Directive: Decommissioning Requirements


Directive: Decommissioning Requirements

April 8, 2024

Boiler, PV and Refrigeration

Reference Number:

D-BP 2024-02

The following directive is being issued to clarify requirements pertaining to the decommissioning of regulated products under the Power Engineers, Boiler, Pressure Vessel and Refrigeration Safety Regulation (the Regulation). This directive also establishes the responsibilities of owners and licensed contractors related to regulated products and decommissioning activities.



Available for operation (layup/idle): pressure equipment which has been temporarily shut down or removed from service with the intent of being placed back in service at the same facility.

Decommission: the permanent de-activation and removal of a regulated product.

Dismantling: the disassembly and transport of all or any portion of a decommissioned regulated product.

Owner: as defined in the Safety Standards Act and directive D-BP 2024-03. In some instances, more than one person may meet the definition of owner. Where an operating permit is in place, the primary accountability for compliance with this Directive is with the operating permit holder.

Removal: the physical disconnection of all or any portion of a regulated product from its system/process.


Specific Details

Decommissioning, including the complete or partial removal of a regulated product, is an alteration as defined by the Safety Standards Act (the Act). Decommissioning is a regulated activity and may only be performed by individuals who possess the appropriate class of contractor's license for the scope of work to be performed, demonstrating that they have the required knowledge and skills to perform the activities safely.

Decommissioned products may be disposed of or reused1, or they may be abandoned in place in a safe inoperable condition.

Dismantling of products that have been effectively decommissioned as described in this directive is not a regulated activity.

The risks associated with each product, system, and facility are unique and must be evaluated and managed prior to proceeding with any decommissioning activities. Licensed contractors must assess the risks associated with any planned decommissioning activities and ensure they are effectively mitigated and/or controlled prior to proceeding. Risks which may be encountered during decommissioning of regulated products include but are not limited to toxicity, flammability, corrosivity, asphyxiation and/or stored energy due to pressure.  

Where decommissioning activities are complex and/or risks affecting life, health or property are identified, the development of decommissioning plans/procedures should be considered to support the safe execution of the activities. Plans should be appropriate to the complexity of the activities and should demonstrate that risks associated with decommissioning have been considered and mitigated.

Note: Industry accepted standards such as IIAR-8 (for refrigeration systems) may be used to support the development of decommissioning plans/procedures.

At minimum, decommissioned equipment must:

  • have all energy sources removed2 (i.e. electrical, gas, etc.);
  • have contents removed3;
  • be cleaned and/or purged when required;
  • be physically removed/disconnected from the system and process; and
  • be permanently deactivated and ready for dismantling.

The licensed contractor, in collaboration with the owner, are responsible for ensuring that the decommissioned equipment has been brought to a safe state. The licensed contractor responsible for decommissioning must provide the owner with documentation verifying that the decommissioning is complete, and the equipment is safe for dismantling and transport. Once documentation has been provided by the licensed contractor, dismantling may be undertaken by the owner or their delegate.

If decommissioned equipment is not suitable for reuse, the code and manufacturers nameplates must be removed, and the equipment must be rendered inoperable to prevent reuse. Such rendering may include cutting a hole in the vessel, removing a nozzle, cutting off caps in piping, etc.


Owners Responsibilities

Owners are required to:

  1. Ensure that decommissioning activities are performed only by individuals possessing the appropriate class of contractors’ licence and the appropriate certificate of qualification.
  2. Obtain written documentation from the licenced contractor confirming that the regulated product has been decommissioned and is safe and ready for dismantling.
  3. Notify Technical Safety BC upon completion of decommissioning. The Operating Permit Declaration of Status Change form (FRM-1539) must be submitted to Technical Safety BC, listing each regulated product/system decommissioned so that operating permits may be closed.
  4. Obtain confirmation from the licenced contractor whether the equipment is suitable for reuse and, if it is not, direct the licenced contractor to render the equipment inoperable.

Regulated products which have not been decommissioned in accordance with this directive are considered operational or available for operation. Owners are responsible for the ongoing care and control (i.e. inspection, examination, testing, servicing, maintenance, repair, etc.), and compliance with all applicable requirements of the Act and regulations, for regulated equipment and systems that are operational or available for operation.


Licensed Contractor Responsibilities

Licenced contractors are required to:

  1. Assess the risks associated with any planned decommissioning activities and ensure all activities are performed safely and in compliance with regulations and adopted codes.  
  2. Perform regulated work only within the scope of their license.  
  3. Provide owners with documentation verifying that:
    • decommissioning is complete;
    • the regulated product is safe for dismantling; and
    • any instructions necessary for safe dismantling and transport.
  4. Remove any code and manufacturers nameplates and render the equipment inoperable to prevent reuse if equipment is determined to be unsuitable for reuse (i.e. no longer safe to be used for intended application).


Provincial Safety Manager – Boilers, Pressure Vessels & Refrigeration




Safety Standards Act
Safety Standards General Regulation
Power Engineers, Boiler, Pressure Vessel & Refrigeration Safety Regulation

1 The Power Engineers, Boiler, Pressure Vessel and Refrigeration Safety Regulation contains specific requirements pertaining to the installation of previously used equipment. Prior to the re-installation of a previously used product the owner or licensed contractor must contact their local safety officer to determine what records will be required.

2 Individuals performing regulated work on Gas and Electrical systems and equipment must possess the appropriate certificate of qualification, contractors license and permit(s) for the scope of work to be performed. For more information on Gas and Electrical technology requirements see: Gas Safety Regulation and Electrical Safety Regulation.

3 Consideration must be given to parts of the system where contents may become trapped. This includes but is not limited to valves, low sections in piping, multiple circuits, etc.  Not required for equipment that is intended to be transported with its contents.

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