Canada Publishes Asbestos Regulations

Canada Publishes Asbestos Regulations

Asbestos is a naturally-occurring, fibrous silicate mineral that can be rendered soft and flexible, yet resistant to heat, electricity and chemical corrosion. It can be mixed into cloth, paper, cement, plastic and other materials to make them stronger, and while these qualities make asbestos a very versatile product, they also render it highly toxic.

As part of a strategy to manage asbestos, the Canadian government recently published its final draft of The Prohibition of Asbestos and Products Containing Asbestos Regulations, which restricts the material from being imported, sold and used under certain circumstances.

In addition to these regulations, the existing Export of Substances on the Export Control List Regulations (ESECLR) and Schedule 3 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act were amended to prohibit exports of asbestos. The regulations and related amendments are set to come into force on December 30, 2018, ensuring that Canada continues to meet its export obligations under international conventions.

The restrictions apply to the following:

  • Import, sale or use of processed asbestos fibres or products containing processed asbestos fibres, and consumer products containing greater than trace levels of asbestos.
  • Manufacture of products containing processed asbestos fibres, unless the fibres are integrated into a pre-existing product, structure or infrastructure.
  • Sale of asbestos mining residues that are located at an asbestos mining site or accumulation area (unless provincially approved).
  • Use of asbestos mining residues in the fabrication of a product containing asbestos.

Exemptions

Certain products are temporarily exempt if there is no feasible asbestos-free alternative available:

  • Equipment used by nuclear facilities and for military purposes (exempt until January 1, 2023).
  • Processed asbestos fibres used in a chlor-alkali facility already operational when the regulations come into effect (exempt until January 1, 2030).
  • Asbestos may be reused in the restoration mining sites or in road infrastructure.
  • The import, sale or use of asbestos is permitted if it is intended for scientific research or display in a museum.

These regulations do not apply to:

  • Asbestos or a product containing asbestos that is in transit through Canada.
  • Mining residues.
  • Pest control products.

Additionally, the regulations require the submission of an asbestos report and management plan from any organization or permit holders that import, use or display asbestos or products containing it.

Timeline for Implementation

  • October 17, 2018: The Prohibition of Asbestos and Products Containing Asbestos Regulations is published.
  • December 30, 2018 (90 days after registration): Prohibition of Asbestos and Products Containing Asbestos Regulations comes into force. With a limited number of exclusions, the import, sale and use of asbestos and products containing asbestos are prohibited.
  • January 1, 2023: Unless a permit has been issued, the use of products containing asbestos to service equipment in a nuclear facility, or to service military equipment is prohibited.
  • January 1, 2030: The import and use of asbestos in chlor-alkali facilities is prohibited.

In order to remain compliant, companies must survey their supply chains to determine the presence of asbestos in parts and products. Assent’s Chemical Reporting Module facilitates this process through configurable surveys, allowing companies to collect the necessary data and identify risks within their product’s composition. Additionally, the Assent Materials Declaration Tool can help companies collect substance data from their suppliers, and make the data easily available and searchable for future reporting.

For more information about how Assent’s experts can help your company respond to the expanding regulatory landscape, contact us at info@assentcompliance.com.

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