How the Farm Implements Act Protects You - Your Rights and Responsibilities Relating to Farm Machinery

Table of Contents

  1. Under the act, what is considered "farm machinery"?
  2. What are the benefits of the Farm Implements Act?
  3. Do dealers and distributors have to be registered?
  4. How do dealers and distributors register their businesses?
  5. How does the act benefit me as a farmer?
  6. How are the purchases of new machinery protected?
  7. What about leased equipment?
  8. What about spare parts?
  9. Are all machinery disputes covered?
  10. How does the act help farmers who have complaints about their machinery?
  11. What is the procedure for filing a complaint under the act?
  12. What is the benefit of a tribunal hearing?
  13. Who sits on the Appeal Tribunal?
  14. How does the act affect dealer contracts?
  15. Do manufacturers and distributors benefit from the act?
  16. How does the act affect the sale of farm implements?
  17. What are the minimum warranties established by the act?
  18. Who is responsible for warranties?
  19. What is the role of the dealer concerning warranties?
  20. What about the supply of parts?
  21. What happens if my farm implement breaks down during the season and parts are not available?
  22. What happens if the distributor or dealer does not supply the parts within the specified time?
  23. What should I do if my new farm implement is defective?
  24. What if my farm implement is defective and my dealer has gone out of business?
  25. How does the act improve the safety of farm implements on the market?
  26. What about roll bars on tractors?
  27. Do dealers have to supply operator's manuals for used farm implements?
  28. Can I buy a used farm implement without shields or decals?

What is the purpose of the Farm Implements Act?

In response to a joint request from farmers and farm machinery dealers, the Government of Ontario established the Farm Implements Act in 1990. Its purpose is to improve farm machinery safety, and to protect the large investments that farmers and dealers make in farm machinery.

The act helps give farmers confidence in the quality, reliability and safety of new farm machinery when purchasing or leasing, and in the service they can expect from their dealers and manufacturers. The act assures dealers that if the dealership contract ends, they will not be left with expensive inventory. It saves manufacturers from having to make expensive settlements in machinery disputes simply to preserve their public image. It promotes co-operation and good relations between farmers, dealers and manufacturers.

The act is administered by the Environmental Management Branch of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). The ministry establishes and enforces safety standards and regulations to improve machinery safety, and reduce farm fatalities and injuries.

The Environmental Management Branch also helps to resolve disputes between farmers, dealers and distributors. If conflict resolution fails, the parties can apply to the Appeal Tribunal for a hearing. The tribunal panel that hears the case includes farmers and industry representatives.

This web page answers some questions about the act and the Farm Implements Act Program. For more specific information, please refer to the Farm Implements Act and its two regulations, Ontario Regulation 369 - General and Ontario Regulation 123/06 - Dealership Agreements. You can download these from the ministry's farm mechanization website.

For more information, please contact:

Agricultural Information Contact Centre
Toll free: 1-877-424-1300
TTY: 1-855-696-2811
Email: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca

Under the act, what is considered "farm machinery"?

The terms "farm machinery," "farm equipment" and "farm implement" are interchangeable. The act refers to all of them as "farm implements," and are defined as any equipment or machinery designed and used for agriculture or horticulture. This includes farmstead equipment systems, such as milking, ventilation, feeding or manure handling systems. It also includes precision agriculture equipment, such as precision planting, yield monitoring and auto-steer equipment.

It does not include:

  • farm implements (or systems) with a manufacturer's list price less than $3,500
  • tractors developing 20 horsepower (15 kW) or less
  • motor vehicles as defined in the Highway Traffic Act
  • lawn and garden equipment
  • tires
  • drainage machinery

What are the benefits of the Farm Implements Act?

There are many benefits for farmers, dealers and distributors under the act. Visit the Benefits of the Farm Implements Act web page for more information.

Do dealers and distributors have to be registered?

To operate in Ontario, all dealers and distributors must be registered with OMAFRA.

How do dealers and distributors register their businesses?

Dealers and distributors can easily register their businesses with OMAFRA. Simply complete the Application for Dealer Registration form or the Application for Distributor Registration form and submit it to:
Farm Implements Act Program
Environmental Management Branch
Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
1 Stone Road West, 3rd Floor
Guelph, Ontario N1G 4Y2
Email: becky.curran@ontario.ca

How does the act benefit me as a farmer?

The information on this page describes how you can benefit from the act concerning:

  • machinery purchases
  • leased machinery
  • spare parts
  • warranties
  • machinery performance
  • machinery safety
  • resolution of general farm machinery issues and complaints
  • resolution of disputes with dealers and distributors

How are the purchases of new machinery protected?

New machinery purchases are protected under the act in the following ways:

All new farm implements that cost over $3,500 have, by law, a standard minimum one-year warranty.

  • Farmers can return new farm implements if the implements are defective.
  • Dealers must make sure that the farm implements they sell (new and used) have all necessary safety shields and decals.
  • Dealers must supply operator's manuals with new farm implements.

What about leased equipment?

You are covered under the act even if you lease farm implements.

What about spare parts?

Under the act,

  • When a farmer purchases a new farm implement, the distributor and dealer must supply spare parts for 10 years.
  • Emergency spare parts are parts needed when an implement breaks down during its season of use. The distributor must supply spare parts within three working days. If the distributor is not able to supply spare parts in this time, he/she may have to cover half the cost the farmer must pay to rent replacement equipment.

Are all machinery disputes covered?

Conflict resolution is available for all disputes about issues that are covered in the act. These include safety, performance and warranty of new machinery, parts supply, repairs and dealer contract termination.

How does the act help farmers who have complaints about their machinery?

The act gives farmers

  • a way to resolve an issue if a dealer does not properly repair an implement.
  • a complaint resolution service to help resolve disputes between farmers, dealers and manufacturers.
  • the Appeal Tribunal that can solve disputes that are not settled through conflict resolution.

What is the procedure for filing a complaint under the act?

You can download a complaint form and fax, mail or email it to us:

Farm Implements Act Program
Environmental Management Branch
Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
1 Stone Road West, 3rd Floor
Guelph, Ontario N1G 4Y2
Fax: 519-826-3259
Email: becky.curran@ontario.ca

You can also file a complaint by calling 519-826-4049.

What is the benefit of a tribunal hearing?

Tribunal hearings give farmers a way to address their complaints. It is cheaper, faster and less formal than the legal court process. Also, the Appeal Tribunal panel knows more about agriculture and farm implements than provincial court judges.

Who sits on the Appeal Tribunal?

The Appeal Tribunal is made up of farmers and lawyers representing all forms of agriculture. A three-member panel hears each case. For farm implement cases, the panel includes members who are dealers or distributors.

How does the act affect dealer contracts?

  • The act allows dealers to return inventory to the distributor when the dealership contract ends.
  • It outlines standard farm implement safety requirements that reduce the risk of lawsuits arising from farm implement accidents.
  • The act gives dealers a way to resolve issues with farmers and manufacturers.
  • It allows the Appeal Tribunal to rule on disputes that cannot be solved through conflict resolution.
  • It provides a way to discuss and resolve issues between dealers and manufacturers, farmer organizations and government.
  • The act does not allow dealer exclusivity clauses as part of dealer/distributor contracts. These clauses would limit the brands of farm machinery a dealer could sell. Dealers can therefore offer a broad range of farm machinery, and support small Ontario manufacturers.
  • Regulation 123/06 under the act establishes rules for how contracts can be ended between distributors and dealers.
  • Amendments to the act clearly outline the process dealers must follow to return parts inventories to distributors. This has resolved some confusion between dealers and manufacturers.
  • The industry will work together to resolve issues when they come up.

Do manufacturers and distributors benefit from the act?

Manufacturers and distributors also benefit from the complaint resolution service provided under the act. Manufacturers and distributors benefit from

  • savings in legal costs and time associated with court cases.
  • not having to pay settlements outside of the provincial court to preserve their public image.

Through ministry consultations, manufacturers and distributors have a chance to discuss and resolve industry concerns, such as

  • farm implement safety
  • warranty compensation
  • dealer-distributor agreements
  • return of parts inventories

How does the act affect the sale of farm implements?

A sale agreement between the customer and a dealer must be documented and contain

  • the description of the farm implement and any implement traded in
  • the purchase price and any trade-in allowance
  • the date of delivery
  • the names and addresses of the purchaser, dealer and distributor
  • the nature and duration of the warranties
  • other information as required by the act

What are the minimum warranties established by the act?

Every new farm implement must be built properly and must work in the way the manufacturer describes. Also, the warranty says that a new farm implement must produce and work at the power stated in the sale agreement (e.g. if the sales invoice says that a tractor is 75 horsepower, the tractor must produce 75 horsepower). These warranties are for the following periods:

  • for tractors: the lesser of one year or 1,000 hours of operation
  • for combines: the lesser of one year or 500 hours of operation
  • for all other farm implements: one year
  • for new repair parts: 90 day warranty that parts will be free from defects

Distributors and manufacturers can offer longer warranties, especially for tractors and combines.

Who is responsible for warranties?

The distributor is responsible for honouring the warranties on power and quality.

What is the role of the dealer concerning warranties?

The dealer makes warranty repairs with the approval and direction of the distributor.

What about the supply of parts?

For every new farm implement sold, parts must be available for 10 years after the sale.

What happens if my farm implement breaks down during the season and parts are not available?

You must notify the dealer in writing and the dealer must order the repair parts from the distributor.

The distributor must have the parts at the dealership within three working days, unless delayed by circumstances beyond their control.

What happens if the distributor or dealer does not supply the parts within the specified time?

The distributor or dealer must either provide or pay for a substitute farm implement for half the normal rental cost.

What should I do if my new farm implement is defective?

You should inform the dealer in writing within 10 days of finding the defect.

You can return a defective new farm implement to the dealer if:

  • you started using the unit within 12 months of purchasing it and
  • you found the defect within the first 10 days or 100 hours of using the equipment and
  • you informed the dealer in writing within 10 days of finding the defect and
  • the dealer or distributor was unable to fix the unit within 14 working days

After the first four working days, the dealer or distributor should give you a suitable farm implement to use while they continue to fix your implement.

If the dealer and distributor are unable to repair the implement after 14 working days, the distributor must either replace the unit or refund the purchase price. The refund will be discounted according to actual use of the unit. If there was a trade in, the value of the trade in will be considered in the refund amount.

What if my farm implement is defective and my dealer has gone out of business?

You should send written notice of the defective implement to the Farm Implements Act Program to:

Farm Implements Act Program
Environmental Management Branch
Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Ministry of Rural Affairs
1 Stone Road West, 3rd Floor
Guelph, Ontario N1G 4Y2
Email: becky.curran@ontario.ca

OMAFRA will inform the distributor.

How does the act improve the safety of farm implements on the market?

To protect people from injury, distributors and dealers must make sure that the farm implements they sell have appropriate shields and/or guards. Appropriate safety decals (labels) must be on the equipment to give important safety information to the user. The purchaser must be given an operator's manual and relevant safety instructions. Under the act, the dealer must get the purchaser's written confirmation that the dealer met these safety requirements.

The act authorizes the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs to establish safety standards and regulations. The act empowers the Director to enforce these standards and regulations.

What about roll bars on tractors?

All new tractors sold by Ontario dealers must be equipped with roll-over protective structures (ROPS). This requirement also applies to used tractors manufactured after January 1, 1992.

Do dealers have to supply operator's manuals for used farm implements?

The dealer must provide an operator's manual when selling used farm implements if one is available. General safety manuals are available for certain classes of farm implements, such as tractors and loaders. If neither an operator's manual nor a general safety manual is available, the dealer can sell the used farm implement without one.

Can I buy a used farm implement without shields or decals?

A dealer can sell you a used farm implement without safety shields, guards or decals only if you sign a statement that the implement will be used for parts only.


For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca
Author: OMAFRA Staff
Creation Date: 10 March 2014
Last Reviewed: 04 April 2015