall into the category of lighting.
- For example: Computers, TVs, printers, display devices, video gaming devices, headphones, etc.
Lighting means EEE that has the primary purpose of producing light, such as a bulb, lamp, light emitting diode or tube, including but not limited to the examples set out in section 2 of Schedule 1, but does not include,
(a) lighting that is provided with another product or a fixture, or
(b) lighting that also falls into the category of ITT/AV.
The EEE regulation does not include:
- ITT/AV equipment weighing more than 250kg
- Small and large appliances
- Power tools
- Children’s toys
- Motor vehicles
- Textiles, clothing, furniture, etc. that contain EEE
With respect to EEE marketed to consumers in Ontario, a producer is defined as follows:
- Brand holder – resident in Canada
- First importer – resident in Ontario
- Marketer – resident in Ontario
- Marketer – not a resident in Ontario
The regulation also speaks to additional cases where there may be two or more brand holders, more than one item of EEE produced by different brand holders marketed in a single package, etc. See Section 5 – Producers, for more information.
Producer Agreements (Section 6)
After submitting initial information to RPRA, a producer can enter into written agreements with one or more other persons to allow them to carry out certain responsibilities on behalf of the producer. Responsibilities can include management, reporting, promotion and education, and more. For example, a retailer could choose to take on responsibilities for a brand holder, such as reporting, and have the ability to report directly to RPRA on behalf of the brand holder.
If the volunteer fails to fulfill responsibilities on behalf of the producer, the producer will be required to carry out responsibilities. Therefore, an agreement does not officially shift responsibilities away from the producer.
Volunteer organizations (Section 7)
A volunteer organization is a person who:
(a) is a brand holder who owns a brand that is used in respect of EEE;
(b) is not resident in Canada;
(c) has registered in the Registry; and
(d) has entered into a written agreement with a producer for the purpose of carrying out one or more producer responsibilities relating to EEE under section 20, 23, 24, and 25.
In some provinces/programs, there is a threshold or “de minimis” to exempt smaller producers from certain obligations to help reduce costs and administrative burdens. For the Ontario EEE Regulation, thresholds have been provided for both ITT/AV and lighting in Part II, Section 8.
Not including any reductions under Section 18 (e.g., reductions associated with recycled content), if a producer’s management requirement for a performance period is:
|Performance period||Exempt if average annual supply less than (Kg)|
|Performance period||Exempt if average annual supply less than (kg)|
Then that producer is exempt from certain obligations for that performance period including collection (Part III), management (Part IV), registration (Section 20), reporting (Sections 23, 24, 25) and auditing (Section 32).
To ensure that diversion rates improve for ITT/AV and lighting, the government has set incrementally increasing management requirements.
The management requirements for the first two years for ITT/AV are set at 55% but they are “best effort” years. In order to determine whether “best effort” has been achieved, the Registrar will consider whether a producer, acting in good faith, took all reasonable steps to meet the requirement.
The “best effort” years are similar for lighting but they will be during 2023 and 2024 with a requirement of 30%.
|ITT/AV Management Requirements||Lighting Management Requirements|
|2021||Best Effort (55%)||n/a|
|2022||Best Effort (55%)||n/a|
|2023||60%||Best Effort (30%)|
|2024||65%||Best Effort (30%)|
A producer’s management requirement is determined by a formula based on supply data and annual management requirements (e.g. 2023 – 60%).
|2021||2018 supply x 55%|
|2022||(2018 supply and 2019 supply) /2 x 55%|
|2023||(2018 supply + 2019 supply + 2020 supply) /3×60%|
|2024||(2019 supply + 2020 supply + 2021 supply) /3×65%|
|2025||(2020 supply + 2021 supply + 2022 supply) /3×70%|
There are also ways to reduce management requirements through the use of post-consumer recycled content, repair and refurbishment. Please see the following tab on Reuse & Refurbishment for more information.
For more information on calculating your management requirement, please refer to Part IV – Management of EEE in the regulation.
Producers can reduce their EEE supply data by a max of 50% if they use recycled content (glass or plastic only).
Producers who offer extended warranties to support ongoing functionality beyond the first year after the purchase date of their equipment, can reduce their ITT/AV supply data by 5% per year for each additional full year in which they offer a warranty at no additional charge.
Producers can reduce their ITT/AV supply data by 10% per year for the year in which they make repair available to consumers. Must be at no charge for and information and at no more than cost recovery for tools or parts.
Ultimately, a producer can only reduce the management requirement by a maximum of 50% and reductions must be verified in accordance with RPRA’s procedures. See Section 18 – Reduction of Management Requirement, for more information.
Initial Report (Section 24)
All producers who are obligated to register must also submit an initial report by:
- April 30, 2021 for ITT/AV
- April 30, 2023 for lighting
The report must include information on how a producer plans to achieve their responsibilities including a description of collection services, location of collection sites, the weight of materials supplied in Ontario, information on post-consumer recycled content, etc.
Annual Reports (Section 25)
Following the initial report, reports must be submitted annually by April 30th, including information on the weight of EEE refurbished/reused in the previous year, weight provided to make new products/packaging, weight of EEE land disposed, etc.
If a producer has entered into an agreement with a volunteer organization or PRO, the volunteer organization or PRO can carry out reporting on behalf of the producer.
According to Section 32 – Audit, management systems, producers must undergo an initial audit on or before April 30, 2024 and will include data from:
- 2022 and 2023 for ITT/AV
- 2023 for lighting
Similar to the batteries regulations, audits will then occur every three years based on data from the three preceding years. For example, an audit will occur in 2027 and will review data from 2024-2026.
Obligated producers must implement a promotion and education program during:
- The 2021 and 2022 performance periods for ITT/AV; and/or
- The 2023 and 2024 performance periods for lighting.
The regulation includes requirements around what should be included in programs including reasonable efforts to raise public awareness of a producer’s efforts to collect, reduce, reuse, recycle and recover ITT/AV or lighting. There are also requirements related to publishing and displaying information on websites depending on when a producer marketed ITT/AV or lighting in Ontario. Please see Part V – Promotion and Education, Section 19 for more information.
The regulation is silent on fees so producers can choose to have visible fees on receipts or include fees in the product price, as long as producers follow RPRA’s requirements:
If fees are visible:
- The producer or retailer cannot claim they are mandatory, or a tax, or a regulatory charge, or an RPRA fee; and
- The fee must be reflective of an actual cost.
Failure on any one of these amounts to misrepresentation and depending on the circumstances, also misleading advertising.