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My legal responsibilities

    Environment Quality Act

    Companies and organizations subject to the Environment Quality Act and the Regulation respecting compensation for municipal services provided to recover and reclaim residual materials must register with ÉEQ, report the containers, packaging and printed matter they place on the market in Quebec depending on the type of material and their quantities and pay their contributions within the prescribed time.

    The contributions are established according to a Schedule of Contributions.

    What is the Schedule of Contributions?

    The Schedule of Contributions is a legal document that provides a framework for companies. It outlines information for organizations to determine whether they are subject to the Act, understand their obligations and consult the rates that apply for each designated material put on the market.

    The Schedule of Contributions in a nutshell :

    • Legal document that applies to companies.
    • Based on the costs of managing each type of material.
    • Set out each year according to a formula based on verifiable studies and data and also accounts for environmental criteria.
    • Governed by strict rules.
    • Presented to companies at a consultation ahead of a rigorous government approvals process under the law.
    • Comes into effect once it is approved by the government of Québec and as soon as it is published in the Gazette officielle du Québec.
    • Enables companies to determine whether they are subject to the Act, understand their obligations and consult the rates that apply to each material.

    Consult the Schedule of Contributions section of our resource centre for further details

    Is my company subject to the Environment Quality Act?

    The following companies and organizations are subject to the Environment Quality Act:

    • Are ultimately intended for Québec consumers
    • Generate containers, packaging or printed matter

    More specifically:

    • Owners of a brandA brand is a brand used by an individual to distinguish his/her products or services (e.g. trademark). Certification marks are not included in the definition. a nameA name is the designation under which a company operates, regardless of whether it is a corporation, a partnership or an individual. or a distinguishing guiseA distinguishing guise is a unique means of wrapping or packaging a product whose presentation is used by a company or organization to distinguish itself or distinguish the products it markets..
    • Companies and organizations domiciled or established in Quebec or which have a representative in Quebec.
    • Owners of franchises, chains and banners domiciled or established in Quebec.
    • First supplier:A person who has a domicile or an establishment in Québec and is the first to take title, or possession, or control, in Québec, of a container, a packaging or a printed matter designated by the Schedule When the owner of a brand, name or distinguishing guise is not domiciled or established in Québec, the first supplier is required to make the payment of the contribution, regardless of whether the first supplier is the importer.

    My company is not domiciled in Québec. Is it still considered to have an establishment in the province? 

    Even if your company does not have a head office in Québec and therefore is not considered domiciled in the province, a number of situations may confirm that it owns a place of business in Québec and is thus subject to the compensation plan. For example, this is the case for:

    • A company that indicates an address in Québec in the “Établissements” section of the report it filed with the « Registraire des entreprises du Québec » or in its corporate bylaws or regulations.
    • An insurance company or financial institution:

    A company that offers insurance or financial products in Québec and holds a license issued by the Autorité des marchés financiers (“AMF”) is deemed to have an establishment in Québec.

    • An owner of immovable property in Québec:

    When a company owns an immovable in Québec, that immovable is presumed to be an establishment.

    • A company that uses equipment or machinery in Québec:

    When a company does not have a fixed place of business in the province, it may still have an establishment at the place where it uses an important quantity of machinery or material for a particular moment within a reference year. Said enterprise is then deemed to have an establishment at such place.

    • A company whose commercial activities in the province are related to raw materials:

    When the activities of a company consist of producing, growing, excavating, mining, creating, manufacturing, improving, transforming, preserving or constructing, in full or in part, anything in Québec, whether or not the sale of the thing occurs in Quebec or elsewhere, this activity will allow us to conclude that the company possessed an establishment in Québec in the year in which the activity took place.

    • A company with a representative in Québec:

    The establishment of a company signifies a fixed place or a principal place where it carries on business. An establishment also includes an office, a residence, a branch, a mine, a gas or oil well, an agricultural endeavor, a woodlot, a factory, a storage facility or a workshop.

    When a company is operated or represented through an employee, an agent or a mandatary who is established at a particular place and has general authority to contract for his employer or mandator, or who possesses an inventory of merchandise belonging to the employer or mandator that is used to regularly fill orders that such employee, agent or mandatary receives, the enterprise is deemed to have an establishment at this place, even if the orders are sometimes placed with a distribution center that is situated outside of Québec.

    However, if one of the following situations applies, you are not considered a company that has an establishment in Québec.

    • Commission agent, a broker or an independent agent or subsidiary
      A company is not deemed to have an establishment by the sole fact that it has a business relationship with someone else through a commission agent, a broker or any other independent agent, or by the fact that it maintains an office or a warehouse for the sole purpose of purchasing merchandise; it will also not be deemed to have an establishment in a place for the sole reason that it controls a subsidiary that itself carries on business in Québec.
    • Attorney
      A person acting as an “attorney for service” for a legal person that is registered at the Registraire des entreprises du Québec does not constitute an element that would be considered sufficient to determine that the legal person has an establishment in Québec.
    Who is financially responsible for the containers and packaging added at a retail outlet?

    When a retail outlet is supplied or operated as: 

    • part of a franchise
    • part of a chain of establishments
    • under a banner name
    • under another similar form of affiliation or group of businesses or establishments

    contributions are payable by: 

    • the franchisor
    • the owner of the chain or banner
    • the group in question
    • their representative in Québec if the owner of the chain, banner or group in question has no domicile or establishment in Quebec or
    • otherwise, by the retailer
    Exemption criteria
    The companies that meet one of the three following criteria may be exempted from payment. 
    • It generated, directly or indirectly, one or several materials whose total weight is ≤ 1 metric tonne in the reference year
    • It generated revenue, income or sales valued at ≤ $1M in the reference year
    • For retailers: having only one point of purchase, which has less than 929 square meters that is not operated as a franchise or banner or group (the size limit of 929 m2 was introduced with the 2018 Schedule of Contributions).

    The exemption must be confirmed for each Schedule of Contributions in the ECO-D online reporting system.

    Certain companies are exempt from paying a contribution for those containers and packaging for which they already have obligations to ensure the recovery and reclamation of said materials. 

     

    For example:

    • Companies that are already required under extended producer responsibility regulations to take measures or contribute financially toward measures to recover or reclaim containers and packaging (e.g. oil and paint cans)
    • Companies already required under a deposit system to take measures or contribute financially toward measures to recover or reclaim containers or packaging (e.g. beer and soft drink non-refillable containers)
    • Companies that are able to establish that they participate directly in another system to recover and reclaim containers or packaging that operated on an established and regular basis in Québec, (e.g. refillable beer bottles, pesticide containers for agricultural use)

    Important note

    • The exemption must be confirmed for each Schedule of Contributions in the ECO-D online reporting system.
    • You may be required to report the secondary and tertiary packaging included with the containers and packaging. For example, packaging that is not recovered through the deposit system, such as the plastic or cardboard used to package beer and soda cans and bottles, is designated and must therefore be reported. Refer to the section on excluded materials for more information. If you have any questions, contact the Company Services team.
    • Cardboard boxes returned to the retail outlet must be deducted from the calculations.
    Is the reporting process different for low-volume producers?

    Companies that generate up to 15 metric tonnes of containers, packaging or printed matter are subject to the Environment Quality Act but do not always have the resources required to calculate their contribution.

    To lessen their administrative burden, ÉEQ developed flat fees that are simple to apply according to:

    • quantities generated
    • sales

    Important note

    Low-volume producers cannot access the calculators outlined in this guide because they were not designed to evaluate small quantities.

    Click here for further details on flat fees.

    Voluntary Contributor: May I take financial responsibility for my first suppliers?

    Companies that do not have a place of business in Québec are not subject to the compensation plan, even if they offer products or services such as containers, packaging, printed matter and newspapers (C, P, PM & N) to Quebec consumers. 

    A company that does not operate a place of business in Québec may take financial responsibility for the CP&PM it places on the Québec market. It then becomes a voluntary contributor. This way, the companies that are first suppliers in Québec will not be required to report the CP&PM.

    Browse through the list of voluntary contributors.

    How can a company become a Voluntary Contributor?

    To become a voluntary contributor, a company must enter into an agreement with ÉEQ stipulating that it freely undertakes to:

    • File a contribution report
    • Pay the contribution established according to the Schedule of Contributions in effect c
    • Comply with the preceding points with regard to all its first suppliers in Québec
    • Uphold the laws of Québec regarding EQA and its compensation plan

    Once recognized as a voluntary contributor by ÉEQ, the company is considered to be targeted under the compensation plan.

    To apply, please read the conditions, fill out the form and send it duly signed to ÉEQ’s Company Services.

    Payment

    Contribution payments must be made either in full or according to the obligation calendar, as stipulated in the Schedule of Contributions rules applicable to the year in question.

    Contributions due but unpaid at the deadline, will be subject to interest charges at the rate set in Article 28 of Quebec’s Tax Administration Act. Calculated on a daily basis, interests will be charged on any unpaid contribution starting the date on which the contribution is due, until full payment is received.

    A 10% administration charge will also apply to any contribution due, as per the Schedule(s) of Contributions. Please refer to the obligation calendar.

    Depending on the amount of your contribution, you may select one of several payment options. You must pay your annual contribution according to these choices.

    Payment option Conditions
    Online payment (credit card)

    Your contribution must be less than $10 000.

     

    An icon will provide you with a link to the secure online payment site.

    Cheque

    Make your cheque to: Éco Entreprises Québec

     

    Then send your cheque to the following address:

     

    1600,René-Lévesque Blvd. West 

    Suite 600

    Montréal, QC H3H 1P9

    Fund transfer  If you choose to make a direct deposit payment, use the banking details provided on your invoice to process the transaction.

     

Useful links

A few links that will help you in the reporting process: 

Still need help?

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