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FAQs – Design Registration

These Technical Questions and Responses have been collected by ABSA Design Survey and have value to prospective submitters for clarification on processes, general policies, and some specific scenarios for design submissions. Followings are related to general registration requirements.

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1. Questions regarding R&D equipment
1.Q1. Does R&D equipment require registration in Alberta?

1.R1. Section 2(2)(n) of the Pressure Equipment Exemption Order (PEEO) exempts pressure equipment, other than boilers, with a volume not exceeding 42.5 L that is the subject of a research experiment in a research facility, or, that is part of a temporary apparatus being used in a research experiment in a research facility from the PEEO. Equipment that is exempt from the PEEO does not require design registration

2. Questions regarding the definition of pressure with respect to the PESR
2.Q1. Section 1(1)(z) of the PESR defines pressure as “pressure that is above atmospheric pressure unless stated otherwise.” Does that mean any pressure above 14.7 psi absolute (0 psi gauge) or any pressure above 14.7 psi gauge (29.4 psi absolute)?

2.R1. The definition of pressure in section 1(1)(z) of the PESR means a positive gauge pressure, i.e. any pressure above the local ambient atmospheric pressure. It is not a pressure above one atmosphere (approx. 14.7 psi) gauge pressure.

3. Questions regarding material test reports
3.Q1. Is it mandatory that MTR’s for components of ASME Code boilers or pressure vessels state that the material was produced to an ASME (SA or SB) specification, or is it acceptable for the MTR to show an ASTM (A or B) specification number?

3.R1. The Forewords to the various sections of the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code state the following:

“All materials allowed by these various Sections and used for construction within the scope of their rules shall be furnished in accordance with material specifications contained in Section II or referenced in the Guidelines for Acceptable Editions in Section II, Parts A and B, except where otherwise provided in Code Cases or in the applicable Section of the Code. Materials covered by these specifications are acceptable for use in items covered by the Code Sections only to the degree indicated in the applicable Section. Materials for Code use should preferably be ordered, produced, and documented on this basis; Guidelines for Acceptable Editions in Section II, Part A and Guidelines for Acceptable Editions in Section II, Part B list editions of ASME and year dates of specifications that meet ASME requirements and which may be used in Code construction.” (emphasis added)

This means that one should be in the habit of ordering material to the appropriate ASME SA or SB specification number. However, if the material provided is only documented as meeting an ASTM A or B specification number of a specified edition date and that specification number and date are included in the Guidelines for Acceptable Editions in Section II, Part A or B, the material is acceptable for Code construction within the limitations of the Code of construction. See the second last paragraph of the Foreword to any Section of the Code for additional detail. The above comments apply equally to non-ASTM material specifications that have been incorporated into Section II under SA or SB specification numbers.

4. Questions regarding repairs
4.Q1. Is it required to register all repair procedures through ABSA’s Design Survey Department?

4.R1. Not all repair procedures must be registered through Design Survey. Per section 40(3) of the PESR, “repairs … shall not be undertaken without the prior agreement of a safety codes officer.” If the safety codes officer is of the opinion that the repair procedure is complex enough to require the involvement of Design Survey, he or she will require the repair organization or the owner of the equipment to be repaired, as appropriate, to submit the procedure to Design Survey for registration.
Note: The above applies only to repair procedures; all alteration procedures must be registered through Design Survey.

5. Questions regarding ISO 16528
5.Q1. Since ISO 16528 is listed in the Pressure Equipment Safety Regulation (PESR), can we use this standard in place of other listed adopted codes?

5.R1. No, although ISO 16528 is now under PESR section 6(k), it is not an alterative design code/standard, i.e. we are not accepting that in lieu of the listed adopted codes and standards under Section 6(a) to 6(j). As per Information Bulletin No. IB11-013, the applicable listed adopted code(s)/standard(s) under Section 6(a) to 6(j) must be used for the construction of boilers and pressure vessels (and components forming parts thereof). The intent of the addition of Section 6(k) is only for things that are not addressed by any of the codes and standards adopted under Section 6(a) to 6(j), then a code or standard in conformance with ISO 16528 may be used in accordance with the new Section 6(k) of the PESR provided that “the same engineering philosophy, safety margins and administrative requirements in the CSA B51″ must be followed.

6. Questions regarding Canadian Registration Number (CRN) and its use
6.Q1. What is a CRN?

6.R1. A CRN for a boiler or pressure vessel is defined by CSA B51 Clause 4.3 as:

  • consisting of a letter, four digits, and a decimal point followed by up to ten digits and three letters
    the first letter and four digits are part of a sequential numbering system used by the issuing province or territory
  • the first digit or letter to the right of the decimal point indicates the province that issued the particular number
  • the following identifications are used in accordance with the code:
    1 – British Columbia 7 – New Brunswick
    2 – Alberta 8 – Nova Scotia
    3 – Saskatchewan 9 – Prince Edward Island
    4 – Manitoba 0 (zero) – Newfoundland
    5 – Ontario T – Northwest Territories
    6 – Quebec Y – Yukon Territory
    N – Nunavut
  • the letter C may follow the designation of first registration if a design is registered in all jurisdictions. No jurisdiction issues the letter C; it is a convenience for stamping once the manufacturer has received all the registrations.
  • the letters CL may follow the designation of first registration if a design is registered in all jurisdictions that require registration and is not registered in the jurisdictions that do not require registration. No jurisdiction issues the letter CL; it is a convenience for stamping once the manufacturer has received registrations for all jurisdictions that require registration. (The “L” means limited.)
  • to be eligible for use in Alberta, the CRN must have the digit 2, or the letter C, somewhere after the decimal point.
  • A Canadian Registration Number or Pressure Piping number is issued if the design is satisfactory.

For example, the following could be valid CRNs: B1079.23, M2138.5C and V1234.5CL.

7. Questions regarding the differences between Section VIII Divisions 1, 2, and 3
7.Q1. What are the Major Differences Between ASME VIII Divisions 1, 2 and 3?

7.R1. Please see article – What are the Major Differences Between ASME VIII Divisions 1, 2 and 3?

8. Questions regarding confidentiality agreements with ABSA
8.Q1. Can ABSA sign a confidentiality agreement not to disclose any information related to my design submission to any person or a company without my written permission, before I send my design for the registration?

8.R1. No, ABSA does not have the authority to enter into an agreement with any person or company that would restrict government’s regulated access to and use of the records collected because ABSA is a Delegated Administrative Organization under the Safety Codes Act of Alberta, not a private corporation. Our authority and scope of our activities are granted by the Province of Alberta and governed by the Alberta Safety Codes Act and The Government Organization Act – Boilers Delegated Administration Regulation (AR32/2002). ABSA records must comply with section 7 of the Boilers Delegated Administration Regulation, which also references the Records Management Regulation (AR224/2001). Links to these Acts and regulations are available via The Queen’s Printer, or accessed through our website Act and regulations

For related information see Design Drawings of Record Management

For additional information please contact Alberta Municipal Affairs. Alberta Municipal Affairs is the government department to whom ABSA reports. They can be contacted toll free at 1-866-421-6929. This number is for the Safety Services Branch of the department.

Last modified: September 22, 2016