Frequently Asked Questions on Explosives Regulations, 2013 – Parts 1 to 10

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General Frequently Asked Questions

The previous Regulations were out of date and make it difficult for regulated entities to determine their obligations under the Regulations. The language was archaic and the layout was not conducive to easy interpretation. The technologies and products that the Explosives Act and those Regulations were designed to control have changed significantly, and the Regulations needed to be modified to address the resulting inconsistencies and gaps in relation to the current use of explosives in Canada.

The Explosives Regulations, 2013 have been sub-divided into 20 Parts, some of which apply to all stakeholders and some to specific industries. This makes it easier to navigate the Regulations as there is no longer the need to go though all the Regulations to determine what applies. Each Part dealing with specific industries further divides the Part into the requirements for the sellers, storage, and users. In addition to bringing together the Regulations into Parts, the language used is easier to understand and follow.

Q. What are the changes contained in the Explosives Regulations, 2013?

The Explosives Regulations, 2013 now include bringing into force some outstanding obligations under the Public Safety Act:

  • exportation and in-transit transportation of explosives permits;
  • collection of information on the manufacture and distribution of explosives; and
  • security screening requirements to allow a person to possess a high-hazard explosive.

Notable changes under the Explosives Regulations, 2013 include:

  • classification of explosives is updated;
  • simplification of record keeping on the sale of explosives;
  • defines concepts of modern explosives manufacture, e.g., bulk sites and mobile process units;
  • specifies requirement for operating procedures, training, and maintenance plans;
  • specifies requirements for a Security Plan, Key Control Plan, and Fire Safety Plan;
  • eliminates unlicensed storage (Purchase and Possession Permits) and current explosives transportation permit;
  • introduces permits for transporting oversize explosive articles;
  • eliminates transportation requirements now addressed by Transport Canada;
  • requirements on the safe use of special effect pyrotechnics; and
  • requirements for the safe handling of display fireworks, e.g., pre-firing procedures, written plans, setting up danger zones, etc.

Q. Were any changes made based on comments received from Canada Gazette, Part I?

A total of more than 240 responses from 180 companies and individuals were received, some of which resulted in minor changes to the Explosives Regulations, 2013. The changes included:

  • a better definition of “net explosive quantity”;
  • added allowances to use modern labeling methods on explosives such as bar and matrix codes;
  • changed custom broker to freight forwarder in the application for export and in- transit permits;
  • added “rocket motor/moteurs de fusée” as allowable wording on packaging;
  • removed the requirement for annual inspection of explosives vehicles;
  • small arms cartridges are now defined as up to 19.1 millimetres;
  • removed the distinction between small arms cartridges containing propellant powder or black powder;
  • quantity of black powder permitted in a detached dwelling is now 10 kilograms (consistent with the previous Regulations);
  • wording on tracer and armour-piercing projectiles in small arms cartridges removed;
  • access to small arms cartridges storage must not be unlimited (“protect from theft” removed);
  • maximum impulse for rocket motors permitted to 12- to 17-year-olds increased to 80 newton-seconds to harmonize with the United States;
  • the table on using model rockets was removed;
  • consumer firework aerial articles may be displayed for sale provided they are kept in approved transport packaging; and
  • minor changes to the wording were made to improve the clarity of the Regulations and to fix typos and reference errors.

Q. Can you provide an example of how the previous Regulations were archaic?

Current Regulation 82

Where danger may arise from foreign matter being present with the explosive or any ingredient thereof, all ingredients to be made or mixed into the explosive shall, before being so made or mixed, be carefully examined, sifted or otherwise treated for the purpose of removing therefrom or excluding, so far as is practicable, all such dangerous foreign matter.

Proposed Regulation 65(3)

If the likelihood of an ignition could be increased as a result of foreign matter (for example, bolts, gravel or grit) being present in or mixed with any raw material, or explosive used as raw material, the material must be carefully examined and passed through a sieve or treated to remove or exclude the foreign matter before manufacturing operations begin.

Q. How will it be easier to navigate the Explosives Regulations, 2013?

In the previous Regulations, it was difficult to determine all the requirements that had to be followed as they are listed throughout the document. The Explosives Regulations, 2013 sort the requirements into Parts, which will allow a person to determine their obligations by referencing the Part or Parts that address their industry. A further sub-division of the Parts consolidates the obligations for various segments of the industry being regulated.

Q. Why were the previous classes of explosives eliminated, and explain the new types? (Part 3)

The previous classification system was based in part on explosives that are no longer in use and were difficult to apply to modern explosives. Under the Explosives Regulations, 2013, the classification system for explosives is comprehensive and better represents their intended use and associated hazards. The structure of the Explosives Regulations, 2013 was facilitated by the new classification system, and the various Parts dealing with specific explosives are reflected by the new types.

The classification is part of the authorization process. For the authorization itself, the tests described at the end of Part 3 are applied. The classification is based on tests or methodologies that differ from those done for authorization. Classification is threefold: assign a type, assign a potential effect, and assign a UN transport number.

An explosives type is assigned based on an explosive’s intended use and the associated hazards. High explosives have the designation type E, initiation systems are designated type I, cartridges are designated type C, military and law enforcement explosives are designated type D, fireworks are designated type F, rocket motors are designated type R, and special-purpose explosives are designated type S. Each of these designated types is further sub-divided depending on the application within the broad type designation. The breakdown is contained in section 36(2). 

In addition to an explosive type, a potential effect (PE) category will be assigned. The potential effect is used for the purposes of manufacturing and storage, and is assigned from PE1 to PE4 based on the expected hazard resulting from an explosion. The hazard associated with each potential effect is listed in section 36(3).

A UN number is assigned to an explosive for its transportation classification. 

Q. How do I apply for an export or in-transit permit? (Part 4)

The same form used to apply for an import permit will be adapted to apply for an export or in-transit permit. The requirements for export and in-transit permits come into effect one year after the Explosives Regulations, 2013 come into force.

Q. What are the security screening requirements? (Part 8)

Licence, certificate, or permit holder employees who will have unsupervised access to explosive types E (high explosives), I (initiation systems) and D (military or law enforcement explosives) will need to have a security screening conducted or possess acceptable documents such as a NEXUS card, FAST card, a Firearms Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL), or a Permis Général issued by the Sûreté du Québec. The reasons for refusal are for serious crimes committed within the previous five years, in addition to an order prohibiting the possession of explosives. These include convictions involving explosives, murder, attempted murder, and indictable offences involving violence. There is an appeal process if a person has been refused. Screening is valid for five years from the date of issue. Persons who are waiting for their approval letter or who have been refused can still work under the direct supervision of a person who has been approved. The requirements for security screening come into force one year after the Explosives Regulations, 2013 for manufacturing and vendor licences and certificates, and two years after the Regulations for storage licences, and for import, export, and in-transit permits.

Q. What are the Security Plan requirements? (Parts 5 and 6)

The requirements for a Security Plan are contained in the Explosives Regulations, 2013. A Security Plan is required for licences and certificates for manufacturing or storing type E (high explosives), type I (initiation systems) and type D (military and law enforcement explosives). It is intended to ensure that licensees have addressed specific elements involved in the security of the explosives under their control, including a response to security issues. The plan is to be submitted with the initial application or upon renewal following the coming into force of the Explosives Regulations, 2013. The Explosives Regulations, 2013 will also require that a Security Plan be implemented and updated if there is a change of circumstances that could adversely affect the security of the explosives.  A guideline and sample plan are available to assist licensees with their Security Plan.

Q. Is screening part of the Security Plan?

The Security Plan addresses the security issues of the site where explosives are being kept. Screening is for workers within the explosives industry. Because screening does not affect the site, it is not part of the application; however, it may be addressed in the Security Plan in order to meet the obligation of the licence holder as required under Part 8.

Q. What does the Fire Safety Plan include? (Part 6)

The requirements of a Fire Safety Plan are included in the Explosives Regulations, 2013 and are required for all storage licences regardless of the type of explosive being stored. It is a plan outlining measures to be taken in the event of a fire involving or threatening explosives under the licensee’s control and includes notifications and training. The plan must be put into place and updated if a change of circumstances adversely affects the explosives. The plan must be submitted with the application and sent to the local fire department. A guideline document is available to assist licensees with their Fire Safety Plan.

Q. Why is it necessary to inform the fire department?

If fire departments respond to an emergency situation, they should not encounter any additional danger such as explosives that might explode in a fire. Therefore, the Fire Safety Plan is sent to local fire departments in order to inform them about what explosives are on site and where they are stored.

Q. What are the contents of a Key Control Plan? (Part 6)

Prior to the Explosives Regulations, 2013, the requirements for a Key Control Plan were included in the Storage Standards for Industrial Explosives, 2001. With the inclusion of a Key Control Plan in the Explosives Regulations, 2013, a plan is now required for all storage licences. Key control is an integral part of explosives security, and the inclusion of the requirements in the Explosives Regulations, 2013 reflects its importance. The requirements include numbering of the keys, providing a list of persons who have access to the keys, and securing keys when not in the possession of a person on the list. The plan must be updated to reflect any change of circumstances.  A guideline document is available to assist licensees with their Key Control Plan.

Q. What does “change of circumstances” mean? (Parts 5 and 6)

A change of circumstances means any issue that adversely affects a site and requires plans to be updated. These can include such things as the addition of a magazine or building, encroachment, or increased security risks, and may also include a change in personnel.

Q. Are there any requirements that can delay the issuing of a licence, certificate or permit? (Parts 4, 5 and 6)

A licence, certificate or permit may be delayed for various reasons including an incomplete application, missing or incomplete Security Plan, or issues with screening (see Part 8).

Q. I am a blaster. What Parts of the Explosives Regulations, 2013 affect me?

As a blaster, you are a user and the explosives being handled are usually type E (high explosives) and type I (initiation systems), also called industrial explosives. Industrial explosives are covered in Part 11. As a user of industrial explosives, a storage licence is required and that is covered by Part 6. Part 7 (Provisions of General Application) covers Regulations that all licence holders must comply with. Because you will be using types E and I explosives, the security screening provisions in Part 8 must also be followed.  Additional Parts to consult are Part 1 (Introduction), Part 2 (General Requirements, Prohibitions and Safety Precautions), Part 9 (Transporting Explosives), and Part 19 (Fees).

Q. I am a special effects pyrotechnician in the film industry. What Parts of the Explosives Regulations, 2013 affect me?

As a holder of a fireworks operator certificate (special effects pyrotechnician), Part 17 will apply. Due to the unique effects that are required in the TV and film industry, Part 3 (Authorization and Classification) will also need to be consulted. If you are using detonating cord (an industrial explosive) as part of the effects, the provisions in Part 11 (Industrial Explosives) need to be reviewed along with Parts 6 and 7. Other Parts to consult are Part 1 (Introduction), Part 2 (General Requirements, Prohibitions and Safety Precautions), Part 8 (Screening), Part 9 (Transporting Explosives), and Part 19 (Fees).

Q. I am an importer of explosives used in mining. What Parts of the Explosives Regulations, 2013 affect me?

As an importer, the Regulations contained in Part 4 are to be followed. As mining explosives are type E, the provisions in Part 8 (screening) must also be complied with. If  a storage licence is required under Part 11 (Industrial Explosives), the requirements of Parts 6 and 7 are to be followed. Other Parts to consult are Part 1 (Introduction), Part 2 (General Requirements, Prohibitions and Safety Precautions), Part 9 (Transporting Explosives), and Part 19 (Fees).

Q. What would be helpful to know before reading the remaining frequently asked questions?

Certain terms contained in the Explosives Regulations, 2013 are defined while others use the accepted dictionary definition. Those that have a specific definition are defined in Part 1 and are proceeded by an asterisk (*) each time it is referenced in a section.

The terms "distributor," "retailer," "seller" and "user" are used in many Parts. They mean:

  • A "distributor" is a person or company who sells to another "distributor," a "retailer" or a "user" and must hold a licence. 
  • A "retailer" can only sell to a "user" and can either be licensed or unlicensed. 
  • A "seller" means a "distributor" or "retailer."
  • A "user" acquires explosives for use only. 

The term “storage unit” is defined in Part 1 and means a building, structure, place or container in which explosives are stored and that is not licensed. It does not include a dwelling or any structure, place, or container in a dwelling. If a licence has been issued, the explosives must be stored in the magazine specified in the licence.

The term “dwelling” as used in the Explosives Regulations, 2013 has the same meaning as in the Criminal Code:

“Dwelling-house” means the whole or any part of a building or structure that is kept or occupied as a permanent or temporary residence, and includes:
(a) a building within the curtilage of a dwelling-house that is connected to it by a doorway or by a covered and enclosed passageway, and
(b) a unit that is designed to be mobile and to be used as a permanent or temporary residence and that is being used as such a residence.

When “attended” is used in the Explosives Regulations, 2013, it means to be constantly monitored by a person, and includes monitoring by a person using electronic means unless the Explosives Regulations, 2013 state otherwise, and is defined in Part 1.

“Net quantity” means the mass of explosive excluding the mass of any packaging, container, shell casing, or projectile and, in the case of an “explosive article,” also excluding any component that is not an “explosive substance.” “Gross mass” means the mass of the explosive (substance or article) plus the mass of any packaging, container, shell casing, projectile, or any component that is not an “explosive substance.” Each Part will state whether net quantity or gross mass is to be used within that Part.

A document or record may be either hard copy or electronic unless specifically stated that it must be written. Records are generally kept for two years unless stated otherwise in the Explosives Regulations, 2013.

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Part 1. Introduction

This Part sets out the scheme and application of the Explosives Regulations, 2013 and exempts some explosives from provisions of the Explosives Act. It also defines certain terms that are used in the Explosives Regulations, 2013, including “explosives.” Finally, it explains the function of the notes and asterisks that are used in the Explosives Regulations, 2013.

Q. Which explosives are exempt from the Explosives Regulations, 2013?

The explosives that are exempt are specified under section 5 of this Part, except when being manufactured under Part 5. They include matches, life-saving devices, diluted explosives, Christmas crackers, and explosives that are under the control of any armed forces that are cooperating with the Canadian Forces.

Q. What is the purpose of a note?

The notes that appear beneath some sections do not form part of the Explosives Regulations, 2013, but are included for convenience only. Notes can refer to another applicable section of the Explosives Act or to another Part of the Explosives Regulations, 2013.

Q. What does the asterisk (*) mean?

If the asterisk appears before a word, it means that word is defined in section 6 of this Part. The asterisk is used only the first time that word is used in a section. It means that the word is used in more than one Part. If a word needs defining and is used in only one Part, then the word is defined in the Part in which it appears. Definitions in the Explosives Regulations, 2013 can refine a definition used in the Act, but cannot broaden the intent of the definition. Words that are not defined have the same meaning as found in the dictionary.

Q. What types of correspondence are not acceptable for delivery by electronic means?

Correspondence that must be submitted in writing and not electronically include: the suspension or cancellation of a licence, permit or certificate; an approval letter or enrolment; and correspondence from a local authority approving unlicensed storage of display fireworks in a storage unit.

Q. What is a “multi-ingredient kit” and why is it defined as an explosive?

A multi-ingredient kit is also known as a two-component or binary explosive. The components themselves are not explosives but, when mixed, they form an explosive. Under the power of s. 5.(a.1) of the Explosives Act, the complete kit (including separate unmixed components) is declared an explosive, meaning that the Explosives Regulations, 2013 need to be followed.

Q. Why is a “military device” defined?

This is associated with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Convention on the marking of plastic explosives for detection. Most of the requirements have expired with time, but this definition is needed to address the applicable section in the Explosives Act.

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Part 2. General Requirements, Prohibitions and Safety Precautions

This Part sets out the requirements, prohibitions and safety precautions that apply to every person who is carrying out an activity involving explosives or who is in the vicinity of explosives.

The Explosives Regulations, 2013 place the onus on anyone supervising anyone else to make sure that the person being supervised is properly trained.

Q. What is the age requirement for handling explosives?

The general requirement is 18 years of age and any exceptions to that are contained in the Part in which they appear (for example, a visitor under Part 5 and model rocket motors in Part 15). Section 10 of this Part further explains that the requirement does not apply to a person who acquires small arms cartridges for personal use as this is covered by other legislation.

Q. Can you provide an example of “. . . use fireworks only for the purpose for which they were designed”?

A roman candle is designed to be used as a firework’s effect to entertain. However, this does not extend to such things as taping them together or holding them in one’s hands and pointing the firework’s effect at others.

Q. What are intrinsically unsafe explosives?

Section 12 refers to explosives that the Minister believes to have a high risk of causing injury. For example, trick fireworks can startle people or have caused serious injury in the past. Certain chemical mixtures have been shown to ignite spontaneously and should not be used in explosives.

Q. What other general prohibitions appear in this Part?

This Part contains the general prohibitions of not smoking near (within 8 metres of) an explosive, not carrying out an activity (such as making or handling) if that person is under the influence of alcohol or other performance-diminishing substances, not defacing any markings on an explosive or its packaging, or submitting false or misleading information.

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Part 3. Authorization and Classification of Explosives

This Part sets out the procedure for obtaining authorization of an explosive and when permission is required to make changes to an explosive that has been authorized. It also deals with the classification and reclassification of explosives, their recall, and the cancellation of an authorization. Finally, it sets out activities involving an explosive that may be carried out even if the explosive is not authorized.

Q. What has changed in the Explosives Regulations, 2013?

The major changes in the Explosives Regulations, 2013 with respect to the authorization are:

  • The current Canadian classes are superseded by a classification based on explosive use, which better represents modern explosives;
  • The concept of potential effects is introduced to better address hazards other than for a transport situation;
  • The use of the UN transport classification scheme is formally introduced in the Explosives Regulations, 2013;
  • The List of Authorized Explosives will be published administratively on the Explosives Regulatory Division web site as opposed to the current need to publish in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on a yearly basis; and
  • The name of the manufacturer or a person authorized by the manufacturer will be the one that appears on the list of authorized explosives, label, and any other documents used for shipping or importation. A distributor can no longer obtain an authorization.

Q. Are there any fees related to the authorization process? If so, where is the fee schedule located?

Yes, there is a fee related to the authorization process. The applicant for an authorization must pay the applicable fees set out in Part 19, which were adopted under the User Fees Act (UFA).

Q. As a manufacturer or distributor, is the authorization I obtained under the previous Regulations still valid or does the implementation of the Explosives Regulations, 2013 mean that I have to go through the authorization process again?

The authorizations obtained under the previous Regulations will still be valid under the Explosives Regulations, 2013. However, some minor changes will be required in terms of the labelling of an explosive and its packaging, and the person’s or company’s name on the list of authorized explosives.

Q. How much time will I be given to comply with the Explosives Regulations, 2013?

The Explosives Regulations, 2013 will need to be complied with upon their coming into force on February 1, 2014.

Q. Will the authorization process steps remain the same?

Yes, the authorization process remains the same. Guidelines for the authorization and classification of explosives are published in a separate document that explains the process in detail.

Q. What is the turnaround time to process an application for authorization?

A new application is reviewed within 30 days of being received. If additional information is required from the applicant or if testing is necessary, the 30-day countdown starts again from the time the additional information or test results are received.

Q. Do all explosives need to be authorized regardless of their quantities, intended use, etc.?

All explosives that are imported, exported, transited, manufactured, stored, transported or used in Canada are subject to this Part. Section 25 provides for an exemption from authorization for certain activities involving explosives.

Q. Do explosives intended for field trial or experimental uses also need to be authorized?

Yes, explosives intended for field trials or experimental uses must also comply with this Part and be authorized for a specified period.

Q. What is the difference between an authorization for an indefinite period and an authorization for a specified period?

An authorization for an indefinite period is issued if the explosive is intended to be used in ongoing or recurring activities. Explosives authorized for an indefinite period are published on the list of authorized explosives. An authorization for a specified period is issued if the explosive is intended to be used for a specific purpose within a specified period. Explosives authorized for a specified period are not published on the list of authorized explosives.

Q. What is the difference between an authorization and a classification?

Authorization is the process by which an explosive substance or explosive article, as defined by the Explosives Regulations, 2013, is declared authorized by the Chief Inspector of Explosives, at which time it becomes legal to manufacture, import, export, sell, transport, possess or use that explosive substance or explosive article in Canada. As part of this process, the explosive substance or explosive article is classified. Each authorized explosive is classified by type, hazard category, and UN number in accordance with section 36 of the Explosives Regulations, 2013.

Q. Does Canada accept the classification provided by other competent authorities?

Classification provided by other well-known competent authorities such as DOT (United States), BAM (Germany), HSE (United Kingdom), and Ineris (France) may be accepted by Canada. When a 1.4S classification is expected, copies of the test results may be requested. In some instances, the tests are insufficient and additional testing may be required to determine the most appropriate classification of the explosive.

Q. If no classification from other competent authorities is provided in support of an application, on which basis is the transport classification of an explosive determined?

The transport classification of an explosive can be determined by analogy to other similar explosives that are packaged in a similar fashion. In other instances, samples are required for transport classification testing. For fireworks articles, the default classification table published in the UN Manual – Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods is consulted.

Q. In which language must safety warnings and instructions for use appear on the packaging? What about the labelling of an article?

All safety warnings and instructions for use that appear on the packaging and on an explosive article must be in both the English and French languages.

Q. How do I determine the potential effect of an explosive? Are there any explanatory documents that I can refer to?

The main purpose of the potential effect is for the application of Quantity Distance principles for manufacturing and storage. A guideline document to determine the potential effects is available on the Explosives Regulatory Division’s web site.

Q. As an applicant, how do I know an explosive has been declared authorized? Will I receive any confirmation? What is the format?

Upon the complete review of a submission for authorization, the applicant will receive a letter indicating whether or not the explosives submitted are recommended for authorization in Canada. If an explosive has been declared authorized by the Chief Inspector of Explosives, a written notice (also called “notice of authorization”) will be attached to a cover letter. The written notice includes the trade names and/or part numbers of the new explosives, their complete classification, packaging instructions, list of references, terms and conditions, intended use, etc. Once declared authorized, the explosives will be added to the list of authorized explosives (with the exception of military or law enforcement explosives and explosives authorized for a specified period), which is published on the Explosives Regulatory Division’s web site.

Q. Can I modify the design, chemicals or construction of an authorized explosive at any time or will this have an impact on my authorization?

Any person or company who wants to make a change to an authorized explosive must obtain the written permission of the Chief Inspector of Explosives if the change affects any of the information provided in the application for authorization of the explosive. Change(s) to any authorized products and to any of the related systems, or use with non-manufacturer specified components, unless otherwise indicated in the approval, void the authorization or approval. Note that a modification that is determined to be significant triggers re-testing.

Q. Can an authorization be revoked or cancelled? If yes, on which basis? What is the procedure?

Under the Explosives Regulations, 2013, an authorization must be revoked or cancelled by the Chief Inspector of Explosives for:

  • unpaid fees;
  • periodic testing or if new information shows the explosive is no longer safe;
  • the Chief Inspector of Explosives cannot determine the explosive is still safe;
  • cancellation is requested; or
  • the manufacturer is no longer in business and the explosive made is no longer in anyone’s possession. 

The Chief Inspector of Explosives must provide written notification if cancellation is due to the explosive no longer being safe or if the safety cannot be determined. Being safe means an explosive is safe to manufacture, handle, store, transport, use or destroy. If an authorization is cancelled, the explosive will be taken off the list of authorized explosives.

Q. What is the List of Authorized Explosives? What information does it include? Is it public knowledge? At what frequency is it being updated?

The List of Authorized Explosives includes the trade names and/or part numbers of the explosives that were declared authorized by the Chief Inspector of Explosives under the name of the person or company who obtained the authorization. It also includes the classification of the explosives (type, hazard category, and UN number) and any restrictions imposed by the Chief Inspector of Explosives. Military and law enforcement explosives are not public knowledge and are therefore not published on the Explosives Regulatory Division’s web site. The list of authorized explosives is updated as required to keep it current, usually once per month.

Q. If the applicant is different than the manufacturer, is it the applicant or company name that will appear on the list of authorized explosives or the manufacturer’s name? Does the name need to match the labelling and packaging?

The name of the manufacturer, or the person designated by the manufacturer, who obtains the authorization will be the one that appears on the list of authorized explosives, label, and any other documents used for shipping or for import, export or in-transit shipments. This is a change from the previous Regulations where it was possible to also use the name of an authorized distributor.

Q. What will happen with the explosives that are already authorized under the previous Regulations? How will their classification be converted to the new types of explosives?

When an explosive is declared authorized by the Chief Inspector of Explosives, it is also assigned a classification that includes a UN number. The conversion will be based on the UN number(s) associated with each type or classification of explosive. For example, a consumer firework (classified as 7.2.1 under the previous Regulations) is generally assigned the number UN0336. Therefore, all the 7.2.1 and UN0336 on the current list of authorized explosives will be converted to the new explosive type F.1.

Q. Are the explosives restricted to military and police also published on the list of authorized explosives?

The Minister is not required to include on the list an explosive that is classified as a military explosive or law enforcement explosive.

Q. Section 39(b) refers to “periodic testing.” What is the meaning of “periodic testing”? Who will perform the testing? How often? Are there any alternatives to periodic testing?

Periodic testing is also called “continuing authorization testing.” Samples may be taken from the field or requested from the manufacturer at any time and subjected to testing. The testing is performed by Natural Resources Canada at the Canadian Explosives Research Laboratory (CERL). The cost of such testing is borne by the Government of Canada. The purpose of periodic testing is to verify if the samples are being compliant with the authorized drawings/declaration. Failure to meet these drawings is a cause for removal of the authorization. Similarly, continuing authorization audits are performed at manufacturing locations and are alternatives to periodic testing. Their purpose is the same as for the periodic testing, i.e., verify if the samples are made according to the authorized drawings/declaration.

Q. Will the transition from the class/division of an explosive to the new type of explosive affect the storage licence requirements or the manufacturing requirements?

The transition will not affect licensing as the concept of explosive potential and classification based on use is already being used to evaluate storage and manufacturing sites.

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Part 4. Importing and Exporting Explosives and Transporting Explosives In Transit

This Part describes the information that a person must include in an application for an import, export or transport in-transit permit; the requirements that all holders of an import, export or in-transit permit must meet; the information a permit holder must provide to the Chief Inspector of Explosives after the explosives are imported, exported or transited; and when a person may import, export or move explosives in transit without a permit.

Q. What has changed in the Explosives Regulations, 2013?

The previous Regulations only required a permit for importing explosives; however, the Explosives Act (as amended by the Public Safety Act, 2002) requires permits for export and in transit through Canada as well. Permits for export and in-transit shipments have been added to this Part, along with the information permit holders must provide. A provision to identify a secure storage location in case of emergency for in-transit explosives has been included.

Q. Were any changes made as a result of comments from Canada Gazette, Part I?

Yes. There were a few minor changes made to better address the explosives industry. The changes are:

  • allowing the use of modern labelling methods such as bar and matrix codes to be used to mark information on explosives;
  • adding the option to use “rocket motor/moteurs de fusée” on an explosive label; and
  • replacing “customs broker” with “freight forwarder” in the application form for export and in-transit permits.

Q. How do I apply for an export or in-transit permit?

The same form used to apply for an import permit will be adapted to apply for an export or in-transit permit. The requirements for export and in-transit permits come into effect one year after the Explosives Regulations, 2013 come into force.

Q. Who can apply for and receive a permit?

The applicant that signs the application form is the one who will receive the permit unless they give written approval to someone else. The application can be submitted by a broker or an agent.

Q. How long does it take to process a permit?

Most applications for permits will be processed within 30 days after all the required information is received.

Q. What are the fees for the new export and in-transit permits?

There are currently no fees for export and in-transit permits. The costs for import permits are as set out in Part 19, which were adopted under the User Fees Act (UFA).

Q. Why is proof needed to show that exported and in-transit explosives may lawfully enter the country of destination and transit any country through which they will be transported?

Prior to issuing an export or in-transit permit through Canada, the Explosives Regulatory Division needs to ensure that all the regulations of the transiting countries up to the final destination of the importer are not contravened.

Q. How do I submit an import, export or in-transit report?

All reports are to be submitted using the forms provided by the Explosives Regulatory Division. The form currently used to report imports will also be used to report exports and in-transit through Canada shipments.

Q. Why is proper labelling required on explosives and packaging?

Labelling is required for safety reasons, to aid inspection verification, and for tracking purposes. When the explosives are received, the importer should verify that the labelling information meets that approved during authorization and contact the Explosives Regulatory Division if information is missing.

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Part 5. Manufacturing of Explosives

This Part sets out the rules for manufacturing explosives. However, it does not apply to the manufacture of small arms cartridges or black powder cartouches for personal use (Part 14), or to repackaging under a vendor magazine licence (Part 6).

Q. What has changed in the Explosives Regulations, 2013?

The previous Regulations for the manufacture of explosives were written when the main explosives used for blasting corresponded to families of dynamites or black powder that were to be initiated by initiation systems such as safety fuse detonators. These types of explosives have now been replaced by safer explosives such as emulsion explosives and non-electric or electronic initiation systems. The technologies involved for their manufacture are very different and a number of previous Regulations were either inappropriate or incomplete. For example, in the past, dynamite cartridges were manufactured at a fixed location and then shipped for distribution to users, while today relatively insensitive emulsion explosives are manufactured in bulk, transported, and then sensitized at the point of use, resulting in much safer operations.

In addition, quality control systems with new technologies have significantly modified manufacturing methods and increased the need to have more complex procedures along with appropriate training of personnel. These Explosives Regulations, 2013 reflect these needs. 

This Part also contains the requirement for a security plan and specifies what it should address.

This Part is sub-divided into three divisions:

(a) division 1 sets out the requirements for holders of a division 1 factory licence and for workers and visitors at a factory or satellite site;
(b) division 2 sets out the requirements for holders of a division 2 factory licence or manufacturing certificate, and for workers and visitors at such a workplace; and
(c) division 3 sets out the manufacturing activities that do not require a factory licence or manufacturing certificate.

Q. Were any changes made as a result of comments from Canada Gazette, Part I?

Yes. There were a few minor changes made to better address the explosives industry. The changes are:

  • allowing the use of modern labelling methods such as bar and matrix codes to be used to mark information on explosives;
  • adding the option to use “rocket motor/moteurs de fusée” on an explosive label; and
  • minor changes to wording to improve the clarity of the Explosives Regulation, 2013.

Q. What is the difference between a division 1 and a division 2 licence?

A division 1 factory licence is issued for ongoing and permanent manufacturing operations that do not meet the requirements for a division 2 licence as specified in section 107. A division 2 factory licence or certificate is issued for small-scale operations such as a mixing operation at the point of use, or for the manufacture of explosives as a hobby or for experimental purposes.

Q. What is the difference between a factory licence and a manufacturing certificate?

A certificate is issued for operations that are temporary and occasional. If the operation does not meet this requirement, a licence must be issued.

Q. What activities are considered to be manufacturing?

Manufacturing covers the making or manufacturing of explosive substances and articles from components, altering or remaking an explosive, unmaking an explosive by any manner (including destroying), packaging, and explosives testing.

Q. What is meant by “a competent person”? How does one determine if someone is competent?

A competent person is someone who has been trained according to the Explosives Regulation, 2013 and is certified as trained by the licence holder. Training requirements include:

  • trained to carry out their duties in a safe and lawful manner;
  • trained to ensure security of the site and the safety of employees, others at the site, and the general public; and
  • trained on the contents of the Explosives Act, the Explosives Regulations, 2013, and the contents of the licence or certificate.

Q. What is “acceptable distance”?

Magazines containing explosives are sited on the basis of risk. The prime reference is the Quantity Distance Principles – User’s Manual (the tables are on the Explosives Regulatory Division web site, but the complete manual is available for purchase from the Explosives Regulatory Division). Before issuing a licence, an Explosives Regulatory Division inspector will ensure that the distances given in the application meet requirements.

Q. What is the difference between a “record” and a “logbook,” and what are acceptable methods of keeping them?

There are several sections in this Part that refer to a record or logbook. A “record” as it relates, for example, to the production or storage of explosives can be paper or electronic. A “logbook” is defined as “a record book with periodic entries” and thus implies a paper record in a book.

The format of the record or logbook is not specified, but the information required by the Explosives Regulations, 2013 must be kept. A record or logbook must be kept for two years following the last entry.

Q. Does an institution (a school, university, college, or other organization) require a licence or certificate?

An institution does not require a manufacturing licence or certificate if they do not manufacture more than 50 grams for experimental purposes under division 3 of this Part. For quantities up to 5 kilograms, they must apply for a division 2 manufacturing licence or certificate.

Q. Why is a Security Plan required?

The requirements for a Security Plan are contained in the Explosives Regulations, 2013 and is required of licences and certificates for manufacturing and storing type E (high explosives), type I (initiation systems) and type D (military and law enforcement explosives). It is designed to ensure licensees have addressed specific elements involved in the security of the explosives under their control and includes a plan to respond to security issues. The plan is required to be submitted with the initial application and upon renewal following the coming into force of the Explosives Regulations, 2013. The Explosives Regulations, 2013 also require that it be implemented and updated if there is a change of circumstances that could adversely affect the security of the explosives. A guideline document is available to assist licensees with their Security Plan and contains a sample plan.

Q. What does “change of circumstances” mean?

A change of circumstances means any issue that adversely affects a site and requires plans to be updated. These can include such things as the addition of a magazine or building, encroachment, or increased security risks, and may also include a change in personnel.

Q. Do we have to apply for a temporary hot work permit for maintenance and repairs?

Temporary hot work permits are not required under the Explosives Regulations, 2013 if a procedure for hot work is available and disclosed while obtaining the licence.

Q. Does a client site include delivering explosives to a vendor licence?

No, client sites are those at which the product is delivered for use by the client.

Q. How much product needs to be spilled to be considered a spill?

Any amount of product that is spilled must be reported to the Explosives Regulatory Division.

Q. When is someone regarded as a visitor?

A visitor is a person other than a worker at the factory.

Q. Can a company still have both a factory licence and a vendor licence for the same site?

This has never been a regulatory requirement as a factory licence allows the sales of explosives from the licensed site.

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Part 6. Magazine Licences and Storage in a Licensed Magazine

This Part sets out how to obtain a vendor magazine licence, a user magazine licence, or a user magazine zone licence. It also set out the rules applicable to holders of these licences. If a magazine licence to store is required in another Part, this is the Part used to obtain that licence.

Q. What has changed in the Explosives Regulations, 2013?

Some additional information is required in the application under the Explosives Regulations, 2013 and there is the requirement to have or provide additional documents. Additional documentation includes:

  • the requirement to submit a Security Plan with the application for a magazine licence for explosive types E (high explosives), D (military and law enforcement explosives), and I (initiating explosives) explosives, and to implement and update it;
  • the requirement to submit a Fire Safety Plan;
  • the requirement for a Key Control Plan; and
  • if applicable, the requirement to submit an expired marine flare destruction plan.

In addition to the above, the Explosives Regulations, 2013 include:

  • a change of location requirement for user magazine zone licences; and
  • regulations addressing deteriorated, expired and misfired explosives.

Q. What additional information is needed to apply for a licence?

Support documentation will be made available with the application explaining the information required in each block on the form. There are also guidance documents to assist in developing other documentation required such as the Security Plan, Fire Safety Plan, and Key Control Plan.

Q. Why is a Security Plan required?

The requirements for a Security Plan are contained in the Explosives Regulations, 2013 and are required for magazine licences storing type E (high explosives), type I (initiation systems), and type D (military and law enforcement) explosives. It is intended to ensure licensees have addressed specific elements involved in the security of the explosives under their control and a response to security issues. The plan is required to be submitted with the initial application and upon renewal following the coming into force of the Explosives Regulations, 2013. The Explosives Regulations, 2013 also require that it be implemented and updated if there is a change of circumstances with could adversely affect the security of the explosives. A guideline document is available to assist licensees with their Security Plan and contains a sample plan.

Q. What is a Fire Safety Plan? Why do I need one?

The requirements of a Fire Safety Plan are included in the Explosives Regulations, 2013 and are required for all magazine licences. It is a plan outlining measures to be taken in the event of a fire involving or threatening explosives under the licensee’s control and includes notifications and training. The plan must be put into place and updated if a change of circumstances adversely affects the explosives.The Fire Safety Plan must be prepared and submitted with the initial application or upon renewal following the coming into force of the Explosives Regulations, 2013. A guideline document is available to assist licensees with their Fire Safety Plan.

Q. What is a Key Control Plan?

Prior to the Explosives Regulations, 2013, the requirements for a Key Control Plan were included in the Storage Standards for Industrial Explosives, 2001. With the inclusion in the Explosives Regulations, 2013, a Key Control Plan is now required for all magazine licences. Key control is an integral part of explosives security and the inclusion of the requirement in the Explosives Regulations, 2013 reflects its importance. The requirements include numbering of the keys, providing a list of persons who have access to the keys, and securing keys when not in the possession of a person on the list. The plan must be updated to reflect any change of circumstances.  A guideline document is available is assist with the development of a Key Control Plan.

Q. What does “changes of circumstances” mean?

A change of circumstances means any issue that adversely affects a site and requires plans to be updated. These can include such things as the addition of a magazine or building, encroachment, or increased security risks, and may also include a change in personnel.

Q. Why is a marine flare disposal plan required?

Marine flares have an expiry date after which they must be replaced. This is a requirement under the Canada Shipping Act administered by Transport Canada, which mandates that these flares have a maximum service life of four years. Under the Explosives Regulations, 2013, distributors are required to provide plans for their collection and disposal along with their vendor magazine licence application.

Q. What is “acceptable distance”?

Magazines containing explosives are sited on the basis of risk. The prime reference is the Quantity Distance Principles – User’s Manual (the tables are on the Explosives Regulatory Division web site, but the complete manual is available for purchase from the Explosives Regulatory Division). Before issuing a licence, an Explosives Regulatory Division inspector will ensure that the distances given in the application meet requirements. However, an Explosives Regulatory Division inspector will not be at the new site when a magazine is relocated under a user magazine zone licence. It is the responsibility of the zone licence holder to ensure that the distances meet the requirements of the Manual.

Q. How much longer will it take to get a licence under the Explosives Regulations, 2013? How much more will it cost?

Under the Explosives Regulations, 2013, the only additional requirement is to submit a Security Plan and a Fire Control Plan for review prior to getting a new licence or upon renewal following the coming into force of the Explosives Regulations, 2013. Delays may be seen if there is information missing from the plans. The only other delay may be due to an applicant waiting on their security clearance (see Part 8). Additional costs may be associated with the additional time required to develop a Security Plan, a Fire Safety Plan, and a Key Control Plan if these are not already in place.

Q. What is repackaging?

Repackaging is taking the contents out of the boxes or containers they are shipped in and placing them in another package. A repackaging certificate will be required if it is done in a different type of package or if it will be done differently since this might affect its transport classification and approval.

Q. Why do I need to put two distances on my application form?

One is the actual distance and the other is the required distance from the Quantity Distance Principles – User’s Manual. Should the required distance be greater than the actual distance, the applicant can address it prior to submitting the application or request an exemption.

Q. Are signs still required?

Signs will still be required, but they will be addressed using Terms and Conditions on the licence.

Q. Will I need a third magazine (in addition to powder and detonator magazines) for storing deteriorated explosives awaiting disposal?

Only if the deteriorated explosives present an increased storage hazard will they be required to be stored in a dedicated magazine.

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Part 7. Provisions of General Application

This Part sets out the general terms and conditions that apply to all licences, permits, and certificates issued by the Minister of Natural Resources under the Explosives Act. It sets out the procedures for making a change to or renewing any of these documents.

Q. What has changed in the Explosives Regulations, 2013?

Some changes in the Explosives Regulations, 2013 include:

  • responsibilities of the holder are set out;
  • requirement to inform local fire department immediately of fire involving explosives;
  • reporting incidents is expanded to include loss and spills;
  • timing for reporting incidents changed to “as soon as circumstances permit”;
  • requirement to dispose of explosives prior to the licence, permit or certificate expiry date;
  • decommissioning plans required;
  • annual report required for manufacture, import and export; and
  • authority to suspend or cancel licences, permits and certificates is delegated to the Chief Inspector of Explosives.

Q. What is a reportable incident?

Reportable incidents are:

  • any theft, attempted theft or loss of an explosive;
  • any fire, spill or accidental explosion involving an explosive; and
  • any injury, death or accidental property damage resulting from an explosive.

Q. Who do I report the incident to?

Any fire involving an explosive must be reported immediately to the local fire department. Reportable incidents are to be reported to an inspector as soon as circumstances permit, followed by a detailed follow-up report to the Chief Inspector of Explosives.

Q. What does “as soon as circumstances permit” mean?

The term “as soon as circumstances permit” is used to provide for an appropriate response to an incident to be carried out and for an inspector to be informed once these steps have been taken. As the time taken can vary, a specified time has not been provided. Informing an inspector one week after a theft is not “as soon as circumstances permit,” but following notification of the local police would be.

Q. What are decommissioning requirements?

Before decommissioning a division 1 factory, a written decommissioning plan must be submitted to the Chief Inspector of Explosives. Other sites such as a division 2 factory, magazine, or manufacturing certificate must submit a decommissioning plan if there is any explosive residue at a workplace or in a magazine. The decommissioning plan must include descriptions of the safety measures that will be taken.

Q. Why must annual quantities manufactured, imported or exported be reported and what are the reporting requirements?

Holders of factory licences, import or export permits, and manufacturing certificates must report quantities imported, manufactured, sold, exported, lost, stolen, or destroyed during the calendar year, and the quantity in inventory as of December 31 of every year (or the date on which operations ceased). The report must be submitted by March 31 of the following year. This report is to satisfy outstanding obligations under the Explosives Act (as amended by the Public Safety Act. 2002) to collect information on the manufacture and distribution of explosives to prevent illicit activity.

Q. For what reasons can a licence, certificate or permit be suspended or cancelled?

Authority to suspend or cancel with cause is delegated to the Chief Inspector of Explosives with the option to appeal to the Minister of Natural Resources. The reasons a licence, certificate or permit may be suspended or cancelled are:

  • Repeated non-compliance with the Explosives Act, Explosives Regulations, 2013, or the Terms and Conditions of the licence; and
  • Jeopardizing the safety of the public or employees.

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Part 8. Screening

This Part sets out the screening requirements for accessing high-risk explosives. The intent is to strengthen security related to holders of licences, permits, or certificates issued by the Explosives Regulatory Division for high-risk explosives: type E (high explosives), type I (initiation systems), and type D (military and law enforcement explosives).

When the screening criteria are met, a letter of approval is to be issued by the Chief Inspector of Explosives to the applicant allowing the possession of explosives. This letter of approval is valid for a period of five years.

The screening requirements will be introduced in two phases. The first phase will affect all manufacturing and explosives vendor magazine licences and will take effect one year following the coming into force of the Explosives Regulations, 2013. The second phase, affecting all other licences and permits, will start two years following the coming into force of the Explosives Regulations, 2013

Acceptable equivalent screening documents are FAST cards, NEXUS cards, a Firearms Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL), and Permis Général issued by the Sûreté du Québec.

Q. What has changed in the Explosives Regulations, 2013?

Screening is a new requirement and is necessary to bring into force an outstanding obligation under the Explosives Act (as amended by the Public Safety Act, 2002).

Q. Who will be required to undergo screening checks?

Licence, certificate, and permit holders who are individuals and key personnel (employees and contractors of a holder) who have access to types E (high), I (initiation systems), and D (military and law enforcement) explosives will be required to provide proof of their screening.

Q. Is there a requirement for law enforcement to undergo a screening check?

No. Federal, provincial, municipal or Aboriginal peace officers will be exempt from the requirement as they are subject to robust security screening as a condition of their duties.

Q. Who performs the criminal record check?

To apply for an approval letter under the screening regulations, applicants will need a criminal record check processed by any federal, provincial, municipal or Aboriginal police agency, such as municipal police, provincial police, or the RCMP, who conduct background security screening checks as part of their operational activities. The police agencies may search a number of criminal intelligence databases for information on convictions, specific offences, and criminal associations.

Q. What kind of information do I need to supply on the criminal record check application?

The standard police criminal record check application forms include the following information:

  • personal information (name, maiden name, other names used, address, city, province or territory, postal code, place of birth, sex, home telephone number);
  • reason for request; and
  • signature of applicant.

Once the applicants have received the criminal record check results, they need to submit the original check results along with the Explosives Regulatory Division submission letter. The Explosives Regulatory Division will respond with an approval or denial letter.

Q. What is the cost of the criminal record check?

Applicants will be responsible for screening costs and for ensuring that the original copy of the criminal record check is forwarded to the Explosives Regulatory Division. Fees for the criminal record check are determined by the individual police detachment and may vary from $25 to $50.

Q. How long does the process take?

This is dependent on the volume of applications at the police agency. A three- to five-week processing time is considered normal, although applicants can have the criminal record check completed faster. A notification of approval or denial will be issued directly to the applicant within 30 days of receiving an application. The Explosives Regulatory Division recommends starting the licence application/renewal process at least three months before expiration of existing licences, certificates, and permits to ensure timely renewal following the coming into force of the screening requirements.

Individual licence, certificate, and permit holders and key employees and contractors who already hold a valid Permis Général, FAST card, NEXUS card, or PAL may be exempted from obtaining an approval letter as these documents are considered to be equivalent. If required by the Explosives Regulatory Division as proof of screening, photocopies of the documents will be acceptable.

Q. What happens if I or one of my employees is not approved?

If an individual does not pass the criminal record check, a letter from the Explosives Regulatory Division will be sent to the applicant explaining the prohibition and outlining the appeal procedures. The applicant will have 30 days to request that the denial be reviewed by providing additional information (or correcting any errors in the information provided to the Explosives Regulatory Division or other written representation). If the additional information is deemed to be sufficient, the Minister will approve and issue the security screening approval letter. Otherwise, the Minister will confirm the denial in writing to the applicant. If the applicant is not satisfied with the Minister’s decision, he/she can appeal to the appropriate federal court.

Q. What are the obligations of the licence holder?

Each licence, certificate, and permit holder (if an individual) and key personnel (employees and contractors) with access to high-risk explosives (types D, E and I) will be required to undergo screening and obtain an approval letter form the Explosives Regulatory Division or possess an equivalent document. The holder will be required to ensure that key personnel have a valid screening check in order to maintain current job responsibilities.

The holder must ensure persons who have not applied for an approval letter or who possess an equivalent document are not permitted to have access to high-hazard explosives. An employee or contractor who has been denied an approval letter, or who is waiting for a reply to an application for a letter, may have supervised access.

Holders are expected to take measures to ensure that key personnel who are denied access by the Explosives Regulatory Division can either:

  • continue current responsibilities under the direct supervision of approved personnel (personnel with a valid background security screening approval), or
  • be provided with alternate job responsibilities within the company.

Q. What does the term “key personnel” mean?

Key personnel are individuals who, in the course of their duties, are involved in the supervision or physical handling of explosive materials as part of the production process; the shipping, transporting or selling of explosives; and the detonation of explosives. Key personnel are basically anyone who has sufficient contact with explosives material that provides an opportunity to take or use them for unlawful purposes.

Q. What does “supervised” mean?

For the purposes of the Explosives Regulations, 2013, an individual is supervised by another person while he or she has access to explosives if at the time he or she:

  • is in the presence of the other person; or
  • is in a place where any handling or removal of the explosives is controlled by another person.

Persons who are not approved are not permitted to have unsupervised access to explosives.

Q. What are the criteria for screening?

The screening criteria were developed following a study of those criteria already being used by other government departments. The reasons for refusal are for serious crimes committed within the previous five years, in addition to an order prohibiting the possession of explosives. These include convictions involving explosives, murder, attempted murder, and indictable offences involving violence. There are no exceptions.

Q. How long is the approval letter valid for?

The approval letter is valid for five years.

Q. What is the Explosives Regulatory Division doing to ensure that my privacy rights are protected?

The Government of Canada must comply with the Privacy Act, which protects the privacy rights of individuals. Therefore, the Explosives Regulatory Division must comply with privacy and human rights legislation.

The Privacy Act sets out rules that must be followed relating to the handling and collection of personal information. Whenever a program collects personal information, Treasury Board guidelines require that a Privacy Impact Assessment be conducted to examine how the personal information is collected, used, retained and shared. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner also reviews the Privacy Impact Assessment. The Explosives Regulatory Division has conducted a Privacy Impact Assessment on the collection and use of personal information under the Explosives Regulations, 2013 program to ensure compliancy with current privacy legislation and that an applicant’s privacy rights are protected under the program.

The new requirement for screening involves the collection of personal information. As such, it is being developed in a manner consistent with the requirements of the Privacy Act. The Privacy Act protects the personal information collected for screening by restricting the use and disclosure of that information. Personal information will only be collected and used to confirm the applicant’s identity and to determine whether he/she may present a threat to explosives security. The Privacy Act regulates the collection and use of personal information by the federal government and its agencies. An applicant’s personal information will be used only for assessment purposes within the context of the program.

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Part 9. Transporting Explosives

This Part sets out requirements for transporting explosives, including loading and unloading explosives. They have been written to complement the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Regulations for transporting explosives.

Q. What has changed in the Explosives Regulations, 2013?

Many of the changes made in this Part eliminate overlap with the TDG Regulations and recognize other legislation regulating vehicles such as driving hours and vehicle inspections. Some of the more significant changes are:

  • definitions of “carrier” and “shipper”;
  • exemption from Part 9 of the Regulations for consumer quantities of various explosives by UN number (similar to TDG 1.15 exemption, but including black powder);
  • transport on a flatbed with a permit issued for oversize articles;
  • no gasoline-powered vehicles for loads over 2000 kilograms;
  • requirements for permission to operate climate control where the explosives require it;
  • rule for road trains on ice roads;
  • requirements for a tracking/communication system for loads over 2000 kilograms or with more than 1000 detonators;
  • elimination of the 90-kilometre maximum speed for vehicles carrying explosives; and
  • explosives transportation permit is no longer required for the transport of more than 2000 kilograms of explosives.

Q. Were any changes made as a result of comments from Canada Gazette, Part I?

Yes. The section requiring an annual inspection by a licensed mechanic was removed as it is covered by other legislation. A further sub-division of the consumer types of explosives exemption based on UN number was made for low-hazard explosives and for very low-hazard explosives.

Q. Who is exempted from Part 9 of the Explosives Regulations, 2013?

People transporting various quantities of explosives available to the general public  are exempted. The exemption applies to up to 12 kilograms of black powder and various quantities of other class 1.4 or 1.3 explosives.

Q. Do I need a permit to transport explosives?

Explosives Transportation Permits are no longer required to transport explosives. Some exemptions from normal transport may need a permit such as towing, heated transport compartments, transport on a flatbed, and transporting items other than explosives with explosives.

Q. Are iron and steel still prohibited from contact with the explosives and packaging in the explosives compartment?

Explosives coming into contact with iron or steel are still prohibited. There are exceptions for some bulk explosives transported in tanks or hoppers.

Q. Have the Regulations for separating detonators from other explosives changed?

There have been some changes to the Regulations for the separation of detonators and explosives. With an explosives load of less than 2000 kilograms net explosive quantity, the detonators must be stowed so that, if they explode, they will not initiate any of the other explosives. For loads over 2000 kilograms net explosive quantity, the explosives must be in a container or compartment that will protect them from fire for one hour. The Regulations have changed to allow up to 20 000 detonators to be transported with other explosives.

Q. When is a GPS tracking and communication system required?

A vehicle must be equipped with a tracking and communication system for all loads with 1000 or more detonators or more than 15 000 kilograms within one year after the proposed Regulations come into force. All loads with 10 000 kilograms or more will need a system within two years of the proposed Regulations coming into force and all loads with 2000 kilograms or more will require a system within three years of  the proposed Regulations coming into force.

Q. What does the GPS tracking and communication system have to do?

The system must allow the person monitoring it to locate the vehicle and to have two-way communication with the driver. There must always be someone monitoring the system who can notify the police in case of an emergency.

Q. What speed limits apply to explosives vehicles?

Normal posted speed limits apply to all explosives vehicles.

Q. What driver’s hours apply to vehicles carrying explosives?

Normal driving hours applicable to vehicles carrying any type of dangerous goods will now apply in accordance with Transport Canada and provincial requirements.

Q. Has anything changed with respect to loading vehicles?

There are no changes from the previous Regulations. Prior to loading or shipping, confirmation must be received that the intended recipient is ready to receive the explosives and has room to store them, or is going to use them, or is going to re-ship them.

Q. What markings are required on the vehicle?

TDG markings are required, even on a closed mine site. In the TDG Regulations, placarding requirements are dealt with in sections 4.15 and 4.17. Compatibilities are set out in section 5.7 and the maximum quantities that may be transported are in section 9.5.


Part 10. Military Explosives and Law Enforcement Explosives

This Part deals with the selling, acquiring and storing of military and law enforcement explosives (type D).

Q. What has changed in the Explosives Regulations, 2013?

Under the previous Regulations, the same type of licence was needed for military and law enforcement explosives as was required for industrial explosives. Due to the unique nature of these types of explosives, they have been given their own classification type (D) and are regulated by this Part. These types of explosives have special storage requirements and a vendor may sell them, but not necessarily use them, as is permitted with industrial explosives.

Q. How are type D explosives unique?

A type D explosive is an explosive for which the use is restricted to military or law enforcement agencies and the restriction is normally applied for reasons such as public safety. They are usually highly specialized and are not appropriate for commercial distribution. Examples are large-calibre ammunition, torpedoes, etc., used for military purposes or riot control, and disruptor and rapid-entry explosives used by law enforcement agencies. Other laws such as the Criminal Code may impose restrictions on some articles that would require a type D classification.