Import, export and in transit requirements of the Explosives Act and Regulations
Memorandum D19-6-1

Ottawa, July 31, 2020

ISSN 2369-2391

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In brief

This memorandum has been updated as follows:

  • (a) the personal exemptions for import, export or transport in transit in has been updated
  • (b) the link for the CBSA Single Window Website (SWI) has been updated
  • (c) the Natural Resources Canada, on-line application system for permits, now includes the ability to apply for import, export and in transit permits
  • (d) contact information for the Natural Resources Canada, Explosives Regulatory Division has been updated
  • (e) information on the Customs Self-Assessment Program has been updated

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) assists Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) with the administration of the Explosives Act and Explosives Regulations, 2013. This memorandum outlines the policies and procedures relating to the import, export and in transit movement of explosives.

Legislation

Guidelines and general information

1. The Explosives Act is an Act respecting the manufacture, testing, acquisition, possession, sale, storage, transportation, importation, exportation of explosives and the use of fireworks. The Act gives authority to the Governor in Council to make regulations generally for carrying out the purposes or provisions of this Act into effect, such as prescribing any thing that is to be included or not to be included in the definition "explosive", exempting any explosive from the application of this Act or the regulations or any provision of this Act or the regulations, and regulating the importation, exportation and shipments in transit of explosives.

Definitions

2. The following definitions apply in this D-Memorandum:

explosive
means:
  • a) an explosive substance or explosive article that is not manufactured or used to produce an explosion, detonation or pyrotechnic effect but is included in Class 1 of Schedule 1 to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations
  • Note: the term “explosive” is defined in section 2 of the Explosives Act as “anything that is made, manufactured or used to produce an explosion or a detonation or pyrotechnic effect, and includes anything prescribed to be an explosive by the regulations, but does not include gases, organic peroxides or anything prescribed not to be an explosive by the regulations”
  • b) any substance numbered UN 1442, ammonium perchlorate as set out in columns 1 and 2 of Schedule 1 to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations and
  • c) a multi-ingredient kit that is used to manufacture an explosive
  • Note: this includes exploding/reactive targets and binary explosives.
inspector
means the Chief Inspector of Explosives, an inspector of explosives and a deputy inspector of explosives appointed under section 13, and any other person who is directed by the Minister to inspect an explosive, a restricted component, a vehicle, a licensed factory or a magazine, or to hold an inquiry in connection with any accident caused by an explosive.
in transit
The movement of foreign goods through Canadian territory from a point outside Canada to another foreign point.
small arms cartridge
means a cartridge that is designed to be used in small arms, has a calibre of no more than 19.1 mm (.75 calibre), is fitted with centre or rim fire priming and contains a propelling charge, with or without a solid projectile. It includes a shotgun shell of any gauge.

Import, export and transportation in transit controls

3. Other than the exemptions listed below, all imports, exports and in transit movements of explosives require an Explosives Import/Export/in Transit Permit issued by NRCan Explosives Regulatory Division (ERD)

Exemptions

Personal exemptions

4. A person may import, export, or transport in transit an explosive set out in the following table without a permit if the following conditions are met:

Personal exemptions
Item Explosive Quantity
1 Model rocket motors that have a maximum total impulse of 80 newton-seconds (NFPA alpha designations A to E, as indicated on the motor or its packaging) 6
2 Avalanche airbag systems 3
3 Small arms cartridges — imported or exported 5,000
4 Small arms cartridges — transported in transit 50,000
5 Percussion caps (primers) for small arms cartridgescartridges — imported or exported 5,000
6 Percussion caps (primers) for small arms cartridgescartridges — transported in transit 50,000
7 Empty primed small arms cartridge cases — imported or exported 5,000
8 Empty primed small arms cartridge cases — transported in transit 50,000
9 Black powder and hazard category PE 1 black powder substitutes 8 kg, in containers of 500 g or less
10 Smokeless powder and hazard category PE 3 black powdersubstitutes 8 kg, in containers of 4 kg or less

Notes:

Other exemptions

5. The following imports, exports, or in transit movements do not require a permit:

Explosive commodities that are either prohibited or commonly mistaken as non-explosives

6. Appendix D outlines explosive commodities that are either prohibited or commonly mistaken as non-explosives, such as toys and novelties. This list is intended as a guide and is not to be regarded as all-inclusive. When there is any doubt about the admissibility of an article, full particulars should be referred to the ERD of NRCan.

Application for explosives import, export and in transit permits

7. Applications for an Explosives Permit should be directed to the ERD of NRCan via e-mail, mail or facsimile as outlined in paragraph 27.

8. To obtain an import, export or in transit permit, the applicant can also submit an application online using NRCan’s on-line system. When the application is approved the permit holder will receive email notification advising them on how to access the permit by logging back into the on-line system. Status of the permit application and all approved active permits will be available to an authorized user via the on-line system.

Procedures on importation, exportation, and transport in transit requiring an explosives permit

9. The procedures that apply to the importation, exportation, and in transit movements of all explosives that require an import, export, or in transit permit under the Explosives Act are outlined in Appendix A, B, and C. The objectives of these procedures are to establish effective controls and to facilitate the release/shipments of explosives with appropriate documentation.

Single Window Initiative

10. The Single Window Initiative (SWI) provides commercial importers with the ability to submit electronic information to the CBSA, in advance of their arrival, through the use of the Integrated Import Declaration (IID) using service option 911. This new service is voluntary and provides the ability for importers and brokers to obtain release of various regulated goods that previously could only be released through a paper process.

11. The Permit Number along with other data elements specified in the SWI Electronic Commerce Client Requirements Document (ECCRD’s) Explosives Program Appendix must be submitted in IID.

12. In the case of goods regulated by the NRCAN explosive Program, commercial importers can transmit electronic information using the IID to submit a release request up to 90 days in advance. Commercial importers need to contact NRCAN beforehand to obtain an import permit.

13. The physical presentation of an explosives import permit is no longer required when using the SWI IID process.

14. There will no longer be a need to submit the Explosives Import Report (Form F04-02) to NRCan when using the IID. Import data for transactions utilizing the IID is received from CBSA, eliminating the submission requirement of the Import Transaction Report (form F04-02) by permit holders to NRCan. In instances where the electronic IID is not used, paper permits will continue to be accepted for release; however permit holders must then submit the form F04-02 to NRCan.

15. For further information please reference the CBSA Single Window Website or the NRCan Explosives SWI Website. At this time, the SWI process is only available for the importation of explosives.

Mail delivery of explosives

16. The delivery of explosives by mail is subject to the provisions of the Canada Post Corporation Act. Please refer to the Non-mailable Matter Regulations for more information.

Courier low value shipment program shipping of explosives

17. All goods controlled, prohibited or regulated by an Act of Parliament are excluded from the Courier Low Value Shipment (CLVS) Program. Please refer to the D19 Memoranda series,“Acts and Regulations of Other Government Departments,” for detailed information on goods that are controlled, prohibited or regulated.

Shipments of explosives without an explosives permit or with an invalid explosives permit

18. Where explosives are not accompanied by a valid explosives import, export or in transit permit, other than as allowed as per exemptions described in paragraphs 4 and 5 of this memorandum, NRCan will direct the CBSA to detain, release, or reject the shipment of explosives. In the unusual event where assistance is not available, the shipment into/from Canada will not be allowed.

19. When explosives are rejected and the importer/exporter/freight forwarder refuses to return the goods to the point of origin, the CBSA must contact the ERD to obtain advise on possible; enforcement actions with respect to contravention of the Explosives Act and Regulations.

Penalty information

20. Section 21(1) of the Explosives Act states: “Except as authorized by or under this Act, every person who, personally or by an agent or a mandatary, acquires, is in possession of, sells, offers for sale, stores, uses, makes, manufactures, transports, imports, exports or delivers any explosive, or acquires, is in possession of, sells or offers for sale any restricted component, is guilty of an offence and is liable

Disposal

21. As per section 26(2) Explosives Act and section 36(2) of the Customs Act explosives that are forfeited or abandoned, will be disposed of as the Minister directs, and the costs of its disposal may be charged to the owner or the person having the lawful possession of it at the time of its seizure.

Customs Self-Assessment Program (CSA)

22. The CSA program gives approved importers, approved carriers and registered drivers the benefits of a streamlined clearance option for CSA-eligible goods. The streamlined clearance process eliminates the need for transactional transmissions of data related to eligible goods. This allows for the clearance of goods based on the identification of the approved importer, approved carrier and registered driver. Explosives classified as UN3268 are eligible to be approved under the CSA program. This includes airbags and seat belt pre-tensioners.

Additional requirements

23. The importation, exportation and in transit movement of explosives may also be subject to the requirements contained within Memorandum D19-13-2, Importing and Exporting Firearms, Weapons and Devices, Memorandum D19-10-2, Export and Import Permits Act (Importations), Memorandum D20-1-1, Export Reporting and Memorandum D19-13-5, Transportation of Dangerous Goods.

24. For additional information on the commercial transportation of cargo, please see the D3 Memoranda Series.

Global Affairs Canada

25. The importation and exportation of certain military explosives may also be subject to the provisions of the regulations under the Export and Import Permits Act, which is administered by GAC.

Duties and/or taxes for travellers

26. Information on duties and taxes are not part of the Explosives Act or Regulations; this information is being provided for information purposes only.

Additional information

27. Inquiries concerning the Explosives Act and Explosives Regulations, 2013, explosives permits or commodity clarification should be directed to the following:

Explosives Regulatory Division
Natural Resources Canada
588 Booth Street, 4th floor
Ottawa ON  K1A 0E4

Telephone: 1-855-912-0012
Facsimile: 613-948-5195

Email: ERDmms@nrcan.gc.ca
NRCan Website

28. The CBSA Border Information Service (BIS) responds to public inquiries related to import, export and in transit requirements of other government departments. You can access BIS toll-free throughout Canada by calling 1-800-461-9999. If you are calling from outside Canada, you can access BIS by calling 204-983-3500 or 506-636-5064 (long-distance charges will apply). To speak directly to an agent, please call during regular business hours from Monday to Friday (except holidays), 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. local time.

Appendix A

Import permits

Permit holder

Standard Paper-based Process Option

  1. Apply for permit electronically using NRCan’s on-line system or manually (Form F04-01A).
  2. When approved, NRCan will issue the Single Use or Annual Import Permit and Terms and Conditions (Form F04-03A) to the applicant by mail or an email will be sent to notify the applicant that the permit is accessible by logging back into the on-line system.
  3. Single use permits are normally valid for 12 months and they are valid for one importation only; annual permits are valid for 12 months and valid for an unlimited number of importations in that time period.
  4. Before importing, ensure the following:
    • (a) the permit is not expired
    • (b) importer’s name on import declaration matches permit holder’s name
    • (c) the goods described on the permit are the same as those described in the import declaration or in the cargo control documents
    • (d) the quantity of goods stated on the import declaration is equal or less than that on the import permit (applies to single use permits only)
  5. Present the import permit Form F04-03A (original or copy) to the border services officer.
  6. For single use permits, within 30 days of the importation, complete and submit form F04-02 via online reporting or request a paper form from the ERD (address below); for annual permits submit the form F04-02 via online reporting before the permit is renewed or, if the permit is not renewed, within a year after it expires or request a paper form from the ERD (address below).
  7. Explosives Regulatory Division
    588 Booth Street, 4th Floor
    Ottawa ON K1A 0E4
    Facsimile: 613-948-5195
    Email: erdmms@nrcan.gc.ca

SWI Process Option

  1. Apply for permit electronically using NRCan’s on-line system or manually (Form F04-01A).
  2. When approved, NRCan will issue the Single Use or Annual Import Permit and Terms and Conditions (Form F04-03A) to the applicant by mail or an email will be sent to notify the applicant that the permit is accessible by logging back into the on-line system.
  3. Single use permits are normally valid for 12 months and they are valid for one importation only; annual permits are valid for 12 months and valid for an unlimited number of importations in that time period.
  4. Submit IID up to 90 days before the shipment date to CBSA for processing as per the SWI Electronic Commerce Client Requirements Document (ECCRD). Explosives specific data elements to be provided in the IID are listed in the SWI ECCRD’s Explosives Program Appendix. Trade Chain Partner should wait to receive the IID notification before sending the shipment to the border. There is no need to present the Import Permit to a border services officer.
  5. Importer’s Information Report (Form F04-02) does not have to be submitted.

Appendix B

Export permits

Permit holder

  1. Apply for permit (Form F04-01B).
  2. When approved, NRCan will issue the Single Use or Annual Export Permit and Terms and Conditions (Form F04-03B).
  3. Single use permits are normally valid for 12 months and they are valid for one exportation only; annual permits are valid for 12 months and valid for an unlimited number of exportations in that time period.
  4. Before exporting, ensure the following:
    • (a) the permit is not expired
    • (b) exporter’s name on export declaration matches permit holder’s name
    • (c) the goods described on the permit are the same as those described in the export declaration or in the cargo control documents
    • (d) the destination is noted on the export declaration; (if destination is stated on the permit)
    • (e) the quantity of goods stated on the export declaration is equal or less than that on the export permit (applies to single use permits only)
  5. Present the export permit Form F04-03B (original or copy) to the border services officer.
  6. For single use permits, within 30 days of the exportation, complete and submit form F04-02. For annual permits submit the form F04-02 before the permit is renewed or, if the permit is not renewed, within a year after it expires.

Appendix C

In transit permits

Permit holder

  1. Apply for permit (Form F04-01C).
  2. When approved, NRCan will issue the Single Use or Annual Export Permit and Terms and Conditions (Form F04-03C).
  3. Single use permits are normally valid for 12 months and they are valid for one exportation only; annual permits are valid for 12 months and valid for an unlimited number of exportations in that time period.
  4. Before in transit movement, ensure the following:
    • (a) the permit is not expired
    • (b) exporter’s name matches the name on the transporter carriers cargo report or on any other export documentation
    • (c) the goods described on the permit are the same as those described in the cargo control documents
    • (d) the quantity stated on the cargo control document is equal or less than that on the in transit permit (applies to single use permits only)
    • (e) the destination (if destination is stated on the permit)
  5. Present the export permit Form F04-03C (original or copy) to the border services officer.
  6. For single use permits, within 30 days of the in transit movement, complete and submit form F04-02. For annual permits submit the form F04-02 before the permit is renewed or, if the permit is not renewed, within a year after it expires.

Appendix D

Explosive commodities that are either prohibited or commonly mistaken as non-explosives
Commodity Description Status
Cigarette loads or plugs Small explosive charges designed for insertion in cigarettes or cigars that will cause them to explode after the victim takes a few puffs. Prohibited for import and export. Requires an in transit permit for in transit shipments.
Exploding matches Resemble ordinary book matches and are designed to explode after a certain delay, usually about the time they are in position to light a cigarette. Prohibited import and export. Requires an in transit permit for in transit shipments.
Sparkling matches Resemble the normal book matches but send out a shower of sparks. Prohibited import and export. Requires an in transit permit for in transit shipments.
Ammunition for miniature tie clip, cufflink or key chain pistols A violent type of blank ammunition made up for use as a novelty. Prohibited import and export. Requires an in transit permit for in transit shipments.
Auto alarms or jokers Supposedly designed as burglar alarms but are really used for a practical joke: when wired to the ignition system of a car, they operate with a loud screeching whistle followed by copious emissions of smoke and a loud explosion. Prohibited import and export. Requires an in transit permit for in transit shipments.
Cherry bombs, M-80s, silver salutes and flash crackers Very violent firecrackers that cause serious injuries every year; they are considered far too violent and contain an excessive charge of a prohibited fireworks composition. Prohibited import and export. Requires an in transit permit for in transit shipments.
Snap pops, throw-down and step-on torpedoes and cracking balls Small objects designed to explode on impact; some of the latter are so shaped and coloured as to look like children's breakfast cereal or candy balls. Prohibited import and export. Requires an in transit permit for in transit shipments.
Exploding golf balls Designed to explode and emit a cloud of smoke on impact. Prohibited import and export. Requires an in transit permit for in transit shipments.
Stink bombs and smoke bombs (see also "Smoke signals and generators") Often made to resemble cherry bombs and salutes, they are used for practical jokes. Prohibited import and export. Requires an in transit permit for in transit shipments.
Tear-gas pens and launchers Resembling a pen, they may contain a mechanism activated by an explosive. Supposedly for protection against muggers, but are more commonly used as offensive weapons or as practical jokes (also prohibited under Memorandum D19-13-2). Prohibited import and export. Requires an in transit permit for in transit shipments.
Party poppers and table bombs Designed to project paper streamers or dispense party favours; the smaller ones are made of coloured plastic and shaped like champagne bottles. Prohibited import and export. Requires an in transit permit for in transit shipments.
Table rockets and bottle skyrockets Small fireworks designed to be launched from a table or a bottle and burst into a shower of sparks or a cloud of smoke. Prohibited import and export. Requires an in transit permit for in transit shipments.
Fake firecrackers and other trick devices Any article that employs or simulates an explosive or a pyrotechnic for a trick or practical joke. Prohibited import and export. Requires an in transit permit for in transit shipments.
Toy pistol caps These may be in the form of conventional paper rolls, individual paper discs, plastic rings or plastic strips; sometimes the caps are packed in with the toy pistol, revolver, rifle or machine gun. Requires an import, export and in transit permit.
Model rocket motors Small, hard cardboard cylinders containing a low explosive; one end is closed and the other open to form a nozzle. Normally packed three on a bubble package or three in a packing tube. Electric bridge wire igniters are usually included separately in the package; also may be packed within a model rocket kit. Requires an import, export and in transit permit, other than as allowed with personal exemptions in paragraph 3.
Firecrackers Small fireworks with entwined fuses used solely as noisemakers that constitute a unique hazard; possession is restricted to those persons having specific approval of the Chief Inspector of Explosives. Requires an import, export and in transit permit.
Flash powder, smoke powder and other high-hazard theatrical effects As the names imply, these are small quantities of firework compositions suitably packaged and used by actors, musicians and magicians to achieve special theatrical effects during a performance. Requires an import, export and in transit permit.
Smoke signals and generators Various small canisters or cartridges containing an ignition device and smoke composition, used for testing the duct work of furnace or air-conditioning systems, training of fire fighters, signaling distress, location of wind direction and similar tasks. Requires an import, export and in transit permit.
Multi-ingredient kits A multi-ingredient kit that is used to manufacture an explosive or pyrotechnics (such as binary explosives and exploding targets). Requires an import, export and in transit permit.

References

Issuing office
Other Government Departments Programs Unit
Program Policy and Management Division
Programs Branch
Headquarters file
68524-2-3
Legislative references
Other references
D2-1-1, D2-3-1, D19-10-2, D19-13-2, D19-13-5, D20-1-1
Superseded memorandum D
D19-6-1 dated March 21, 2017
Date modified: