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Standard CAN/BNQ 0413-200
Organic Soil Conditioners — Composts

The use of compost as a soil conditioner is an excellent fertilization method that is inexpensive and effective. However, manufacturers must ensure that compost is safe for human health and the environment. To that end, the BNQ developed the CAN/BNQ 0413-200 standard, for compost manufacturers. This national standard describes the physical, chemical and microbiologic properties of composts and specifies the appropriate sampling and analysis methods for evaluating these properties. The standard also deals with compost marking and labelling, and associated notices and warnings. It applies to composts from various sources that are used as organic soil conditioners, sold or distributed in bags or in bulk. The standard sets out requirements regarding the following areas:

  • physical and chemical properties (moisture content, total organic matter content, foreign matter content and level of trace elements);
  • microbiologic properties (fecal coliforms and salmonella levels);
  • maturity and stability.

  • Download standard
    8184 ANG CAN/BNQ 0413-200 Organic Soil Conditioners - Composts
    This new edition supersedes the edition dated May 21, 2005.
    The 2016 edition of this standard is withdrawn since its content is no longer up to date, however, revision work is in progress and the publication is expected in December 2025.
    REVISION IN PROGRESS (expected date for the new edition: August 2025)
    8183 FRN CAN/BNQ 0413-200 Amendements organiques - Composts
    Cette nouvelle édition remplace celle du 21 mai 2005.
    L'édition 2016 de cette norme est actuellement archivée puisque son contenu n'est plus à jour, mais des travaux de révision sont en cours et la publication est prévue en décembre 2025.
    REVISION IN PROGRESS (expected date for the new edition: August 2025)

  • Standards committee members
    Number of committee members : 14
    Lord AbbeyDalhousie University
    Susan AntlerConseil canadien du compost (CCC)
    Daniel BourqueBiogénie, Division de Englobe Corp.
    Pascale CantinMinistère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ)
    Andrew DruryAll Treat Farms Limited
    Daniel EkouallaMinistère de l'Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MELCC) - Direction des matières résiduelles
    Françoise ForcierSolinov
    Thomas ForgeAgriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)
    Martin HérouxVille de Montréal Service de l'environnement
    Ian McLachlinA&L Canada Laboratories Inc.
    Karel MénardFront commun québécois pour une gestion écologique des déchets (FCQGED)
    Denis PotvinInstitut de recherche et de développement en agroenvironnement (IRDA)
    Sophie TailleferRecyc-Québec
    Allan YeeCity of Edmonton


Certification Offer

Certification is the best guarantee for compost buyers. Manufacturers can have their products recognized as meeting the requirements of the BNQ certification program. The program is based on four documents, including the certification protocol BNQ 0413-205, which specifies the program’s certification requirements and rules of procedure. To obtain certification, manufacturers must, among other things, demonstrate to the BNQ that their composts comply with the requirements of the standard CAN/BNQ 0413-200, and are free of matter that may cause harm or injury, either during or after use, to humans, animals or plants.

This certification program is accredited by the Standards Council of Canada.