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New regulations tighten controls on restricted chemicals

This release is available in French.

OTTAWA The Government of Canada is taking action to better control the sale of chemicals that can be used to make explosives. The Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources, and the Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of Public Safety, today announced that new regulations for these chemicals, known as explosives precursors, will be implemented under the Explosives Act.

Following extensive public consultation, the Government of Canada has developed new regulations for specific chemicals that reflect our commitment to public safety and security while minimizing impact on Canadian industry and end-users, said Minister Lunn. The new regulations will increase security measures related to the sale of these chemicals as well as prohibit the re-sale of ammonium nitrate by customers.

The new regulations will require that anyone who sells ammonium nitrate or any of the eight other chemicals be registered with the Explosives Regulatory Division of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and comply with security measures for storage, record keeping and customer identification.

Our government believes that new controls on explosives precursors are necessary to reduce the risk of terrorist acts, said Minister Day. This list of chemicals was drawn up on the basis of expert scientific and security analyses and includes chemicals that pose the greatest risk, and therefore, require regulatory control.

The nine chemicals to be controlled under the new regulations currently have a wide range of legitimate uses, such as ammonium nitrate, which is commonly used in agriculture as fertilizer. The chemicals are: ammonium nitrate; nitric acid; nitromethane; hydrogen peroxide; potassium nitrate; sodium nitrate; potassium chlorate; sodium chlorate; and potassium perchlorate.

The regulations take effect for ammonium nitrate on June 1, 2008, and for the eight other restricted chemicals on March 1, 2009.

The Government will provide registration and annual reporting procedures and services, and will undertake outreach activities to raise awareness of the regulations with both sellers and end-users. NRCan will work in partnership with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to undertake compliance inspections for ammonium nitrate utilizing the cross-country network of CFIA inspectors.

The new regulations are based on expert security and scientific analyses, and this regulatory approach is consistent with the direction being taken in the United States, Australia and the European Union.


Contact: Ghyslain Charron
Natural Resources Canada

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