Basel Convention plastic waste amendments

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) would like to inform you of controls and permit requirements that now apply to exports of plastic waste from Canada to most parts of the world, further to additional requirements under existing Canadian regulations. 

Effective January 1, 2021, a series of amendments to the Basel Convention have placed further controls on the international movement of certain plastic waste. For information on plastic wastes subject to the amendments, please visit the Basel Convention’s Plastics Amendments frequently asked questions.

Canada implements the Basel Convention’s plastic waste amendments through the Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Materials Regulations (EIHWHRMR). While the Basel Convention’s plastic waste amendments introduce new controls on plastic waste exports to much of the world, many of Canada’s existing export markets already had stringent import restrictions in place. Some countries prohibit plastic waste for import if certain requirements are not met (e.g., Malaysia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Philippines) or ban imports entirely (e.g., India, China, Cambodia). Canada already required permits to such countries, even before the amendments became effective. These stringent provisions will continue to apply and evolve as additional countries implement further rules and bans.

Please note, these new amendments do not affect plastic waste shipments between Canada and the United States, except when a plastic waste transits through Canada or the USA for recycling or disposal in a third country, in which case the above permit requirements apply.

To find out when you should apply for a permit to export plastic waste and steps to help you prepare and apply for an export permit, see annexed figures.