The Pesticides Management Code
Updated: October 2018
Protecting the environment and health in the activities of wholesale and retail sale
The Pesticides Management Code introduces regulations controlling the storage, sale and use of pesticides. The objectives aimed by this regulation are to reduce and to control the use of pesticides, to decrease the risks of exposure for people and the risks of contamination of the environment.
These regulations affect the wholesale and retail sale sector. Permit and certificate holders targeted by the Regulation respecting permits and certificates for the sale and use of pesticides must comply with the regulations of the Code. These include:
Permit holders (businesses)
Certificate holders (sellers)
Pesticide classifications are established according to the Regulation respecting permits and certificates for the sale and use of pesticides. They differ from the federal classifications.
Class 1 to Class 4 pesticides, including Class 3A pesticides, must be stored in premises where the ambient conditions are not likely to alter the pesticide, its container or label. The pesticide must also be stored in such a manner that its content is not released into the environment.
A sign (French, PDF, 77 KB) indicating the list of certain services (e.g. Centre Anti-Poison du Québec) and their telephone numbers must be posted in a conspicuous place near the entrance to the premises.
A person who stores Class 1, Class 2 or Class 3 pesticides must have on the premises adequate equipment and material capable of stopping any leak or release of pesticides and, if required, of cleaning the premises. In the event of a leak or release of pesticides, the person must immediately take measures to stop the leak or release and clean the premises.
A person who stores unprepared or undiluted pesticides in quantities equal to or greater than 1,000 litres or 1,000 kilograms must immediately notify Urgence-Environnement in the event of pesticide fire, and specify at that time the nature of the stored pesticides and the approximate quantity stored on the premises. This rule applies to unprepared or undiluted Class 1 to Class 4 pesticides.
Storage of Class 1, Class 2 or Class 3 pesticides within a flood area
Flood areas must be mapped or identified in a development plan or a metropolitan land use planning and development plan or in a municipal zoning by-law.
It is prohibited to store Class 1 to Class 3 pesticides in a flood area having a flood recurrence interval of 0 to 20 years.
It is prohibited to store pesticides in this area, except under the following conditions:
Pesticides must be stored on such premises only if one of the above-mentioned conditions applies, failing which the storage site must be moved outside the flood area.
A containment works is a floor, platform or watertight basin, built so as to contain and allow for the complete recovery of any pesticide leak or spillage.
Unprepared or undiluted Class 1 to Class 3 pesticides must be stored in premises having a containment works. This regulation applies to holders of the Class A and Class B permit.
The same applies to any person who stores a quantity equal to or greater than 100 litres or 100 kilograms of unprepared or undiluted Class 1 to Class 3 pesticides for a period longer than 15 consecutive days, particularly pesticides stored on application sites or close to buildings.
A holder of a Class A or a Class B, Subclass B1, permit who loads or unloads Class 1 to Class 3 pesticides in a storage premises also carry out these operations in a containment works.
The special case of tanks and mobile tanks
The underground burial of a pesticide tank of any capacity is prohibited. In addition, tanks and mobile tanks must be kept closed outside of loading and unloading periods and be equipped with a safety device that prevents their use outside of these periods.
Installation of a containment works
A tank or mobile tank in storage premises must be placed in a containment works if the tank contains unprepared or undiluted pesticides. The containment works must be able to contain at least 110 percent of the capacity of the largest tank or stationary mobile tank in the same containment works. In addition, the tank must be protected from vehicle impact by barriers. A containment works is not required in storage premises for a mobile tank containing prepared or diluted pesticides.
The loading or unloading of unprepared or undiluted pesticides into or from a tank or mobile tank must take place in a containment works.
Pesticide or rainwater that has accumulated in a containment work must be removed immediately after a pesticide leak or release or after the precipitation ceases.
The regulations stipulate mandatory minimum application distances from watercourses, bodies of water, wetlands and water withdrawal sites. The table at the following link summarizes minimum distances to be observed, in accordance with the types of locations where storage take place.
Retail sale outlets had to modify how they shelve and display Class 4 pesticides so that customers can no longer serve themselves. In addition all products listed in Schedule I of the Code and intended for domestic use had to be taken off the market.
Ordinary citizens thus had to change their consumer habits:
The sections on Gardening… all naturally and Maintenance of residential lawns (French) suggest solutions for replacing pesticides when pest problems arise in trees, shrubs, lawns, flowerbeds and gardens.
The table below lists the regulations that apply to anyone selling a pesticide in the classes targeted, unless indicated otherwise.
For more information, please see Reference leaflet 4: Vente de pesticides. (French PDF, 811 KB)
The information provided in this document is in no way meant to replace the full official text of the Pesticides Management Code.
Acting together to protect health, pollinators and the environment