A Canadian importer of small engines was recently convicted for violating the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (“CEPA”). The convictions were under 153(1)(b) and 154 of the Act and require that imported engines conform to certain standards which are set out in the regulations.
The crux of the matter was that the defendant was required to be in possession of proof of conformity with the regulations before the engine was brought into Canada. The Court emphasized that proof could not be provided after the fact. It also noted that it is not permissible to import a portion of an engine that was required for the assembly of the whole engine, complete the assembly of the engine and then maintain that it was not imported.
At trial, the Court was satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that all the elements of the offence had been made out with respect to one of the engines, but on the other engines the prosecution could not demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that they were imported improperly.
If you are an importer of small engines or another product regulated by CEPA, it is essential to ensure you are in possession of proof that the item conforms to all Canadian environmental regulations prior to importing.