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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.

Use our quiz to determine, in just a few clicks, whether you are subject to the Act. 

Useful links

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

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