Modernization of the Explosives Regulations required a complete rewrite of the legal text and introduces a minimal number of new requirements. This was necessary as the Explosives Regulations were outdated and difficult for stakeholders to navigate, understand, and determine obligations. The Explosives Regulations, 2013 better reflect existing industry practices and standards. This initiative eliminates some requirements that are addressed in other recently adopted legislation and clarifies regulatory intent through better structure and simpler language. It also ensures the use of modern regulatory concepts and reflects modern technologies and business practices.
Drivers Leading to the New Regulations
Three main drivers led to the commitment to modernize the Explosives Regulations:
- The technologies, products, and industry that the Explosives Regulations were designed to control have changed significantly. Industrial practices have changed to the point that the previous regulations were governing an industry that, in effect, no longer exists. For example, dynamite was the most significant explosive.
- The industry structure has changed, driven in part by industry globalization and rationalization. These changes have had major consequences such as a loss of experienced personnel and expertise as the result of industry downsizing and growing numbers of imported products.
- New security concerns have emerged, resulting in the need to strengthen security and support Canada’s commitment to long-term security.
The Explosives Regulations were revised with the objective of developing:
- a regulatory program based on an integrated and evidence-based approach that manages safety and security risks across the range of explosives-related activities;
- a regulatory framework that is accessible, understandable, and responsive through inclusiveness, transparency, and accountability;
- where possible, a regulatory program that promotes a fair and competitive market economy and minimizes the regulatory burden placed on industry; and
- a regulatory program that enables cooperation/harmonization with other departments and is benchmarked against international best practices.
The overall goal of the initiative was to ensure a balanced approach to managing explosives safety and security risks while minimizing the impact on business and supporting innovation and competitiveness. For example, modernization of the Explosives Regulations should lower costs to businesses by eliminating overlap and duplication, harmonizing exemptions, eliminating unnecessary permits, and reducing the time and effort needed to train staff. Better compliance with the Explosives Regulations, 2013 is the expected result.