Distributors, Manufacturers and Retailers

Distributors or Manufacturers

Distributors include any person or business that imports ready-to-serve drinks into the NWT or sells ready-to-serve drinks to retailers.  Manufacturers include any person or business that fills beverage containers with a ready-to-serve drink.  Distributors and manufacturers must register with the GNWT and participate in the Program.  To register as a distributor or manufacturer of beverage containers in the NWT, download the application form.

Distributors are also required to submit monthly reports and remittances to the Environment Fund based on the number of containers that they distribute or sell.  To download the monthly reporting forms, click on the links below.

The Regulations say that distributors and manufacturers:

  1. Cannot sell beverages covered by this Program unless they register with the GNWT.
  2. Must apply to the GNWT and register as a distributor.  They must use GNWT forms and give them all the information they ask for.
  3. Cannot register as a distributor if convicted of an offence under the Waste Reduction and Recovery Act within the past five years.  They may apply to the GNWT to be exempt from this.
  4. Will receive a written notice by registered mail to find out if the GNWT approves or rejects their application - within 45 days for a new application and within 21 days for a renewal.  
    If the GNWT rejects the application, the notice says why.  If the GNWT needs more information, the notice says what information they need and how many days the distributor has to provide it.
  5. Will provide any additional information within the time allowed.  If the distributor provides no more information, the GNWT sends a written notice to say they assume the distributor has dropped the application.
  6. Will follow any conditions the GNWT places on the registration.  A distributor can appeal to the GNWT to change the conditions.
  7. Must not operate as a distributor if the GNWT suspends or cancels the registration. 
  8. Cannot transfer the registration to another person or business.  Must apply for a new registration if the distributor’s business ownership changes. 
  9. Must pay the surcharge to the Environment Fund for every beverage container they sell.  They also pay GST on the handling fee for taxable beverages.  A parent company or other business may pay for the distributor.
  10. May appeal a decision that the GNWT makes to:
    - Reject an application to register.
    - Change the conditions of registration.
    - Suspend or cancel registration.
    Distributors and manufacturers must appeal in writing within 30 days of the decision.The GNWT reviews all information and responds within 45 days.
  11. Must keep records of the numbers and types of beverage containers they sell each month, and the total surcharge.  Must submit these records within 30 days of the end of each month for the month before.
    At the same time, must make monthly payments to the Environment Fund to cover the surcharge for each beverage container they sold the month before.
    For example, before the end of December distributors provide records of the numbers and types of containers they sold during November and pay the total surcharge.
  12. Must keep accurate financial records and provide an annual financial report by June 30 of each year to the GNWT.  
  13. Must keep all records for a total of six years.
  14. Cannot sell any beverage container covered by this program that would in any way make people believe they can’t return it for a refund.


Retailers include stores, restaurants, and other businesses that buy ready-to-serve drinks from a registered distributor and sell them to the public.

Retailers must be a registered distributor if they buy ready-to-serve drinks from anyone that is not a registered distributor.  To register as a distributor of beverage containers in the NWT, download the application form.

Retailers are encouraged to show the surcharge on the sales slip when they sell ready-to-serve drinks.  They do not have to do this.