RCC met with B.C. Ministry of Environment officials in regard to their policy update on the sales of pest and weed control products (the Integrated Pest Management Regulation) to review a number of common questions. (The policy update itself was the subject of a 2 June 2015 RCC Member Notice found here.)

Implementation date: Government understands that the ideal time to transition regimes is over the winter. However, the government’s current intention is that the implementation date will be about one year after the publication of the new regulation. It is the government’s intention that the implementation date will be followed by a period of “soft enforcement” in the form of education to ensure the new regime is effective.

Impacted products: Government understands they have an educational opportunity to ensure that all parties understand that both weed and insect control products are part of this change even though most materials refer to pest control products or pesticides.

Government also understands vendors’ apprehensions surrounding the chemical names. It is their intention to produce both educational documents to assist vendors and information for their web site to assist consumers in understanding which products are impacted. Unless otherwise specified, the chemical name in Schedules 2 and 5 refers to all formats* and concentrations of those chemicals.

Will a vendor license be required to sell all Schedule 5 products? Yes. A trained and certified employee (certified pesticide dispenser) must have prescribed interaction with the customer before providing the customer with Schedule 5 products (page 4 of the June 2015 policy update).

A vendor license is not required to sell Schedule 2 Exclude Products. Please consult pages 8 to 10 of the Ministry’s June 2015 policy update.

Revised training materials for certified pesticide dispensers are expected to be available in later 2015. The modalities of training (including fees) will not change but the content will change. Existing certified pesticide dispensers will be retrained at the expiry of their existing certification.

The B.C. government will work with municipal governments to ensure improvements in the availability of information on municipal bylaws concerning the application of pest
and weed control products.

Liability and compliance. The vendor will be responsible to fulfill the requirements of the regulation (for example, to confirm that the intended use is appropriate according to the label directions). There is an Administrative Penalties Regulation that is applicable for offenses under the Integrated Pest Management Act.

Next Steps:

RCC will continue to engage with B.C. Government officials to reduce the burden of the new proposals on retailers.

Government will provide retailer-specific webinars in Fall 2015 (after the introduction of the regulation, but before the effective date of the new regulation).

Background:

The B.C. Ministry of Environment has been consulting with stakeholders concerning an update to the integrated pest management regime since a special committee of the legislature was struck in October 2011 to consider issues surrounding the cosmetic use of pesticides.

RCC is pleased that Government is, following our advice, providing a significant time-window for implementation and that it has moved away from other proposals which would have been difficult to implement.

*The government provided a different response to a question concerning products in aerosol format at its webinar on 18 June 2015. Later, government confirmed by email that “any domestic class pesticide in an aerosol container would be included on Schedule 2, regardless of the active ingredient.”  Accordingly, those products would not require a vendor license, customer interaction or restricted customer access.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact: Greg Wilson, Director, Government Relations (B.C.) at: gwilson@retailcouncil.org or 604-736-0368.