Environment: How to transfer a Certificate of Authorization

Written by Marc Beauchemin

Under the Environment Quality Act, the performance or continuation of certain activities requires the prior issuance of a Certificate of Authorization by the Ministère de l’Environnement. During certain real estate transactions, such certificates must be transferred from seller to buyer. Legislation in place since 2017–2018 confers upon the buyer the right to these transfers.

However, this transfer is valid in the eyes of the Ministère only if it receives a notice of transfer. The assignment of such certificates in the documents of sale is insufficient, as the notice must meet certain conditions and comply with the Regulation respecting certain measures to facilitate the carrying out of the Environment Quality Act and its regulations. A copy of the required notice is available on the Ministère’s website.

In addition to the notice of transfer, the transferee of the certificate must complete the Declaration required under Articles 115.8 of the Act, respecting any criminal offenses (fiscal and environmental) of which the transferee has been found guilty. This declaration also applies to directors, officers, or shareholders when the transferee is a legal person.

If the Ministère does not send a notice of opposition to the transfer within 30 days, it is considered completed, and takes effect.