Valid Canadian Registration Number (CRN) Database and Directory Information

Valid Canadian Registration Number (CRN) Database and Directory Information

To ensure a strong supply chain, industry often needs to locate manufacturers of CRN registered pressure equipment. Pressure piping, vessels, boilers, and thermal liquid heating systems unexempt from CRN registration need components suitable for CRN registration and, though it can be difficult to find legitimate manufacturers, locating them and the registered pressure equipment they make is necessary.

Is there a legitimate directory available to the public and industry, that lists the tens of thousands of CRN numbers that exist? And is there a published list of all legitimate manufacturers in a jurisdiction with acceptable quality control programs?

Yes! There already are legitimate and valid CRN directories on official regulator and registrar websites, that are publicly available to everyone that wants to look for CRN registration records. Only regulators have access to all legitimate CRN registration and manufacturer information, keep it complete and up to date as much as possible, and publish it as they see fit in accordance with their governing regulations. However, significantly incomplete, substantially limited, and unofficial lists are found elsewhere on the internet.

CRN’s are considered confidential information and many manufacturers do not want their CRN information published by others, as commonly evidenced by non-disclosure agreements and requirements for confidentiality.

Given the relatively high concentration of pressure equipment per capita in Alberta, it is worthwhile knowing that the Alberta regulator (ABSA) has allowed access to its CRN Directory here: https://bit.ly/2MvnFHi. And though less populated, the maritime provinces’ CRN Directory can be accessed here, with the assistance of the registrar (ACI Central) and permission of the CRN recipients: https://bit.ly/2A8LamR. The ABSA directory is searchable based on particular CRN numbers, while the ACI Central directory is searchable by CRN and / or manufacturer name. ABSA search results provide the manufacturer name, CRN, drawing number, description, and expiry date. The ACI Central site also provides a more detailed description, including notes associated with the registration.

Using these two CRN Directories, manufacturers with pressure equipment registered in Alberta and / or the maritime provinces can be located and, if the equipment is registered in other jurisdictions too, it’s ordinarily noted.

Fitting CRN registration numbers are categorized per Table 1 of CSA B51, according to the following schedule:

Category Type of Fitting
A pipe fittings, such as elbows, tees, couplings, wyes, caps, unions, etc.
B flanges
C Line valves
D expansion joints, flexible assemblies, hose assemblies etc.
E Strainers, filters, and steam traps etc.
F Measurement devices such as pressure gauges, levels, transducers etc.
G Pressure relief devices
H All other pressure retaining components that don’t fall into categories A through G

 

Unfortunately, wide searches within a fitting category cannot be manually conducted instantaneously. However, formats of CRN numbers as defined in CSA B51 assists with searching the CRN directories for suitable manufacturers. A fitting category letter is included with all fitting CRN numbers, and so specific searches for manufacturers of fitting categories can be made.

For example, if you want to find a piping fitting manufacturer that initially registered their equipment in Alberta, you can successively conduct a manual search using the 0AXXXXX.2 number format until a manufacturer (or all such manufacturers) are found. Similarly, if you want to find a piping fitting manufacturer that first registered their design in Ontario, then you can successively conduct a manual search using the 0AXXXXX.52 format until a manufacturer (or all such manufacturers) are found.

Spending just a minute or so with the ABSA search template, and starting a search at 0A10000.2, revealed the one of thousands of CRN registrations listed there: 0A10032.2. To the best of ABSA’s knowledge, data published on their site is valid, and includes the manufacturer name, registration details, and the expiry dates of all pressure equipment registered in Alberta. A lengthier search, or a lengthier search within a different fitting category, will yield more lengthy lists of CRN numbers and manufacturers!

For the maritime provinces, similar CRN registration searches can also be conducted with manufacturers’ names, and this can shorten the searching process.

The legality of scraping websites with even a simple VBA software routine, to systematically identify and log all fitting CRNs and manufacturers, is questionable since ABSA has claimed copyright on its website contents. Public access to the CRN registration directory information is freely available to anyone that would like to look for it.

A list of qualified manufacturers is also a good place to start looking for registered fittings that might be of interest to you. ABSA publishes a searchable list of all Alberta companies qualified to manufacturer all categories of pressure fittings here: https://bit.ly/3gXKzFk . Manufacturers with an acceptable quality control program can get CRN registration for fittings, provided that the designs meet code and regulation requirements.

CRN Number

Is The CRN Valid and Legit?

“It’s registered they said.  Here’s the proof they said.”

Really. Ok, so what can you believe?

As an end user of pressure equipment (valves, flanges, fittings, instrumentation, vessels, boilers, thermal liquid heaters, etc), you are responsible for its safe operation in accordance with all applicable ASME codes, standards, and jurisdictional regulations.  This means that you need to ensure it is properly registered with a CRN.  CAMMAR Corp can help you do this.

“But wait a minute.  Aren’t the regulators responsible for registering pressure equipment?”  Nope, they aren’t. They just accept it for registration, but before the equipment is used, sold, distributed or even offered for sale, the responsibility for registering it, and ensuring that it is registered properly, rests with those who have care and control over it.  Regulators don’t own it.

“Ok, but I asked the vendor if it was registered and they said it was.  They even provided ‘proof’ of the registration with the CRN number. And that CRN is valid, so it’s registered, right?”

Uh, not necessarily.

For example, suppose your project needs some ASME B16.34 valves with a CRN number.  You ask your vendor for proof of registration, and they provide you a copy of a stamped Statutory Declaration with CRN included.  But what they neglect to tell you is that the acceptance letter provided by the regulator has a condition included, that goes something like this: “Only valves which comply with all aspects of ASME B16.34 in its entirety are part of this registration.”

So, what does that mean?  

It means that the regulator does not always itemize which of the vendor’s valves or items meet the requirements and which do not.  And with the note above, if pressure parts of any valves are made from any materials not listed in ASME B16.34 and supported by mill test reports, then those valves are not registered.  And if the flanges of those valves are improperly reamed or hollowed out, or chambered, too thin, too short, or whatever, and thereby don’t meet ASME B16.5 or B16.47 dimensions in their entirety, the valves are not registered.  Etc.

So, even though there may be a CRN number, the equipment might well not be registered.  Despite what your vendor might tell you!  

And if you were to use such excluded valves or equipment anyways, it would be like you were using unregistered equipment…!  And you don’t want to go there!

Make sure the pressure equipment you want to use is registered properly with CRNs. We, at Cammar Corporation, can help you deal with the complexities of getting a CRN registration. Call Cammar Corporation right away.

Answer Key

Responsibility for CRN Numbers and Safety

In this space, some questions posed by customers and industry are published in case others have similar questions. Anonymity is preserved. Check back for updates and new correspondence.

Dear Cammar,
If a vessel, fitting, boiler design, or some pressure piping not meeting the legislation requirements and/or that is simply not registered with a CRN number is operated, then so what?
Regards,
IM Concerned


Dear Concerned,

Safety is a big deal to the public, the engineering profession, and the regulator. Breaking the law is not a good idea.

Unless exemptions apply, operation of pressure equipment (vessels, fittings, boilers, pressure piping systems, etc) that does not meet the legislation, or that is without CRN registration, would be against the law.

Though non-exempt pressure equipment certainly needs to be registered before operation, the equipment also needs to meet the minimum requirements of the adopted codes and standards. In all cases, it needs to be safe.

Committing an offense has potential consequences. For example, in Alberta per Section 68 of the Safety Codes Act, those found guilty are subject to a potential fine of $100000 and imprisonment of 6 months for a first offence, and a fine of $500000 and imprisonment of 12 months for a second or subsequent offence.

So… safety, and responsibility for it, is important.

Answer Key

Bleed Ring Design Responsibility Q&A

In this space, some questions posed by customers and industry are published in case others have similar questions. Anonymity is preserved. Check back for updates and new correspondence.

Dear Cammar,
Does ABSA require that bleed rings be registered or not? I don’t see anything in the pressure equipment safety regulation that exempts bleed rings from having CRN number registration.
I look forward to hearing from you.

Regards,
IM Concerned


Dear Concerned,
Thanks for your email.
ABSA reportedly does not require CRN number registration for bleed rings – in general. See page 5 of http://www.absa.ca/design-registration/fitting-design/faqs-fitting/ for more information. But each circumstance should be considered on its own merits. For example, a pressurized cylinder sealed with o rings between two ASME B16.5 flanges and held together with threaded bars connecting the flanges, is not a bleed ring. The line between a bleed ring and something else can be blurry and open to interpretation.

What is always necessary is a safe design. Instead of your question, a better question would be: can the device with the pressure port included, safely withstand the proposed pressure? ‘Safely’ means within the factor of safety specified by the code of construction as a minimum. Regardless of whether pressure equipment needs a CRN number or not, the design always needs to meet the minimum requirements of available codes and standards, and the design must thereby provide an acceptable safety margin that the designer, vendor, and end user can responsibly attest to.

Cash

How much does a CRN Cost?

The biggest CRN cost might surprise you.  Marketing and operation delays end up costing much more than CRN application and regulator costs. Regulators’ bills aren’t the biggest thing. The regulator will charge as little as about $150CAD or much, much more. Poorly prepared applications for CRN registration will be either rejected, or subjected to a very lengthy iterative review, or both.

Responsibility for registration and application quality rests with the applicant.

Well prepared, professional quality CRN applications will often take a regulator about two to three hours to review on average and this equates to regulator fees of about $500CAD or so or less. But they have many, many applications to review and it might well take a few weeks for an application to reach the top of their pile unless extra expediting fees are paid. Costs are legislated, and registrar’s rates are published (see links here), but regulators’ time can be charged on a half hourly rate if an application is very complex or large. Larger or more calculation intense applications, like a heat exchanger or firetube boiler, will take the regulator a little longer to review but if everything is in order, only a slightly larger fee can be expected for all but the most complex or large applications.

Regulators are NOT responsible for your design.

Poorly prepared CRN applications, that consist basically of a pile of unorganized and unreferenced documents, non-compliant designs, catalogues, drawings, etc., used to be entertained by regulators while the applicant provided corrections. But sorting through such an application would take a regulator longer to evaluate and, as a result, refusals are now a real option. Applicants that rely on the regulator to check their application, to perform the applicant’s quality control, i.e. to do the applicant’s work, are more likely to get a shocking surprise – a bill and no registration! Poor quality applications would result in wasted application and evaluation fees, sometimes higher costs, registration applications that are rejected, and poor relationships with regulators.

Worse yet if a design is mistakenly registered by a regulator, then reactively correcting a mistake once discovered or revealed can obviously be colossally more expensive in terms of reputation than what a proper design application preparation would have been in the first place. Responsibility for registration rests with the owner (end user, seller, distributor, manufacturer, designer, applicant etc.), and recalling or replacing a design that is already distributed and in use can be very expensive. Proper review and checking before an application for CRN registration is submitted should be welcomed, not criticized.

Optimize registration costs by minimizing CRN application delays and mistakes.

Before an application for registration is submitted, ensure that your registration application contains the required information, that the information it contains is correct, that it is well organized with interconnected consistent documents, and that the design meets or exceeds all required regulations, code and standard requirements.

Generic CRN Registration Cammar Corporation

Generic CRN Registration

It makes the most sense to include as many options as possible in a generic CRN registration to minimize the frequency of applications. In general, it is up to the applicant how they want to organize their CRN registration applications in accordance with model numbers, equipment use, markets, etc.

To help optimize the registration process, it is important to consider what a generic design is and if it makes sense to use in your circumstance.
When a design includes options or variations, the design is called generic. In other words, a generic design describes a range of options for the equipment. And if the design is described properly, in many circumstances only one CRN is required for a generic fitting or a generic vessel.

Except for category ‘H’ fittings, any number of model numbers and configurations of the same category can often be included in one generic CRN registration. For example, a bunch of control valves, ball valves, globe valves and butterfly valves are all inline valves and could all be included in a single category ‘C’ CRN registration number. Or a bunch of ASME B16.5 and custom ASME Section VIII-1 Appendix 2 flanges could all be included in a single category ‘B’ registration number. Similar considerations apply for pipe fittings (category ‘A’), expansion joints (category ‘D’), strainers, filters, evaporators and steam traps (category ‘E’), instrumentation including measuring devices like pressure gauges, level gauges, sight glasses, levels, and pressure transmitters (category ‘F’), and certified relief valves and fusible plugs (category ‘G’). Generic category ‘H’ fittings can also be registered but requirements are a bit more restrictive and akin to generic vessel registration.

Generic vessel CRN registration requirements are more restrictive. Authorized inspectors need to quickly ascertain whether a vessel design meets registration requirements or not. So, to avoid generic vessel applications where every conceivable option and geometry is proposed for registration under a single CRN number, some guidelines have been put in place by ABSA. In addition to ordinary design requirements, generic vessels are also to have:

  • fixed maximum allowable working pressure (MAWP)
  • fixed maximum allowable temperature
  • fixed minimum design metal temperature
  • fixed corrosion allowance
  • fixed head geometry and thicknesses
  • fixed diameter(s)
  • all relocatable and optional nozzles, together with their potential locations, identified
  • a nozzle spacing chart for relocatable nozzles meeting requirements of ASME Section VIII-1 paragraph UG-36 for pairs and clusters
  • only one nozzle configuration (neck thickness, internal projection, weld size and reinforcement) for each nozzle size, except for ASME Section VIII- paragraph UW-16(f) fittings

To achieve the maximum amount of spacing variations, nozzles normally exempt from reinforcement per ASME Section VIII-1 paragraph UG-36 should instead be reinforced.

Depending on complexity, generic vessel designs might take slightly longer for the regulator to evaluate and register, but if all possible variations of a vessel are included with one CRN number, it is of benefit to the design owner to register a generic design. Even complex generic designs can be described clearly so that registration is not significantly delayed.

Answer Key

CRN Renewal Q&A

In this space, some questions posed by customers and industry are published in case others have similar questions. Anonymity is preserved. Check back for updates and new correspondence.

Dear Cammar,
We have a fitting CRN for some equipment in Alberta and a second Canada wide fitting CRN that originated in Ontario for different models of the same equipment category. If we renew the Canada wide CRN, is it advisable or possible to add the equipment registered in Alberta to the Canada wide CRN that was first registered in Ontario?
Thanks,
I M Interested


Dear Interested,
In general:

  • In general, fittings registered with a CRN in one province can be added to a Canada wide registration that has a different CRN, subject to regulator acceptance. It is arguably easier for manufacturers to have one CRN for all of Canada to avoid a very problematic situation where the CRN and province to where the equipment is shipped or stocked do not match. Our advice therefore continues to be that when equipment is to be used in all provinces, Canada wide registration should be sought whenever possible to best avoid any problems associated with not doing so.
  • Some categories of fitting registrations like piping (Category A), flanges (category B), or inline valves (Category C), etc. can include any combination, or number of models if requested by the manufacturer, but at the discretion of the regulators. Category H fittings are less accommodating.
  • Regulators will try to avoid duplicate CRN numbers in their province if they become aware of overlap, to help ensure consistency and avoid confusion. If an overlap is noticed, the applicant might be asked to not renew or merge one CRN in favour of the overlapping Canada wide one.
  • For example, if Ontario adds fittings registered in Alberta to 0******.5**, then if/when Alberta agrees to the addition and if they notice, Alberta might well ask that fittings already registered in Alberta be extracted from 0*****.2 or if the fittings already registered in Alberta comprise all the designs in 0*****.2, they might ask that 0*****.2 be merged with the Ontario based registration number. (Actual CRNs are masked to preserve anonymity)
  • If a fitting CRN has a ‘2’ after the decimal, then additions to the existing CRN must be initiated in Alberta. Additions must be initiated in the province where the CRN was first issued, else the amended CRN would be invalid since the originating province would not know about the addition and a new CRN would need to be issued by an alternate province if it accepts the application for registration.
  • Fitting CRN registration will expire 10 years from the date of the first registration or latest renewal, not 10 years from the date of the last addition.
  • Each province has a ‘final call’ for their region as to whether they want to accept or merge an addition to a CRN or not. Ontario does not have a final call for Alberta. If, for example, Ontario requires X# of FEAs but Alberta later requires more FEAs or other requirements, then despite previous registration in Ontario, Ontario will subsequently need to accede to Alberta’s request and reconsider the application again if the addition is to be considered for registration in Alberta. That is why it is important to first register equipment in the province that has what is perceived to be the most challenging requirements for any particular application. And similarly, Ontario is under no obligation to merge fittings registered in Alberta as an addition to an Ontario based CRN.
Answer Key

Harmonizing CRN Process Benefits Q&A

In this space, some questions posed by customers and industry are published in case others have similar questions. Anonymity is preserved. Check back for updates and new correspondence.

Dear Cammar,
I read your article about harmonizing the CRN process, in which it is stated that we need CRN’s. I am puzzled about the benefit to the general public safety of this process for fittings, seeing that this is only practiced in Canada. How do we compete with countries that don’t have CRN process? How can we claim to have a higher standard of safety, when the rest of the world manages quite fine without CRNs for fittings? How do we produce a compliant design when equipment is available but without a CRN that the manufacturer does not see the need to apply for and register their product?
I look forward to hearing from you.
Concerned Ontarian


Dear Concerned Ontarian,
Thanks for your email.
Governments in Canada deem the CRN process worthwhile and pursuant to public safety, given that CSA B51 is referred to in Canadian legislation. CSA B51 helps to ensure through third party oversight that pressure equipment is designed, built and tested to codes and referenced standards that have, through careful collective deliberation, been written to help ensure public safety by using adequate safety margins and other considerations.
These codes and standards are adopted by legislation and stipulate minimum requirements. In some foreign locales where CRNs are not required, designs do not always meet minimum code and referenced standard design philosophies. And when they do not, designs are therefore less safe than those that do.
In Canada, pressure equipment designs meeting legislated requirements are competitive and registerable.
Public safety is, I’m sure you would agree, of paramount importance.

Canadian Registration Number

Cammar Corporation Discusses Selected CRN Issues: Part 1

Recently, Cammar Corporation was asked to deliver a presentation to pressure equipment industry professionals in Drayton Valley, Alberta, about Canadian Registration Number (CRN) topics of interest. Check out the video below for a brief introduction to some of the CRN issues that were presented.


If the content of the above video is something that would benefit your business or organization then I invite you to contact Cammar Corporation to schedule a CRN training session/presentation.


About Canadian Registration Number (CRN) Training:

Cammar Corporation can tailor training agendas and schedules to suit your needs.  The recent Canadian Registration Number training session in Drayton Valley was one and a half hours in length and included topics like:

  • Documentation requirements for CRN / pressure piping applications and construction reports
  • Pressure testing requirements and responsibilities relating to components and assemblies
  • Fitting modifications and procedures
  • Issues with intermixing components from different manufacturers
  • Priorities in building a QC program (Quality Control program content was discussed such as quality manuals, quality procedures and quality work products)

The training can be held at your workplace or place of convenience to deliver customized presentations about pressure equipment topics of most interest to you and your colleagues. Ordinarily if the presentation is in a conference room with about 15 people or less, the participants will be asked to introduce themselves so that they can mention any questions that they have on their minds, so they can be addressed during the presentation.

If the presentation is to one company and their representatives alone, then this allows for a detailed questions-answer period where confidential information can be discussed and solutions relating to their particular specific issues can be identified.

About the Facilitator:

Cameron Sterling MSc, PEng, Director, Cammar Corporation
Cameron Sterling is the Director of Cammar Corporation and he’ll be facilitating these learning sessions.

Cameron has been a professional engineer in Canada since 1991 and is registered in Alberta with APEGA (Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta) and Ontario with PEO (Professional Engineers Ontario).

Cameron provides engineering expertise in relation to pressure equipment design evaluation, compliance, and registration (CRNs). All of these topics are related to helping clientele obtain Canadian registration and to enhancing public safety.

His past working experience at ABSA as a Safety Codes Officer and NB Commissioned Inspector gives additional value and expertise to training sessions provided by Cammar Corporation. With a relatively high per capita concentration of pressure equipment in Alberta, ABSA is a very significant pressure equipment regulator in Canada. Experience and expertise enhanced from working at ABSA is very valuable to industry.

Cammar Corporation has a lot of experience to share about pressure equipment design evaluation and CRN registration. The comments in this presentation series are general in nature, so please bear in mind that specific topics relating to your particular situation deserve greater attention and advice tailored to your particular circumstances.  We would be pleased to speak with you about your particular projects in more detail.

For further information, stay tuned and for Cammar Corporation to tailor a presentation to meet your needs, don’t hesitate to contact us at your convenience.

 

Cammar Corporation Harmonized CRN Registration and Public Safety

Harmonized CRN Registration and Public Safety

Have you ever tried to sing along with the radio?  Sometimes, harmony just doesn’t happen easily.  Now, consider 13 people trying to sing along to the same tune.  For them to sing in harmony, even with the same music, they would need to work at it quite a bit.  But, I digress.

To get a Canada wide CRN (Canadian Registration Number), applications to 13 separate jurisdictions need to be considered and a comparable number of separate, independent regulatory reviews are required.  Why?  Well, in short, each province or territory in Canada is constitutionally responsible for legislation about public safety within their boundaries.  Hence, time for parallel and separate reviews, then separate and additive fees, and then separate registrations, etc. are currently required.  In this day and age, when ideas can flash around the globe at a key stroke, national CRN registration of designs (i.e. ideas) in Canada seems to be, well, quite awkward and glacial in December.

This is not to say that regulators do a bad job.  On the contrary, they are needed, appreciated, and certainly do contribute to the safety of the populace by helping owners of equipment (users, manufacturers, distributors, etc.) meet safety requirements.  Indeed, regulators are of particular importance at a time of increased public scrutiny in relation to safety, and responsibility.  This series of articles is about the system that pressure equipment regulators currently operate in.

But can there be improvements to the CRN registration system?  Can it be more harmonious, in better tune? Of course.  CRNs are still needed.  But in our opinion, there must be a willingness, and some proper foundation, for change.

Now, imagine a world where getting a CRN registration in Canada is harmonized.  In other words, CRN registration in this world is a one stop process, that includes just one high quality, third party regulatory review.  Safety would be maintained or even enhanced from the status quo, and barriers associated with the time for different reviews and additive costs would be gone.

“Safety would be maintained or even enhanced from the status quo.”

To get to such a new world, what sorts of foundations would properly drive this harmonized change to the CRN registration process?  In our opinion, such a drive would necessarily have at least two foundations for it to truly be in the public interest.

The first foundation would be a drive towards enhanced and maintained levels of public safety.  Owners could be encouraged, nationwide, to meet established and documented requirements prescribed from the collective experience of pressure equipment regulators across the country.  Each ‘port’ of entry to nationwide CRN registration, if you will, would enforce the exact same high requirements based on collective regulatory experience.  Selection of nationwide requirements should never be a race downhill so that in effect, the lowest common denominator, weakened or lessened, requirements would result.   No, the highest topical CRN requirement currently in place should be selected nationwide in each case.

“Barriers associated with the time for different reviews and additive costs would be gone.”

The other foundational driver would surely be economic.  A more efficient and shorter registration process would encourage foreign and domestic manufacturers.  A shorter response time from the manufacturer to the market would obviously have economic and competitive benefits for Canadian industry.  These benefits, though obvious, would be difficult to reliably quantify.  Subject to maintained and enhanced safety, this driving force must be managed well.

With these two drivers, surely there is likely a willingness amongst the public and industry, together with the provincial and federal governments, for change.  But time will tell.

As this year draws to a close, here’s hoping that the future will usher in an era where requirements across Canada are held high for the safety and economic benefit of all.

Details relating to the implementation of any harmonized CRN registration process are important.  As time permits, future Cammar Corp blog articles will explore how the implementation of a harmonization process could, in some cases, be a benefit or a disadvantage to the public interest.  Stay tuned.