Retail Inspections

The BCMB has enhanced its focus on retail compliance with a new retail inspection program. Audits of retail locations are conducted across Alberta by third-party auditors – One Stop Shoppers Ltd.

The program has been introduced to ensure that deposits are applied at the point of sale, all beverage containers being sold and/or distributed are registered with the BCMB, and to ensure compliance with the Advertising of Deposit Policy.

Compliance by retailers is crucial to the integrity of the beverage container recycling system in Alberta and is a regulatory obligation under the Beverage Container Recycling Regulation and the BCMB’s Manufacturer and Retailer By-law.

As a retailer it can be stressful having a retail inspection completed. The BCMB has put together an information package , The One Stop Retail Inspection Letter, that provides information such as what to expect when an inspector visits your location, steps taken during the inspection and what a retailer can do to become compliant. An FAQ section is also included to address common questions or concerns.


Audit Resulting in Non-Compliance

An audit is considered non-compliant if unregistered beverage containers are found in the retail location and/or the retail location is found not clearly identifying the deposit amount for containers, separate from the price of the product, where beverage containers are being sold.

In the case of non-compliance, the retailer/manufacturer enters Level 1 of the Container Registration Compliance Framework and/or the Deposit Advertising Compliance Framework and would exit the Framework once compliant or move to Level 2 after 30 days.

If non-compliant after 30 days at Level 1, the retailer/manufacturer enters Level 2 of the Container Registration Compliance Framework and/or the Deposit Advertising Compliance Framework and is issued a $400 non-compliance fee. The retailer/manufacturer would exit the Framework once compliant or move to Level 3 after 30 days.

If non-compliant after 30 days at Level 2, the retailer/manufacturer enters Level 3 of the Container Registration Compliance Framework and/or the Deposit Advertising Compliance Framework and is issued a $400 non-compliance fee. The retailer/manufacturer would exit the Framework once compliant or may be referred to the Complaints Director for further action after 15 days.

To avoid action resulting from non-compliance, the BCMB encourages retailers and manufacturers to review the container registration requirements and the deposit advertising policy and guidelines.

To learn more about beverage container registration: Watch Video! 

To learn more about deposit advertising requirements: Watch Video!

For more information, please click on the link below to contact a BCMB Registrations Compliance Officer:

Retailer Definition

A retailer is defined in the Beverage Container Recycling Regulation as a person who sells beverage containers to consumers. Retailers can also be deemed a manufacturer if they: 

  • carry on the business of filling containers with a beverage, and
  • import a beverage in a container into Alberta for the purpose of distribution or sale in Alberta.

Registration Responsibilities for Retailers

Retailers who import or fill containers (thus deemed a manufacturer), must register their company and containers with the Beverage Container Management Board. They must also report their sales and remit corresponding deposit refunds and Container Recycling Fees to the Alberta Beverage Container Recycling Corporation (Collection System Agent).

  • Ask manufacturers/distributors for Alberta Registration Numbers on all beverage containers prior to selling and/or distributing.
  • Refuse to sell and/or distribute beverage containers without Alberta Registration Numbers.
  • Advise any manufacturer/distributor with non-system beverage containers to contact the BCMB for information on registration. Non-system containers have not been registered by the BCMB and are not deposit bearing. They include:
    • out-of-province containers;
    • containers that are exempt from the Beverage Container Recycling Regulation or not yet included (pending registration review – see Rejected Containers and Pending    Containers tabs in the BCMB Portal); and
    • off-spec containers (have not been filled or used and therefore are not registered for sale in Alberta as ready-to-serve beverages).
 

Non-System Containers

 Manufacturers, distributors, and retailers can be penalized for selling and/or distributing non-system beverage containers. Failure to register beverage containers can result in fines up to $500,000 for a corporation or up to $50,000 for an individual.

Compliance Fee - Payment Options

Please contact the BCMB Finance Team at finance@bcmb.ab.ca for payment options. In this email, include your company name and note that you have submitted your company registration.

Appealing a Compliance Fee

A Notice of Appeal is to be completed and submitted to the BCMB when a Retailer wishes to appeal a compliance fee for one or more of the following reasons:

  • The BCMB did not have the authority to issue the notice of compliance fee;
  • The BCMB failed to follow its own procedures, and that this failure had, or may reasonably have had, a material effect on the decision to issue the notice of compliance fee;
  • The issuance of the notice of compliance fee was influenced by bias;
  • The BCMB failed to consider relevant information or took into account irrelevant information in issuing the notice of compliance fee.

Compliance fees must be appealed within 30 days of the date the notice of compliance fee is deemed to have been received by the person who is appealing. 

If you have received a compliance fee and wish to appeal it for one or more of the above reasons, you must submit the Notice of Appeal Form below to the BCMB:

BCMB Mandate - to regulate and enhance a leading beverage container system that protects Alberta’s environment.