Explosives Consultation – Ports & Other Proposals

Recognizing Technological Evolution while Maintaining Safety & Security

Explosives Regulations (ER) – Ports & Wharves

The Explosives Safety & Security Branch (ESSB) of Natural Resources Canada, and Transport Canada, have issued a Gazette I (CG I) proposal to amend their respective Explosives Regulations (ER, under the Explosives Act), and the Cargo Fumigation and Tackle Regulations (CFTR, under the Canada Shipping Act).

The initial reason for the proposed amendment is to remove reference to the express requirement to use quantity/distance principle (QDP) restrictions and ESSB Inspectors from the CFTR. A more modern approach of quantitative risk assessments (QRA), based on actual probable hazards following, methodology authorized by the ESSB (Chief Inspector of Explosives), would replace the more rigid QDP.

QDP, currently covered in CAN/BNQ 2910-510/2015, were established mainly for fixed manufacturing/storage facilities and specifically exclude transportation activities from the scope of the standard.

The proposal also provides for having qualified individuals, not just ESSB Inspectors, determine the risk following an approved QRA methodology. The requirements will appear in a new ER section 203.1 instead of the current CFTR section 155(2) & (3).

It is expected that international trade and commerce will be improved without sacrificing safety or security under this proposal.

Explosives – Other Amendments

The CG I amendment proposes to also include ER changes under the topics of:

  1. Eliminating or relaxing license requirements for certain “low risk” explosives (7 components);
  2. Clarification of wording (13 components); and
  3. Increasing flexibility (12 components).

These may be of more general interest to those not directly involved in port activities.

Licensing Exemptions: Examples include Christmas crackers, road flares and various other pyrotechnic devices; blanks for tool cartridges, safety devices, small arms cartridges, etc.

Wording Clarification: Examples include clarifications that affect actions required for interrupted “in transit” shipments, disposal when licenses expire, vehicle tracking requirements, accident reporting, storage quantities, record keeping, etc.

Increased Flexibility: Examples include disposal provisions on recall items, repair or towing provisions based on risk, supervision of visitors/contractors, fireworks/pyrotechnic experience reduction for certification, security clearance documentation options, etc.

Comments must be provided within 30 days of the December 2, 2017 CG I publication date.

The GG I notice with the detailed proposed changes is found at:



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