Natural Resources Canada

Natural Resources Canada

March 19, 2008 17:47 ET

Natural Resources Canada: New Regulations Tighten Controls on Restricted Chemicals

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 19, 2008) - 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.

Additional information about the Explosives Act and the implementation of its new regulations is available at


The Government of Canada has taken action to better control the sale of chemicals that can be used to make explosives. Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn and Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day have announced new regulations that tighten controls on restricted chemicals known as explosives precursors.

The following media backgrounder is available at

New Regulations under Canada's Explosives Act

NRCan's news releases and backgrounders are available at

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister
    Natural Resources Canada
    Louise Girouard
    Director of Communications
    The general public may contact:
    Mon-Fri, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. EDT
    Telephone: 613-995-0947
    TTY: 613-996-4397