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Explosives Act and regulations

Consultation on explosives regulations

Canada’s explosives regulations are being updated. Learn more about the consultation process and how to participate.

Canada has laws and regulations on explosives to keep Canadians safe and secure. Under the Explosives Act, explosives include not only blasting explosives, but also fireworks and pyrotechnics, ammunition, rocket motors and special purpose explosives such as flares and reactive targets. This law also covers chemicals that have many legitimate uses (for example, they can be used as fertilizers, cleaning products, stump removers, paint thinners, camping fuel tablets or nail polish remover) but that could also be misused to illegally manufacture homemade explosives. These are called “restricted components.”

Under the Explosives Act, you may need a licence, certificate, permit or enrolment to work with explosives or restricted components, depending on the type and the amount.

For more information, consult the Explosives Act.

The Explosives Regulations, 2013 outline specific requirements for types of explosives and restricted components and activities. These activities include:

  • manufacturing
  • buying
  • selling
  • storing
  • transporting
  • importing
  • exporting
  • transporting explosives in-transit (from another country, through Canada and onward to another country)
  • using fireworks

For more information, consult the Explosives Regulations or read guidance for specific types of explosives and restricted components and activities on this website.

The regulations have been amended three times since coming into force, and the regulations are updated to reflect these amendments. For details on the amendments, they are available through the Canada Gazette:

Transporting explosives within Canada is regulated under the Explosives Regulations, which cover safety and security aspects. It is also covered by the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992, and its regulations. For information about dangerous goods safety marks, means of containment, emergency response assistance plans and other dangerous goods regulations, contact Transport Canada.

National and international cooperation on explosives

Natural Resources Canada participates in national and international efforts to ensure the legal and safe use of explosives.

At the national level, it participates in the Explosives Security Partnership. This is a voluntary program, supported by key stakeholders from industry and government:

  • Canadian Fertilizer Institute
  • Canadian Explosives Industry Association
  • Canadian Association of Geophysical Contractors
  • Petroleum Services Association of Canada
  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Learn more about the Explosives Security Partnership.

At the international level, Natural Resources Canada has established a partnership with the United States Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (USDOT/PHMSA). The two government departments work with each other and with their stakeholders to increase regulatory cooperation and alignment concerning explosives. This agreement is one of several cooperative agreements through the U.S.-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council. Learn more about the U.S.-Canada regulatory partnership on explosives.

For more information

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