Amendments to the Explosives Regulations, 2013
This regulatory initiative is part of the 2023-2025 Forward Regulatory Plan.
Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) proposes to bring forward a series of amendments to modernize the Explosives Regulations, 2013.
The first set of amendments were published in Canada Gazette Part II on June 22, 2022 and come into force on June 3, 2023. The amendments aim to strengthen Canada’s security regime by updating the list of regulated explosive precursor chemicals, otherwise known as restricted components. The existing list of 10 precursor chemicals would be updated to include an additional four chemicals: calcium ammonium nitrate, aluminum powder, hexamine, and acetone.
The second set of amendments stem from a recent Regulatory Review of the Explosives Regulations, 2013 and focus on enhancing the safety of Canada’s explosives sector, as well as its economic growth. Other than enhancing current safety provisions, amendments would focus on removing unnecessary administrative burden, clarifying intent, and reducing discrepancy with other government departments and modern industry practices where appropriate. The goal is to pre-publish this set of amendments in Canada Gazette Part I in spring 2023 and to publish them in Canada Gazette Part II in fall 2023.
The third set of scheduled amendments also stem from the recent Regulatory Review and would aim to enhance efficiencies through renewal of the current licensing and fee regime. It is expected that this set of amendments would be pre-published in Canada Gazette Part I in spring 2024 and published in Canada Gazette Part II in fall 2024.
Potential impacts on Canadians, including businesses
The Canadian explosives sector is made up of diverse stakeholders ranging from multinational resource companies, to thousands of ‘mom and pop’ shops who may sell fireworks, to individuals who may own firearms for sport shooting and hunting, to avalanche mitigation teams.
The first set of amendments, which would update the list of regulated precursor chemicals or restricted components, is expected to impact businesses that sell calcium ammonium nitrate, aluminum powder, hexamine, and acetone. These businesses may need to invest in upgraded security controls and may incur additional administrative costs due to additional record keeping and reporting requirements. However, for businesses that already sell regulated precursor chemicals, the impact is expected to be much less significant.
For the remaining two set of amendments stemming from the Regulatory Review of the Explosives Regulations, 2013, the proposed modernization provisions are expected to be generally positive for businesses due to a reduction in costs stemming from the proposed removal of unnecessary administrative burden, and enhanced efficiency of a modern licensing and fee regime. However, any reduction in costs may be offset by new costs in the form of changes to explosive amount limits and adjusted processes, but it is expected that those costs would be one-offs.
It is expected that all proposed amendments to modernize the Explosives Regulations, 2013 would have a positive impact on Canadians. Enhancing the safety and security of the explosives sector, and thereby further reducing the risk of an unintended explosion or theft of an explosive by someone with nefarious intent, would benefit all Canadians, as well as the users of explosives, and sector employees.
These proposed amendments are not expected to have a significant impact on international trade or investment, including Canadian import and export of explosives.
Regulatory cooperation efforts (domestic and international)
NRCan developed the first set of amendments with the intent to strengthen Canadian security and to further align the Canadian regulatory regime for precursor chemicals with those of allied countries. To accomplish this, NRCan conducted a comparative regulatory analysis of chemical security regulatory practices of international partners, and consulted with counterparts in those jurisdictions. Consultations were also held with national and international organizations and stakeholders.
The remaining two sets of proposed modernization amendments are intended to remove stakeholder cost and burden stemming from misalignment with modern industry practices and the regimes of other jurisdictions. In the development of these proposed amendments, NRCan conducted targeted comparative analysis of international partners’ regimes, as well as of Canadian provinces and territories, with the aim of identifying areas for further alignment where appropriate. Consultations would be held with provincial/territorial and other counterparts moving forward.
For the first set of amendments, updating the list of regulated precursor chemicals, NRCan undertook a series of stakeholder consultations from October 2017 to December 2018. Proposed amendments were then pre-published in Canada Gazette, Part I in May 2019. Following stakeholder feedback, NRCan revised its proposed amendments and held new consultations with stakeholders between November 2020 and March 2021. NRCan pre-published the revised set of amendments in the Canada Gazette Part I in June 2021, and published them in the Canada Gazeete Part II in June 2022. These amendments will come into force on June 3, 2023.
For the set of amendments stemming from the Regulatory Review, NRCan conducted extensive consultations with all sector stakeholders in spring 2022 on the second set of amendments. NRCan intends to conduct consultations on the third set starting in spring 2023.
For further information, please contact NRCan’s Explosives Program at ERDmms@nrcan.gc.ca.
For further information, please contact NRCan’s Explosives Program at ERDmms@nrcan.gc.ca .
Date First included in Forward Regulatory Plan
The first set of amendments were included in NRCan’s Forward Regulatory Plan April 1, 2019. The remaining two sets of amendments were added to NRCan’s Forward Regulatory Plan in 2021-2022.
Consult NRCan’s acts and regulations web page for:
- a list of acts and regulations administered by NRCan
- further information on NRCan’s implementation of government-wide regulatory management initiatives
Consult the following for links to the Cabinet Directive on Regulation and supporting policies and guidance, and for information on government-wide regulatory initiatives implemented by departments and agencies across the Government of Canada:
To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit:
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