Canadian Registration Number (CRN)

CRN Harmonization

[Update 2021-01-14]

Change is still coming, but there are some roadblocks that have appeared as a result of trying to get multiple jurisdictions and their governments to agree to a common path forward. People are still working to make this a reality, but it is going to take more time than originally planned. Adding to the problems, there is confusion surrounding the CRN Harmonization project. It appears that there are different approaches being taken by multiple jurisdictions simultaneously.

ABSA has created a portal website, but it is not used for harmonized registrations at this time. They offer to register your design in other provinces, but this is reciprocal registration, not harmonization. Reciprocal registrations are still reviewed in the subsequent jurisdictions. This reciprocal registration process is the same as the service TSSA has offered for several years. You can see the portal website that has been created by ABSA here: CRN Online Web Portal

Further confusion may come from the fact that TSSA has a note posted on their website that beginning January 1, 2020 reviews done by one province will be accepted without review by other provinces participating in the Reconciliation Agreement for the Canadian Registration Number for Pressure Equipment. Participating members include British Columbia, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan and Yukon. (TSSA Website) Noticeably absent is Alberta. In our experience during 2020, we have seen both situations occur. Sometimes it is accepted without a second review, but other times there is a second review, and possibly more.

While CRN Harmonization may not be finished yet, and many questions remain, things are changing and improvements are taking place. Harmonization is still the goal and people are working behind the scenes to make it happen. PVEng will continue to monitor the process and provide any services that will be needed.

[Original Post]

A change to the CRN Registration system is coming.  The Canadian jurisdictions are currently working together on a plan to harmonize CRN registrations across Canada.  At least six provinces have signed on already including Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Nova Scotia and PEI.

The goal is to have one review of your registration package instead of the current system of up to seven distinct reviews.  One application will be filled out and your submission will go into a pool.  A single province will review the design and other provinces will have a set time to add questions to the first review.  Once this is complete, all questions will be returned to the submitter at one time.  After the questions are adequately addressed, the CRN number is issued by each jurisdiction and the initial province of review returns the full CRN number to the submitter.

A new website is currently being tested that will allow users to upload digital submissions and stay current with the status of their registration project.

ABSA has posted an article in the June 2019 edition of The Pressure News with their update on CRN Harmonization.  They appear to be taking the lead in this implementation and are the ones developing the web interface that will be used.

There are still things to work out in terms of mechanics, fee structures and the web portal, but progress is being made.  Expect to hear more about this before the end of 2019.

PVEng hopes this will allow us to expedite CRN registrations to multiple provinces for our clients.  We plan to be early adopters of this new system in order to improve our registration services.

Canadian Registration Number (CRN)

The CRN (Canadian Registration Number) system is the Canadian method of reviewing and registering the design of pressure vessels, piping systems and the fittings used to make them.

  • All Canadian provinces and territories, collectively called jurisdictions, use the CRN system.
  • The system is governed by the general CSA B51 standard, but every jurisdiction adds their own specific rules to make the standard enforceable.
  • The B51 standard is not a stand alone design code. ASME codes like VIII-1 and B31.3 provide the design and production methods. B51 adds some more rules specific to Canada.
  • Ideally design review and QC acceptance is completed prior to construction. It must be done prior to use.
  • CRN registration is required for each jurisdiction where the equipment is used.
  • Once registered, fabrication and inspection is handled the same as with National Board production.
  • Once registered any number of identical vessels or fittings can be produced.
  • CRN registered products can be built anywhere in the world.

Issues that regularly arise with CRN registration:

  • Fittings must be designed to a code like B31.3 and built under a QC program.
  • Vessels need to be fully compliant to the current code rules, including details like weld sizes and inspection openings.
  • It is reasonable to budget a half year for design registration in all jurisdictions. Typical times are less, but it can take longer.
  • CRN specific knowledge is required for successful registration – some is documented, and some is not.
  • A design is reviewed seven times if it will be used Canada wide. A failure in one jurisdiction can lead to redesign and restarting the whole process. It is important to design conservatively.
  • It can be hard to find registered fittings for use in vessels and piping systems.
  • Registration fees are much higher than National Board fees.

It is important to understand this when planning pressure equipment for Canada. The pages below are resources and an introduction to the CRN system. Pressure Vessel Engineering offers extensive design and CRN registration services. Our advertisement is at the bottom of the page.

Essential CRN Resources




Understanding the CRN System




CRN Blog


CRN Registration at PVEng

We are Canada’s largest independent registrar of fittings, vessels and piping under the CRN program registering for more than a thousand customers. We are experts in the specialized field of pressure equipment design and registration.

  • Integrated design, review and registration services
  • Extensive knowledge of registration requirements, including what needs registering and what is exempt province by province
  • We work to many ASME codes – VIII-1, VIII-2, I, IV, B31.1, B31.3, B31.5 and others
  • Design validation by burst test to many codes

Other Services

ASME Code DesignWe work to many ASME standards to design and validate pressure vessels, boiler, fittings and piping systems.

Finite Element Analysis (FEA)We use FEA to design and validate fittings and vessels that cannot be designed by rule-based codes like VIII-1 or B31.3.

Pipe Stress Analysis Pipe stress analysis is mandatory for British Columbia registration and it is recommended practice for many other systems.

About Us

Pressure Vessel Engineering has twenty years of successful experience in the pressure vessel field working for more than a thousand customers.

  • Six Professional Engineers on staff licensed to stamp and sign off on designs for use in all Canadian jurisdictions.
  • Fast and professional assistance from our team.

Need help? Our contact information is to the right.