Pill press controlled equipment

The Pill Press and Related Equipment Control Act restricts the ownership, use, possession, and selling of equipment that has the potential to be used to make illicit drugs.

What is considered Controlled Equipment under the Act?

"Controlled Equipment" includes:

  • Pill Press (includes Tablet Press): A machine, whether semi-automatic, automated or capable of being automated, that may be used to compact or mould powdered, granular or semi-solid material to produce cohesive solid tablets
  • Encapsulator (includes Gel Press): A machine, whether semi-automatic, automated or capable of being automated, that can be used to fill capsules with powdered, granular, semi-solid or liquid material
  • Dies, moulds or punches ordinarily used with a Pill Press, or Encapsulator machine
  • Pharmaceutical mixer or blender, except if the pharmaceutical mixer or blender is used to make tablets or capsules in the course of compounding a drug by a person authorized to do so under the Health Professions Act or the Pharmacy Operations and Drug Scheduling Act, or by an individual for personal use

All Controlled Equipment that is automated or semi-automated (in the common meaning of the words) must be registered through the Pill Press Registry’s Equipment Notification process. In general, manual equipment is not considered Controlled Equipment. However, if the manual equipment can be automated, for example by attaching a motor to operate the hand crank, then it becomes Controlled Equipment under the Act.

Equipment Notification Process

Owners can easily notify their current Controlled Equipment inventory and any new piece of equipment they acquire or sale using the Pill Press Online Registry. Owners are responsible to keep an up-to-date inventory on the Pill Press Registry; and, must submit an equipment notification within 10 days of coming into possession of a new piece of equipment.

Once an owner has received confirmation or approval from the Registrar regarding their owner category, the owner must register each piece of equipment following these six steps:

Review the Business Profile to ensure that all the details are accurate and up-to-date.

Choose the Controlled Equipment type to register such as pill press, encapsulator, pharmaceutical mixer or blender. Authorized owners and waiver holders are also required to explain how the piece of Controlled Equipment will be used in the manufacturing process.

Note. Even though dies, moulds and punches are considered Controlled Equipment, owners are not required to provide an Equipment Notification to the Registrar regarding these pieces of equipment at this time.

Identify how the Controlled Equipment was built. For commercially manufactured equipment, identify the manufacturer, make, model, and serial number. For custom-built or other equipment, describe how the controlled equipment was built and the details about the parts of equipment.

If the Controlled Equipment was into possession after the legislation was in force (January 15, 2019), provide how the controlled equipment came to the owner possession (e.g. purchased from BC seller, imported to BC, leased).

Owners have an ongoing obligation to keep the Registrar updated about the location at which each piece of Controlled Equipment is ordinarily stored. Provide the location the controlled equipment is ordinarily stored and report when it changes.

Confirm the Controlled Equipment information provided and the owner’s authorization to use of the equipment.


Changes to Controlled Equipment

All owner categories have an ongoing obligation to notify the Registrar about the following changes made to the Controlled Equipment:


When a new piece of Controlled Equipment is acquired, the business is required to advise the Registrar within 10 days by filling out an online Equipment Notification.


Anyone selling Controlled Equipment in BC must have a Registered Seller registration. If a business acts as a broker or supplier of alternative ownership arrangements (i.e. renting, leasing, lending) for Controlled Equipment, these are considered controlled activities. Please refer to the Registered Seller page for more information.


Any changes to the location where the Controlled Equipment is ordinarily stored must be reported and updated in the Pill Press Online Registry.

Lost, Stolen, or Destroyed:

If a piece of Controlled Equipment is lost, stolen, or destroyed, it must be reported to the Registrar.