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Government Watch News


Government Watch
  Monthly Summary Report (January 2011)
 


INTRODUCTION

In order to keep our members further informed on the latest government regulations and stewardship programs affecting the industry, the CHHMA is introducing a new Government Watch Monthly Summary Report. The report will be sent out at the end of each month as well as posted on the CHHMA website in the News section.

The report will include information on any new legislation or recycling/stewardship programs as well as keep members updated on news and progress of legislation and programs introduced in previous issues.


BC RECYCLING REGULATION PHASE 4 (2012 ELECTRICAL AND ELECTRONIC PRODUCTS INCLUDING: POWER TOOLS, SNOW BLOWERS, MOWERS AND OTHER GARDENING TOOLS)

BC’s Recycling Regulation, see http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/epd/recycling/, requires that producers (manufacturers, distributors, importers) of electronic or electrical tools including “drills, saws and welding and soldering tools” [Schedule 3, Section 2.3 (b) (i)]; “equipment for turning, milling, sanding, grinding, sawing, cutting, shearing, drilling, punching, folding, bending or otherwise processing wood, metal or other materials” [Schedule 3, Section 2.3 (b) (ii)]; “tools for riveting, nailing or screwing or removing rivets, nails or screws” [Schedule 3, Section 2.3 (b) (iii)]; and“snow blowers and mowers and other gardening tools” [Schedule 3, Section 2.3 (b) (v)] be in compliance with the Regulation by July 1, 2012, by either having an approved product stewardship plan under Part 2 of the Regulation or by complying with Part 3. Should a producer choose to proceed with a product stewardship plan for their products they must submit a plan for approval by October 1, 2011. Alternately, a producer may appoint an agency under Section 2 of the Regulation to perform stewardship duties on their behalf.

As compliance deadlines are fast approaching, the BC Ministry of the Environment would appreciate hearing from producers on how they intend to comply with the Recycling Regulation and encourage them to contact the Ministry if they need assistance understanding compliance options.

Additionally, they are tentatively planning a one day compliance workshop in Toronto the last week of March (likely the 30th) to explain the requirements of the regulation. They will be making time to meet with producers (manufacturers, distributors, importers) and producer agencies while in the Toronto area and encourage industry to contact them if they wish to set-up one-on-one meetings.

For further information, please contact Vaughn Crofford, CHHMA President at Tel: (416) 282-0022 ext. 30, Email: crofford@chhma.ca or

Meegan Armstrong, Senior Policy Analyst
Environmental Quality Branch, Ministry of Environment
3rd Floor - 2975 Jutland, Victoria, BC V8W 9M1
Tel: (250) 356-9089, Fax: (250) 356-7197, Email: Meegan.Armstrong@gov.bc.ca


BC PORTABLE AND FLOOR CARE APPLIANCE STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM TO COMMENCE APRIL 1, 2011

Beginning April 1, 2011, a new program will be in place for BC residents to recycle their small appliances. The Canadian Electrical Stewardship Association (CESA) has been created to implement and manage this program.

After more than a year of development on behalf of industry stewards, CESA was pleased to announce last July that the BC Portable and Floor Care Appliance Stewardship Plan, submitted to the BC Ministry of Environment, had been approved. The plan covering portable appliances, floor care and personal care products will enable manufacturers, brand owners, retailers and importers to meet their obligations as outlined in the British Columbia Waste Electronics and Electrical Equipment Regulations.

Plan development and the eventual formation of CESA was a result of months of work and consultation with members of the CHHMA, Canadian Appliance Manufacturers Association (CAMA) and Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), along with government officials in B.C., the general public and interested non-government organizations.

CESA was incorporated nationally as a not-for-profit association with flexibility to expand the product categories and act on behalf of the industry beyond the B.C. program.

CHHMA's Vaughn Crofford, CAMA's Larry Moore and Wayne Morris of AHAM spearheaded the initiative, working with a steering committee comprised of affected member companies. Product Care, a Vancouver based not-for-profit association that manages other EPR programs across Canada, including the paint and solvent program in B.C., was contracted to help develop the plan and write the final submission.

The plan is set to launch April 1, 2011 and proposes actions and targets for five years through to March 31, 2016. To see a copy of the plan, go to: https://www.chhma.ca/Public/BC-Portable-and-Floor-Care-Appliance-Stewardship

CESA recently offered public information webinars on the program on January 17 and 20.

If your company is a manufacturer and/or brand owner of products that will be affected by this program and you would like further information, please go to www.cesarecycling.ca, or contact Jenny Gosal at memberservices@cesarecycling.ca,1-877-670-2372 ext. 205. You can also contact Vaughn Crofford, CHHMA President at (416) 282-0022 ext. 30, crofford@chhma.ca.

BILL C-36: NEW CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY ACT

Bill C-36, the new Canada Consumer Product Safety Act completed third reading in the Senate last December and has since received royal assent now making it Canadian law. This new legislation will dramatically update previous consumer product protection laws in Canada and there are some important aspects of the Act which companies should be aware of. Below provides some of the background of Bill C-36 and the role played by the CHHMA in its progression as well as what CHHMA members should prepare themselves for:

The Long Road to a New Consumer Product Safety Act

April 2008 saw Bill C-52, the proposed Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA), introduced in the House of Commons. With all-party support in the House, it was widely assumed C-52 would be on the fast track toward becoming law. The Government, however, called a general election before C-52 could be enacted and the Bill died.

In its early analysis of C-52, CHHMA concluded that important sections of the proposed legislation were ambiguous and could lead to uneven interpretations in the hands of those who would be charged with applying the law. These concerns were expressed to Health Canada, the federal department responsible for consumer product safety.

After the election, the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act was re-introduced, this time as Bill C-6. The new Bill did not fundamentally alter the intent of its predecessor, but the language had been tightened up substantially, reflecting CHHMA’s earlier concerns.

At this point, several other national business associations became aware of the fact that a new regime in consumer product safety was close at hand. Since there is always strength in numbers, the Canadian Consumer Product Safety Coalition was formed. Eventually, coalition membership grew to include 11 associations. CHHMA was a member from its outset.

Given the work that CHHMA had already done on C-52, the coalition agreed we should be asked to draft the coalition’s submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health. CHHMA agreed to take this leadership role. The House unanimously passed C-6 and sent it to the Senate. Soon thereafter, Parliament was prorogued and, once again, the Bill died.

In June of this year, the legislation came back as C-36. After gaining all-party support in both the House of Commons and Senate, it received Royal Assent. The Canada Consumer Product Safety Act is now Canadian law.

The Transition Period

The final Section of C-36 states that “The provisions of this Act come into force on a day or days to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council.” That means there will be a transition period prior to the Act becoming operational. Generally speaking, the business community wants this transition to be as long as possible, with many advocating that it be one year. On the other hand, the Government wants a far shorter period so that it can point to its success in achieving improved consumer product safety for Canadians.

Regardless of whether the transition is shorter or longer, the fact of the matter is that the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act will soon become law. A key part of the Act will be the incident reporting process. The balance of the report provides an outline of that
process and a suggestion as to what CHHMA members should be doing as quickly as possible.

“Responsible Person” Is the Key

The trigger for the incident reporting system is the Responsible Person, defined by Health Canada as a person who has or should have knowledge of the obligations as set forth in the CCPSA and is responsible for reporting an incident deemed to be serious in nature.

CHHMA MEMBERS SHOULD EACH DESIGNATE A RESPONSIBLE PERSON WITHIN THEIR CANADIAN COMPANY ON A PRIORITY BASIS.

Time Frames

Within two days of the Responsible Person becoming aware of a serious incident, an initial report must be filed with the Minister of Health.

This initial report must provide all the information the Responsible Person’s company has within its control.

Within ten days, the Minister must be provided with a written report containing the following information about the incident:

• the product involved in the incident;
• any products that they manufacture or import, as the case may be that, to their knowledge, could be involved in a similar incident; and
• any measures they propose be taken with respect to those products.

The CCPSA stipulates that the Minister of Health is not necessarily bound by the 10-day requirement and can specify the length of the reporting period. Since the CCPSA does not stipulate that this discretionary period means an extension of the 10 days, CHHMA members should be aware that they might be required to respond in less than 10 days.
 
What Is an Incident?

The CCPSA says that reportable incidents can display any or all of the following characteristics:

• an occurrence in Canada or elsewhere that resulted in, or may reasonably have been expected to result in an individual’s death or in serious adverse effects on their health, including a serious injury;
• a defect or characteristic that may reasonably be expected to result in an individual’s death or in serious adverse effects on their health, including a serious injury;
• incorrect or insufficient information on a label or in instructions – or the lack of a label or instructions - that may reasonably be expected to result in an individual’s death or in serious adverse effects on their health, including a serious injury; or
• a recall or measure that is initiated, in Canada or virtually anywhere, for human health or safety reasons.

What Comes Next?

Over the coming months, the details as to how the Act will be applied will need to be clarified. CHHMA will remain in close contact with Health Canada and will make these details available as soon as they are determined.

The CHHMA also continues to work with a coalition of industry associations to bring clarity to the legislation and clearly define key points such as “incidence reporting” and what it means to industry.
Canadian Hardware & Housewares Manufacturers Association | 1335 Morningside Ave., Suite 101, Scarborough, ON M1B 5M4
Telephone: (416) 282-0022   Email: pwinter@chhma.ca