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Explosives Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. E-17)

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Act current to 2021-03-23 and last amended on 2015-02-26. Previous Versions

Explosives Act

R.S.C., 1985, c. E-17

An Act respecting the manufacture, testing, acquisition, possession, sale, storage, transportation, importation and exportation of explosives and the use of fireworks

Short Title

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Explosives Act.

  • R.S., c. E-15, s. 1


Marginal note:Definitions

 In this Act,

authorized explosive

authorized explosive means any explosive that is declared to be an authorized explosive in accordance with the regulations; (explosif autorisé)


Convention means the Convention on the Marking of Plastic Explosives for the Purpose of Detection, concluded in Montreal on March 1, 1991, as amended from time to time; (Convention)


Department means the Department of Natural Resources; (ministère)

detection agent

detection agent means any of the substances set out in the Table to Part 2 of the Technical Annex to the Convention; (agent de détection)


explosive means any thing that is made, manufactured or used to produce an explosion or a detonation or pyrotechnic effect, and includes any thing prescribed to be an explosive by the regulations, but does not include gases, organic peroxides or any thing prescribed not to be an explosive by the regulations; (explosif)


factory means any building, structure, premises or land in or on which the manufacture or any part of the process of manufacture of an explosive is carried on, the site on which the building, structure or premises are situated, and all other buildings, structures or premises within such a site; (fabrique)

illicit manufacture

illicit manufacture means any activity that is prohibited under paragraph 6(1)(a) or (e); (fabrication illicite)

illicit trafficking

illicit trafficking means any importation into Canada, exportation from Canada or transportation in transit through Canada of an explosive if

  • (a) the importation or exportation is not authorized by the country of origin or the country of destination, or

  • (b) the transportation in transit of the explosive through any country is not authorized by that country; (trafic illicite)


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; (inspecteur)

licensed factory

licensed factory means a factory in respect of which a licence issued under section 7 is in force; (fabrique agréée)

licensed magazine

licensed magazine means a magazine in respect of which a licence issued under section 7 is in force; (poudrière agréée)


magazine means any building, storehouse, structure or place in which any explosive is kept or stored, but does not include

  • (a) a place where an explosive is kept or stored exclusively for use at or in a mine or quarry in a province in which provision is made by the law of that province for efficient inspection and control of explosives stored and used at or in mines and quarries,

  • (b) a vehicle in which an authorized explosive is being conveyed in accordance with this Act,

  • (c) the structure or place in which is kept for private use, and not for sale, an authorized explosive to an amount not exceeding that authorized by regulation,

  • (d) any store or warehouse in which are stored for sale authorized explosives to an amount not exceeding that authorized by regulation, or

  • (e) any place at which the blending or assembling of the inexplosive component parts of an authorized explosive is allowed under section 8; (poudrière)

military device

military device has the meaning assigned to that expression by the regulations; (engin militaire)


Minister means the Minister of Natural Resources or such other Minister as the Governor in Council may designate; (ministre)


operator includes the owner, manager or person in charge; (exploitants)

plastic explosive

plastic explosive means an explosive that

  • (a) is formulated with one or more high explosives that in their pure form have a vapour pressure less than 10-4 Pa at a temperature of 25oC,

  • (b) is formulated with a binder material, and

  • (c) is, when mixed, malleable or flexible at normal room temperature; (explosif plastique)

restricted component

restricted component means any prescribed component of an explosive the acquisition, possession or sale of which is restricted by a regulation made under paragraph 5(a.31); (composant d’explosif limité)


transit means the portion of international transboundary transportation through the territory of a country that is neither the country of origin nor the country of destination; (transit)

unmarked plastic explosive

unmarked plastic explosive means a plastic explosive that

  • (a) does not contain a detection agent, or

  • (b) at the time of manufacture, does not contain the required minimum concentration level of a detection agent as set out in the Table to Part 2 of the Technical Annex to the Convention; (explosif plastique non marqué)


vehicle means any truck, automobile or other conveyance for use on land but does not include any vehicle running only on rails to which Part III of the Canada Transportation Act applies. (véhicules)

  • R.S., 1985, c. E-17, s. 2
  • 1993, c. 32, s. 2
  • 1994, c. 41, ss. 37, 38
  • 1995, c. 35, s. 1
  • 1996, c. 10, s. 227
  • 2004, c. 15, s. 36


Marginal note:Application of Act

 Except as provided by the regulations, this Act does not apply to or in respect of any explosives under the direction or control of the Minister of National Defence.

  • R.S., c. E-15, s. 3

Her Majesty

Marginal note:Binding on Her Majesty

 Subject to section 3, this Act is binding on Her Majesty in right of Canada or a province.

  • R.S., c. E-15, s. 3


Marginal note:Regulations

 The Governor in Council may make regulations generally for carrying the purposes or provisions of this Act into effect, and in particular, but without limiting the generality of the foregoing, may make regulations

  • (a) for classifying explosives, and for prescribing the composition, quality and character of explosives;

  • (a.1) prescribing any thing that is to be included or not to be included in the definition “explosive” in section 2;

  • (a.2) exempting any explosive or class of explosives from the application of this Act or the regulations or any provision of this Act or the regulations;

  • (a.3) restricting to any person or body or class of persons or bodies the acquisition, possession, use or sale of any explosive or class of explosives;

  • (a.31) prescribing any component of an explosive and restricting to any person or body or class of persons or bodies its acquisition, possession or sale;

  • (a.4) prohibiting the acquisition, possession, use or sale of any explosive that, in the opinion of the Minister, is intrinsically unsafe, and identifying that explosive by reference to its common name or a description of the class of explosives to which it belongs;

  • (a.5) respecting the transfer and possession of unmarked plastic explosives intended for use under paragraph 6.1(1)(a) or (b);

  • (a.6) respecting the transport, transfer and possession of unmarked plastic explosives by a person referred to in paragraph 6.1(3)(a) or (b) during the periods provided for in those paragraphs;

  • (a.7) prescribing procedures for the destruction or disposal of unmarked plastic explosives referred to in subsection 6.1(3);

  • (a.8) defining the expression “military device”;

  • (b) prescribing the duration of licences, permits and certificates issued pursuant to section 7 and of permits issued pursuant to section 9, the terms and conditions on which licences, permits and certificates shall be issued and the fees to be paid therefor, and providing for the cancellation and suspension thereof;

  • (c) not inconsistent with any other Act of Parliament or regulations made under any other Act of Parliament, for regulating the importation, exportation, packing, handling and transportation of explosives;

  • (c.1) requiring that explosives be accompanied by safety instructions, and providing for the content of those instructions;

  • (c.2) requiring that explosives and their packaging be marked for safety purposes, and respecting those markings;

  • (d) for holding inquiries into any accident caused by explosives;

  • (e) for the taking of samples of explosives required for examination and testing, and for the establishing of testing stations, and of the tests and other examinations to which explosives shall be subjected;

  • (e.1) providing for safety standards in respect of research relating to explosives and for safety standards for large-scale testing of explosives;

  • (e.2) prescribing fees for declaring explosives to be authorized explosives and for testing explosives;

  • (f) prescribing the procedure to be followed to have an explosive declared an authorized explosive, the nature of the investigation to be made to determine its suitability to be declared authorized and the circumstances in which an explosive may be declared an authorized explosive;

  • (g) relating to the construction, management and licensing of factories and magazines;

  • (g.1) providing for safety standards in respect of factories and magazines;

  • (g.2) providing for the training in safety procedures of employees at factories and magazines;

  • (h) for the safety of the public and of

    • (i) employees at any factory or magazine,

    • (ii) persons engaged in the handling or packing of explosives or any class of explosives, or

    • (iii) persons engaged in the use of fireworks;

    • (iv) [Repealed, 1993, c. 32, s. 3]

  • (i) not inconsistent with any other Act of Parliament or regulations made thereunder, respecting the safety of any person engaged in the transportation of explosives;

  • (i.1) respecting security standards and security measures relating to explosives and restricted components;

  • (j) governing the establishment, location and maintenance of factories and magazines and the making, manufacture and storage of explosives;

  • (k) for the blending of the inexplosive components of an authorized explosive, and specifying the conditions under which the blending may be done;

  • (l) limiting the amount of authorized explosives that may be kept in places other than licensed factories and licensed magazines, and prescribing the manner in and conditions on which it shall be handled and stored in those places;

  • (l.1) respecting record keeping and the exchange of information for the purposes of tracing, identifying and preventing the illicit manufacture and illicit trafficking of explosives;

  • (m) respecting the acquisition, possession and sale of explosives and restricted components; and

  • (n) prescribing the circumstances in which explosives shall for the purposes of this Act be deemed to be or not to be under the direction or control of the Minister of National Defence.

  • R.S., 1985, c. E-17, s. 5
  • 1993, c. 32, s. 3
  • 1995, c. 35, s. 2
  • 2004, c. 15, s. 37
  • 2015, c. 3, s. 82(F)
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