What Are the Requirements of a CRN Number & Pressure Vessel Certification?

Pressure Vessel Certification

If you’ve tried and failed to register CRN (Canadian Registration Number) is Canada’s way of reviewing and registering the design of pressure vessels, piping systems, and the fittings used to make them. All Canadian jurisdictions like provinces and territories use the CRN system. You must meet several requirements to receive and operate with your CRN.

  • Canada’s CRN system is governed by CSA B51 standard. But every jurisdiction adds their own rules under which they enforce the standards.
  • The B51 standard isn’t a standalone design code. Other ASME codes (e.g., VIII-1 and B31.3) provide design and production methods. B51 simply adds more rules specific to Canada.
  • You must complete design review and quality control acceptance before construction and use.
  • Canada requires CRN registration for each jurisdiction in which the equipment is used.
  • Once registered, fabrication and inspection are handled the same as National Board production.
  • Once registered, you can produce any number of identical vessels or fittings.
  • You can build CRN registered products anywhere in the world.

What are common problems with CRN registration?

  • It can take half a year or more to get registered in all jurisdictions. Make sure you budget enough time.
  • You need CRN specific knowledge to successfully register. Some information is documented, but some is not. You need to partner with someone who understands the process intimately.
  • Expect your design to be reviewed several times if you will use it across Canada. A single failure in one jurisdiction can lead to starting the process over from the beginning. Your designs should be conservative.
  • It’s not easy to find registered fittings for vessels and piping systems.
  • Registration fees are up to 130 times what the National Board fees are.

When should you apply for a CRN?

Apply for a CRN before you start construction. B51 states, “Acceptance and registration shall be obtained before construction is commenced.” If you’re a manufacturer with a finished vessel that is being shipped to Canada, you may have a problem, but it varies by jurisdiction. For example, Ontario Vessel Act says, “4.(2) A person who submits a design submission for registration may commence construction of the boiler, pressure vessel, fitting or piping before the submission is registered if the person assumes all risks related to the construction, whether for an installation or alteration.” The more time you allow to get your CRN, the better.

What happens if you don’t apply for a CRN?

You’ll find fittings, piping systems, and pressure vessels used in Canada that weren’t registered. An authorized inspector or an insurance audit usually uncovers them. Upon discovery, you must get the part registered. If it can’t be registered, you must replace the part. And if there is a safety concern, you must shut down until it’s registered or replaced.

How long does a CRN last?

A CRN is good for the life of the pressure vessel. Manufacturers can use their CRN until the code changes enough to require a design change—or until the manufacturer wants to change the design. CRNs for fittings are good for 10 years after which you must re-register your design.


CRN are hesitant to start the process, reach out to an expert with experience who has established relationships with regulators. An expert will evaluate your design and point out issues and their solutions. They can even help you draw the design if your drawing needs improvement. Their expert help with applying for a CRN can shorten the time to registration immensely.

About the Author

Kevin Moore

Hi, my name is Kevin Moore. I was born in San Diego, CA and studied at the University of San Diego. I am passionate about sharing my knowledge with interested people and have years of experience in the field of business, health . information technology.

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