Farmers and agriretailers who want to remain as dealers in anhydrous ammonia should get started now on obtaining the certification they’ll need come 2011, according to the Fertilizer Safety and Security Council.
They must be registered under the Ammonia Code of Practice by Dec. 31 of next year or otherwise they’ll no longer be able to distribute the popular fertilizer, the council says. It recommends beginning the registration process now as it takes time to learn the details of the code and undergo a required safety audit.
To become registered, dealers must pass a third-party audit that will spell out any changes required to make their operation safe. Upon successful completion of the audit, the retailer will receive a certification number, which will be required to receive delivery of anhydrous ammonia after Dec. 31, 2010, the council states.
If they wait until later in 2010, dealers could find themselves caught in a stampede to get an audit done before the deadline. The council predicts the auditors certified to make the inspections will likely be very busy as 2010 progresses.
The audit can be done by certified auditors, including those who are currently qualified in the Agrichemical Warehousing Standards Association program. The eligible auditors are listed on the council’s website (www.fssc.ca).
On the site are more details about the code and an accompanying implementation guide and appendix document which contains sample sign-off forms, logs, letters and so on.
The code applies to agriretail facilities in Canada that store or retail anhydrous ammonia. This includes farmers who also sell ammonia. It sets minimum standards and provides best practices for anhydrous storage and handling.
The council expects the code to become recognized as an industry best practice, providing evidence of due diligence and an alternative to government regulation.
The code incorporates the principle of “equivalency” which recognizes there may be several ways, and better ways, to meet a code requirement that is not described in the code.
The FSSC was set up by members of the Canadian Fertilizer Institute, including retailers, distributors and manufacturers, to promote safe and secure manufacturing, handling, storage, transportation and application of commercial fertilizers.