SOR/2016-75: Regulations Amending the Explosives Regulations, 2013


April 15, 2016

REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT (This statement is not part of the Regulations.) Issues Since 1995, explosives licences, permits, and certificates have been issued to businesses based on their compliance with two key standards: the 1995 Quantity Distance Principles — User’s Manual and the Storage Standards for Industrial Explosives, May 2001. These standards are what applicants require as re... (Click for more)

Published on April 15, 2016

Bill Summary

SOR/2016-75: Regulations Amending the Explosives Regulations, 2013

REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT (This statement is not part of the Regulations.) Issues Since 1995, explosives licences, permits, and certificates have been issued to businesses based on their compliance with two key standards: the 1995 Quantity Distance Principles — User’s Manual and the Storage Standards for Industrial Explosives, May 2001. These standards are what applicants require as reference documents to obtain a licence, permit or certificate. Both standards were updated in 2015 to reflect already existing industry best practices for the safety and security of explosives storage. The Explosives Regulations, 2013, (the Regulations) are being updated to reference these two new standards. At the same time, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is making a few minor, technical changes to the Regulations based on feedback received from stakeholders during the process of implementing the Regulations. Background Canada’s Explosives Act and Regulations control the manufacture, testing, acquisition, possession, sale, storage, transportation, importation and exportation of explosives and the use of fireworks. The term “explosive” covers a wide variety of products, including blasting explosives used for mining and construction, fireworks, small arms cartridges and many other specialized items. In 2013, Natural Resources Canada fundamentally revised the Explosives Regulations, C.R.C., c. 599 to reflect modern technologies and practices in the explosives industry, and to address provisions not in force of the Public Safety Act, 2002. These regulatory changes (developed over a 10-year period) were made under amendments to the Explosives Act introduced by the Public Safety Act, 2002, which provided authorities for strengthened controls and provisions for import/export/in-transit of explosives, restricted components and security screening of persons having access to high hazard explosives. The Regulations came into force on February 1, 2014, with some provisions entering into force on February 1, 2015, and February 1, 2016. The amended Regulations reflect modern practices in the explosives industry; removed duplications such as the elimination of regulatory requirements related to transport that are now covered by Transport Canada’s Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations; reduced unnecessary administrative burden on industry; and strengthened controls for known security gaps/risks. However, there are a number of minor regulatory amendments that are outstanding and need to be addressed, namely it is necessary to incorporate new versions of the two standards that are referenced in the Regulations. The Quantity Distance Principles — User’s Manual sets out required minimum distances from explosives sites and vulnerable places defined as any building where people live, work or assemble in addition to public roads, railways, pipelines and energy transmission lines. Incorporating the new standard into the Regulations will ensure that appropriate minimum safety distances are observed in order to minimize injuries and damage to property in the event of accidental initiation of explosives. The Storage Standards for Industrial Explosives, May 2001, which identifies minimum safety requirements for construction design for magazines (i.e. how the walls are constructed, how the door is secured) was found to have design flaws or deficiencies, which posed a risk to manufacturers and vendors in private industry. A new standard has been developed for well-ventilated magazines so that they are resistant to theft, weather and fire. For example, the new standard incorporates the use of non-sparking materials in order to minimize the likelihood of an accidental initiation. The new standard also incorporates design features, such as robust walls and doors to deter theft and minimize projectiles in the event of an accidental explosion. Changes to the Quantity Distance Principles — User’s Manual and Storage Standards for Industrial Explosives, May 2001 already conform with industry best practices. Objectives With the Regulations now in force, NRCan is proceeding with a series of regulatory amendments, which update references in the Regulations to both standards to reflect current industry best practices. An updated Quantity Distance Principles — User’s Manual is incorporated to guide stakeholders who take part in planning the location of explosives storage or explosives manufacturing facilities; and an updated Storage Standards for Industrial Explosives, May 2001 is incorporated to provide clarity to the explosives industry on where to store and keep explosives; address comments and observations received from industry stakeholders during the initial implementation of the Regulations; and, correct minor errors (missed during the drafting of the Regulations). Description Regulatory amendments 1. Incorporated standards The standards (Quantity Distance Principles — User’s Manual and Storage Standards for Industrial Explosives, May 2001) are used by applicants applying for a factory or magazine licence in the blasting, mining, quarrying, construction, oil extraction and fireworks industries and sectors. Updating the standards was required, as new research and/or incidents or accidents demonstrated that the existing standards could be improved to provide better safety and security of explosives. Stakeholders were fully involved with the development of both standards in order to ensure that they were clear, comprehensive and that they facilitated regulatory compliance. NRCan’s Explosives Safety and Security Branch worked with the Bureau de normalisation du Quebec (BNQ), through a Standards Council of Canada (SCC) process, to update and issue the two standards regarding the storage of high-hazard industrial explosives and quantity distance principles. The Quantity Distance Principles — User’s Manual was updated based on new scientific knowledge of modern explosives. It prescribes minimum safety distances to minimize damage in case of an accidental initiation. Storage distances were modified to reflect upcoming changes to North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) tables (i.e. calculations of how far explosives must be stored from neighboring infrastructure to minimize the risk associated with an accidental explosion). Concepts such as containment barricades (i.e. physical barriers to limit the damage associated with an accidental explosion); exposed site (i.e. a site that would be hit by debris in the event of an explosion); and picking areas (i.e. areas for gathering explosives for packaging) are now defined in the new standard. The Storage Standards for Industrial Explosives, May 2001 was updated to better define design options that were proven to be more efficient at preventing theft than magazine types previously on the market. Specifically, NRCan worked with stakeholders to address a shortcoming with the Storage Standards for Industrial Explosives, May 2001 by developing an enhanced, secured sliding and/or double door to suit the larger openings, which accommodates traditional mobile materials-handling equipment used by explosives manufacturers or vendors. The new door design contributed to the hardening of the magazine container against criminals using modern power tools. This raised and improved security against attempted theft, thus closing a regulatory gap and permitting additional response time by authorities. 2. Observations and experiences of stakeholders with the Regulations to date During the implementation of the Regulations, some comments and observations were received from stakeholders on their experience with the Regulations to date. The regulatory amendments will address these comments and provide more flexibility to regulated entities without impacting safety or security. Examples of changes based on comments and observations from stakeholders include the following: Clarifying storage requirements for magazine licences: Part 6 of the Regulations imposes onto a magazine licence holder, the obligation to obtain keys from a certified locksmith for security reasons. However, this requirement was not intended for licence holders storing low-hazard and low-risk explosives. The amendment clarifies that this requirement is applicable to licence holders that are storing high-hazard explosive types: E (blasting); I (initiation systems); and D (defence) explosives. Import permit exemptions for low hazard rocket motors: As a result of the previous Canada Gazette consultation process for the Regulations, the section on Model and High-Power Rocket Motors was amended to allow sales of 80 newton-seconds rocket motors to a user who is at least 12 years old, rather than limiting them to 40 newton-seconds. However, an omission was made at the time, as 80 newton-seconds rocket motors should also have been exempted from the import permit requirement if a quantity not exceeding 6 rocket motors is imported for personal use, since sales of these types of rocket motors present a low level of risk. The regulatory change will remove the requirement for an import permit. Labelling flexibility: Parts 4 and 5 of the Regulations require importers or manufacturers of explosives to have a printed label providing the date of manufacture of an explosive, and if the manufacturer carries out manufacturing operations in shifts, the shift during which it was manufactured. This was required for traceability in the event of a loss or theft of explosives. The requirement is being changed to “the date of its manufacture and shift, if any, or lot number”. A lot number provides the same type of traceability and is therefore considered to be an acceptable alternative. Elimination of redundant labelling information: Similarly, Parts 4 and 5 of the Regulations require the printing of full classification and trade name on a package. An industry association commented that this requirement was providing minimal safety benefits as there would be triplicate information related to intrinsic hazards of the multi-purpose full classification (type, hazard category and UN number) on the package. Since the requirement for full classification on explosives packaging was never enforced (as it was determined to be an unnecessary requirement), removing the requirement through this amendment provides regulatory clarity to stakeholders. Specifically, the requirement to print the full classification on packages is eliminated for seven of the nine classes of explosives. Two classes (type F - fireworks and type S - special purpose explosives) still require that the type classification be printed on the package for safety reasons to distinguish between explosives that are subject to sales restrictions and those that are not. Eliminating duplicate reporting requirements: This amendment eliminates the need for importers of explosives to submit Importer’s Transaction Report F04-02 to NRCan in cases where they already provide reports by electronic means to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) on the importation of explosives. Information contained within this form, such as name, address, permit number, quantity, country of origin etc. of the importer is already available to NRCan through the CBSA Single Window Initiative (SWI). Through the SWI, importers will be able to provide all required import information electronically to the CBSA. In turn, the CBSA will transmit the appropriate information to NRCan. NRCan will assess the information and provide any decisions as required. This will streamline and simplify the import process and will significantly reduce the burden on the business community. 3. Typographical Errors The proposal will correct typographical errors in the Regulations, some technical errors in the coming into force provisions as well as errors in certain terminology. “One-for-One” Rule The proposal is an “OUT” under the Rule as it would result in an annualized savings of $2,104 to industry through the elimination of duplicate reporting requirements. Currently, explosives importers are required to report the same information to both the CBSA and NRCan. With the changes, NRCan will no longer require importers to submit Importer’s Transaction Report F04-02 and instead use the data reported to CBSA if the importer is submitting the information electronically, so that the importer does not have to report twice. The savings are calculated based on an estimate of 20 minutes required to fill out the report by a clerk, multiplied by the average of 350 import permits issued by NRCan per year. It was assumed there are 350 businesses each making one application per year. Of these 350 businesses, 175 were identified as small businesses. The estimated cost savings calculations have been confirmed by a sampling of small, medium and large businesses. Small business lens The small business lens does not apply to the proposal, as it does not impose any costs on small business. Some small businesses were part of the standards consultation process. In addition, the reduction of duplicate reporting requirements will also benefit approximately 175 small businesses. Consultation The coming into force of the Regulations, which was developed through close consultation with various industry stakeholder groups over a number of years, had strong support and was eagerly anticipated. Since the Regulations were implemented, through continued consultations with our industry stakeholders, NRCan has received numerous positive comments on the regulatory compliance efficiency and the reduction of burden that the regulatory amendments delivered to industry. The same industry stakeholder groups were also actively involved with updating the Quantity Distance Principles — User’s Manual and the Storage Standards for Industrial Explosives, May 2001, and they have provided concurrence for their issuance as national standards. In addition, the other minor amendments were driven by stakeholders as a result of comments made during the implementation of the Regulations. Consultations with stakeholder groups take place on an ongoing basis, as NRCan representatives attend annual meetings of the explosives associations. Rationale While the changes are predominantly administrative in nature, Canadians, in general, will be safer due to: new scientific evidence and analyses reflected in the new Explosives — Magazines for Industrial Explosives standard for more secure magazines, elimination of magazine design features that were proven susceptible to thefts (e.g. elimination of type 6 magazines that were broken into repeatedly in the past); and the new Explosives — Quantity Distances standard, which provide guidance for the distances at which explosives must be stored away from the public. For example, the behavior of consumer fireworks is now better understood and minimum safety distances, depending on storage conditions, were adjusted in the Quantity Distance Principles — User’s Manual. Consumer fireworks may behave innocuously if they are stored in small quantities; however some types may react violently if present in larger amounts in confined spaces. There are benefits to stakeholders, as the new standards, which were updated through a Standards Council of Canada process, will be made available free of charge on the NRCan Web site. There is no cost to the Government, as both standards were previously updated and their implementation is based on amendments to the Regulations to conduct licensing activities. There is no cost to businesses as both updated standards reflect best practices already adopted by the industry. Implementation, enforcement and service standards Current enforcement and service standards would remain in force. For enforcement, licence holders are inspected at intervals determined by their risk profile (i.e. type of stored explosives, compliance history etc.). Service standards for explosives licence applications are available at: http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/explosives/acts-regulations/13840. Contact Jean-Luc Arpin Director and Chief Inspector of Explosives Explosives Regulatory Division Minerals and Metals Sector (MMS) Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) Telephone: 343-292-8731 Cell phone: 613-355-1291 Email: [email protected] Footnote a S.C. 2015, c. 3, s. 82 Footnote b R.S., c. E-17 Footnote 1 SOR/2013-211

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