Complying with Ontario Regulation 30/20: Batteries

As of February 27, 2020, the Government of Ontario posted a new battery recycling regulation under the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act. Under this new Individual Producer Responsibility (IPR) recycling regulation, brand holders or the first importers of batteries are now required take on the full cost to recycle their goods and must meet annual management requirements. The regulation also moves the oversight of battery recycling obligations to the Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (RPRA).

To better understand what types of batteries are covered under the regulation, who qualifies as a producer, registration, and obligations, please see below.  

For the most up-to-date information and questions surrounding management requirements and regulatory obligations, please do not hesitate to contact RCC’s team.  

Things to consider when selecting a Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO)

A list of registered PROs is available on RPRA’s website.

 

Summary table

This table and page are meant to provide a brief overview. For information and questions specific to your management requirement and obligations, please refer to the regulation and/or contact RPRA directly.

Note: Supply data from previous years is needed to calculate management requirements. For more information, see the Obligations section below.  

Requirements by year July 1st, 2020 to Dec 31st, 2022 2023 2024 2025
Management 
Single-Use (Primary) Batteries
‘Best effort’ to achieve 40% management requirement 40%
of battery weight supplied to Ontario
45%
of battery weight supplied to Ontario
50%
of battery weight supplied to Ontario
Management –
Rechargeable Batteries
‘Best effort’ to achieve 40% management requirement 40%
of battery weight supplied to Ontario
45%
of battery weight supplied to Ontario
50%
of battery weight supplied to Ontario
Promotion & Education Reasonable Effort No Obligation No Obligation No Obligation
De Minimis – Single-Use (Primary) Batteries
Exempt from some regulatory obligations if average annual supply is not more than:
6250 kg 6250 kg 5560 kg 5000 kg
De Minimis – Rechargeable Batteries
Exempt from some regulatory obligations if average annual supply is not more than:
3125 kg 3125 kg 2770 kg 2500 kg
Reporting General Reporting – Once, annually, though if you retain a Producer Responsibility Organizations (PRO) they may want more frequent reporting. PRO can cover this obligation off and enter data directly with RPRA.
On Supply Data – verification required annually.
On Audits – Once every three years. PRO can cover this obligation off.
Visible Fees Allowed – regulation is silent, so there are no restrictions/requirements on display. Note: never call this a ‘tax’; all Environmental Handling Fees are ‘fees’.

Included:

  • Single-use “primary” batteries weighing 5 kg or less
  • Rechargeable batteries weighing 5 kg or less

Examples: AAA batteries, AA batteries, lantern batteries, C batteries, D batteries, button cell batteries, 9V batteries, external phone batteries/power banks, batteries to jump start a car (if under 5 kg), etc. 

Not included:

  • Embedded batteries sold with or in products (e.g. drills, cellphones, laptops, vapes, fire alarms, etc.)
  • Batteries over 5 kg (e.g. car batteries, stationary batteries, etc.)

If an embedded battery is replaced at a later date (e.g. new fire alarm battery, new cell phone battery, etc.), the new battery will fall under the regulation. 

The regulation includes a hierarchy for who qualifies as a producer, as follows:

  1. Brand holder with residency in Canada
  2. First importer with residency in Ontario
  3. Markets batteries directly to consumers (e.g. online sales) and has residency in Ontario
  4. Markets batteries directly to consumers (e.g. online sales) and does not have residency in Ontario

(a) is a brand holder who owns a brand that is used in respect of batteries;
(b) is not resident in Canada;
(c) has registered in the Registry in accordance with the Reg.; and
(d) has entered into a written agreement with a producer for the purpose of carrying out one or more producer responsibilities (including some registration and reporting requirements).

When developing a written agreement, producers and volunteer organizations can work directly with RPRA. 

  • The producer must register with RPRA between November 1-30, 2020
  • Battery haulers, processors and refurbishers must register with RPRA on or before March 31, 2020

  • Establish and operate systems to collect and manage batteries at end-of-life starting July 1, 2020
  • Report annually on performance to RPRA starting April 30, 2021

Obligations:

Management requirement

A producer’s management requirement is determined by a formula based on supply data and annual management requirements (e.g. 2023 – 40%).

For example: In 2023, 40% of the batteries supplied into Ontario by a producer must be managed. Therefore, that producer’s management requirement can be calculated by multiplying your supply data by the 40% requirement in order to determine the weight of materials that must be managed.  

((2018+2019+2020 supply data)/3) x 0.4 = Management Requirement for 2023

Management requirements can be reduced if new batteries contain post-consumer recycled content. 

For more information on calculating your management requirement, refer to the regulation or RPRA’s website.

Supply Data Verification

Producers must have a verification process that will determine the amount of batteries supplied in Ontario.

For more information on Battery Supply Data Verification and Battery Management Performance, RPRA has released a Registry Procedure – Verification and Audit document, which includes information on:

  • How to estimate the amount of batteries supplied into Ontario using a formula based on Canadian National Sales and population
  • How to convert battery units to weight (Appendix B)

De minimis threshold

Depending on annual management requirements, producers may be exempt from certain regulatory obligations.

If the management requirement is equal to or less than:

  • Single-use “Primary” Batteries – 2.5 tonnes 
  • Rechargeable Batteries – 1.25 tonnes

Then producers are exempt from certain requirements depending on the number of employees:

  • Producers with 5 or more employees must still register and report but are exempt from requirements related to: management, collection, promotion & education, auditing
  • Producers with less than 5 employees are exempt from requirements related to: registration, management, collection, reporting, promotion & education, auditing

The de minimis threshold will decrease overtime as management requirements increase (e.g. 2023 – 40%, 2024 – 45%, etc.). 

 Collection requirements

Between July 1, 2020 and December 31, 2022, all management requirements are ‘best effort’ to reach the 40% requirement before moving to:

  • 2023: 40% requirement
  • 2024: 45% requirement
  • 2025: 50% requirement

Please note that these are minimum annual management requirements and producers should aim to exceed these amounts. 

On or before April 30, 2021, the obligated Party must submit a report to the Authority, which includes information on the location and services of collection sites.

  • Accessibility requirements are determined by population size but there are options in terms of collection program design, including curbside collection and mailback programs.

There are different management requirements for small and large producers. For more information on collection system and site requirements, please check the regulation.

All collected material must be managed and sent to a registered processor or refurbisher.

Promotion and education

‘Reasonable efforts’ must be made between July 1, 2020 and December 31, 2022 to raise public awareness and participation. Following this, there is no requirement for a promotion and education program.

Compliance and reporting

The producer will have to register with RPRA but auditing can be conducted by a registered PRO on behalf of the producer.

  • Auditing will occur once every three years for the preceding three-year period so every year’s activities are still being audited but it will be completed all at once.
  • Talk to your PRO or RPRA for more information. 

Programs, haulers, collection sites, processors and refurbishers must also register with the Authority, keep records and submit reports to the Authority.

Funding

  • Visible fees are allowed but it cannot be listed as a tax. It should also not be listed as a RPRA fee or SO fee.
  • RCC suggests calling the fee an “Environmental Handling Fee (EHF).”
  • There are no restrictions or requirements for fee display information as long as the price listed is accurate. 

Resource Productivity & Recovery Authority (RPRA)

RPRA Website
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 647-496-0530 or toll-free 1-833-600-0530

Webinar Recording from Tuesday March 10, 2020

Tools to convert number of battery units to weight

Be heard. Save money. Stay informed.

Become a member