O, Canada! Tips on CRN and International Code

Manufacturing to global codes and standards is at times a tricky endeavor, filled with both a myriad of forms and a litany of corresponding inspections, from ASME to PED, NBIC, GOST, DOSH and beyond.

In Canada, these inspections are further complicated for manufacturers seeking to export fittings, piping systems and pressure vessels. Companies exporting to Canada must obtain a CRN, or Canadian Registration Number—issued by a Canadian provincial government such as Ontario (TSSA), Alberta (ABSA) or British Columbia (BC)—before shipping products to Canadian clients. It’s a process that can take from three to six months, and it is one that is often overlooked according to representatives from TUV Rheinland AIA Services, LLC., an ASME accredited authorized inspection agency that provides multiple types of inspection services.

“The failure rate of registration is approximately 50 percent,” says Bob Price, a regional supervisor for TUV Rheinland. “Most of it is common mistakes that are overlooked, like they forget to include a certificate of authorization or maybe something is missing from the drawings and calculations.”

Many manufacturers are turning to companies like TUV Rheinland to help ensure a smooth entrance into Canada and other areas of the world where regional laws can be difficult to interpret.

Price recently visited Acme Cryogenics, Inc. (CSA CSM), to conduct physical inspections, witness pressure tests, take measurements and review TSSA documentation on a cryogenic piping system. The overall process, he says, is complicated because Canadian rules require CRNs for individual parts used by manufacturers, in this case for a cryogenic bayonet fitting used in a vacuum insulated piping system.

Acme had used the bayonet before in smaller vessels, but there was no way to prove to Canada that it would work in a larger vessel without conducting new burst tests. Acme decided to contact TUV Rheinland because of past difficulties and a need to expedite the approval, according to David Rakos, director of quality and engineering at Acme. He says the company once had a CRN request to ABSA drag out for over a year “Many times when we discuss CRN you get lots of groans from people because they know what a difficult endeavor it can be.”

But this time “it went really, really smoothly,” he says. Rakos submitted the documents compiled by TUV Rheinland to Canadian representatives on July 7 and received approval two weeks later. “Having done this numerous other times, that’s the first time that we submitted something for review that we did not have to go back to them (Canada) and provide additional information.”

As it did for Acme Cryogenics, TUV Rheinland can review and audit a company’s quality program, drawings and calculations, matching it against a checklist designed specifically for submittal to TSSA, ABSA and BC. Its message to manufacturers regarding the acquisition of CRNs, according to Bernard Hrubala, TUV Rheinland’s global business development leader, is “get it now.”

“It would be money well spent because…once you have it then you can advertise it,” Hrubala says. “In other words you can put your product online and say here it is and I have the Canadian registration number. So that people who are looking to buy a product will say ‘Great, this person already has it.’”