On September 1, 2021, the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry published amendments on the rules on Ammonium Nitrate and Calcium Carbide respectively. For ammonium nitrate, new provisions have been established for fire extinguishing equipment in storage and handling facilities, floor space requirements for storage facilities, and prior submission of information by transporters. On the other hand, for calcium carbide, it was provided that the period of validity of licenses under the rules be extended from three years to a maximum of 10 years, and that applications for licenses for import and storage (Forms II and III) be conditioned on records of receipt and sale of calcium carbide. These amended rules come into effect upon publication.
The main revisions regarding ammonium nitrate are as follows.
- In the special precautions against accidents (Art. 11), a provision has been added for facilities storing and handling ammonium nitrate to be equipped with adequate fire extinguishing systems in accordance with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 490.
- Storage facilities used for possession for sale or possession for use of ammonium nitrate should have a floor area of not less than one square meter per 2.5 tons of ammonium nitrate, and the capacity of storage facilities shall not exceed 5000 tons.
- After the implementation of the amended rules, all floors in ammonium nitrate storage and handling areas must be free of open drains, traps, pits, or pockets into which any molten ammonium nitrate could enter and become trapped in the event of a fire. For storage facilities that existed prior to the effective date of the amended rules, this provision has to be complied with within one year of that date.
- Vehicles engaged in transportation must be manned by drivers whose identity has been previously verified by the police. The list of information should be submitted to the police once in every five years.
- Transfer of ammonium nitrate from one premise to another premise of the same occupant may be carried out by the license holder under Form P3 (for possession and use) with prior permission from the licensing authority.
- The executive magistrates or police officers authorized in the table shown in the Rules shall conduct an inspection of the licensed premises within their jurisdiction once in every six months to ascertain whether there has been any violation of the Rules.
The Ammonium Nitrate (Amendment) Rules, 2021 and the Calcium Carbide (Amendment) Rules, 2021 can be downloaded from the following URL.
- Ammonium Nitrate (Amendment) Rules, 2021
- Calcium Carbide (Amendment) Rules, 2021
- Ammonium Nitrate Rules 2012
- Calcium Carbide Rules, 1987