Am I a Steward?
Okay, so you have a sense of how the program works already. Now the question is, are you in some way obligated under the Regulation?
Pro Tip: The actual Regulation is always a good tool to keep ready at hand if you want to refer to the precise language used by the Ministry on who is obligated under law.
You’ll notice that the Regulation uses the blanket term “Producer” to refer to companies that are bound by law to manage or participate in an approved stewardship program. In other words, according to the Regulation, a Producer is a legally obligated party.
In our opinion, the term Producer doesn’t quite capture the various subtleties of who can or should join the program, report sales, or collect and remit fees. So, for the sake of clarity, we have developed the following simple checklist to help you determine if the Regulation applies to you.
You should join CESA and remit fees to our recycling program if you:
- Are a manufacturer of a regulated product (See Product Guide) who sells, offers for sale or distributes your product in BC under your own brand name
- You are not the actual manufacturer of a regulated product, but you are the owner or licensee of the trademark under which the product is sold in BC
- You are an importer, broker or retailer who sells a regulated product directly to a consumer, including via catalogue or online sales
Now, for a variety of reasons, it is possible that your company may wish to join CESA and remit fees to our recycling program even if you do not fall under any of the scenarios in the checklist above. In other words, according to the Regulation you are not a legally obligated party, but it may still make good business sense for you to report on and remit fees. In this case, you would become a Voluntary Remitter to the program.
Here are some scenarios in which it might make sense to become a Voluntary Remitter:
Customer Service Scenario
Your business does not have a presence in the region where the Regulation applies, but there is a network of local retailers that sells your product in that region. Technically, each individual retailer in that network is a legally obligated party and should report on and remit fees for your product. After all, they are the first importer of your product into the regulated market. However, for many of these individual retailers, reporting and remitting fees is a cumbersome affair, especially relative to the volume of your product they sell. As a customer service gesture to the retailers in your network, you collect fees from them and then report and remit those fees to the program
Reporting Convenience Scenario
Your business has a presence in the region where the Regulation applies and your product is sold in that market under your trademarked name. You are technically the legally obligated party. However, your product is sold through a distributor or retail chain that operates in many regions, not just the one in which the Regulation applies. In this case, you don’t really have a sense of the volume of your product that is being sold in the regulated region. The retailer or distributor knows exactly what volume of your product is being sold in the regulated region and, for the sake of simplicity, agrees to collect, report on and remit fees to the program on your behalf.
In for a Penny, In for a Pound Scenario
Your company sells a house brand, in addition to products owned by other companies, in a regulated region. To the extent that you are selling a product that bears your trademark in the regulated region, you are a legally obligated party. You are not technically obligated when it comes to the other brands you sell as those trademarks are owned by other companies. However, as you are already collecting, reporting on and remitting fees for your own products, it may be easy for you simply do the same on behalf of all the other brands you sell.
In the end, the most important outcome for us is that fees are being paid on all regulated products. In BC, we have a bit more freedom than in some other regions to permit obligated parties (or “Producers”, as the Regulation puts it) to make arrangements with their various partners to assign the responsibility of fee reporting and remittance.
CESA simply needs written confirmation of the arrangements an obligated party has made with another company to report and remit fees on their behalf.
I’ve Determined that I’m an Obligated Party or a Volunteer Remitter. Now What?
Welcome aboard, CESA Member! We commit to making membership and program participation as turnkey as possible. Before you read any further, please note our contact information. We’re always here to answer your questions and guide you through any aspect of the member experience.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Phone: 1-877-670-2372
The first thing to do, now that you’ve determined membership is for you, is to officially register.
We have a secure online portal that can take care of this for you in a few easy steps. We highly recommend that you join as soon as possible if you have determined that you are an obligated party under the Regulation.
By joining CESA as a Member, you can expect to file reports on the quantity of regulated products you sell (in units) and then remit environmental handling fees (EHFs) to the program on the basis of that quantity.
Just a reminder that if you are an obligated party but have made arrangements with another company that will serve as a Voluntary Remitter, you should send us written confirmation of those arrangements so we know who is reporting and remitting fees for the regulated products.
Reporting of sales of regulated products will be on a monthly basis using the online reporting system. Reports and fee remittances will be due by the end of the month following the reporting period (e.g. sales in October must be reported and received by the Program before the end of November). Fees payable by members to the program are subject to applicable taxes (HST or GST and PST).
Nope, I’m Not an Obligated Party. Are we good here?
If you have determined that you are not an obligated party, we‘d still like to hear from you. Drop us a line or give us a call in order to explain your perspective. We need this for our records and it will prevent us from proactively reaching out to you to discuss membership if we thought you were an obligated party.