Federal Ammonium Nitrate Security Program Aims to Hamper Terrorists

The Ammonium Nitrate Security Program seeks to reduce the likelihood of a terrorist attack involving misused ammonium nitrate by creating a registration program for purchasers and sellers of ammonium nitrate, which is used in fertilizers but has also been used as a main component in powerful explosives for attacks including the Oklahoma City bombing, the London bombings, and other acts of terrorism around the world.

The Ammonium Nitrate Security Program is a proposed regulation developed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in response to direction from Congress to “regulate the sale and transfer of ammonium nitrate by an ammonium nitrate facility…to prevent the misappropriation or use of ammonium nitrate in an act of terrorism.” Section 563 of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act (P.L. 110-161) the Homeland Security Act of 2002.

The Ammonium Nitrate Security Program is outlined in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), and it seeks to reduce the likelihood of a terrorist attack involving misused ammonium nitrate by creating a registration program for purchasers and sellers of ammonium nitrate. Each purchaser and seller will be required to apply for an Ammonium Nitrate (AN) Registered User Number with the Department, and each applicant will be screened against the Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB). Following the screening process, approved individuals will be issued an AN Registered User Number, which will allow them to engage in the sale, purchase, or transfer of ammonium nitrate.

Transactions involving the sale or transfer of ammonium nitrate will be regulated at the point of sale and procedures for reporting a theft or loss of ammonium nitrate will be established. Ammonium nitrate sellers will be required to deny sale or transfer of ammonium nitrate to individuals who:

  • Do not possess a valid AN Registered User Number accompanied by a valid photo ID; or
  • Are not authorized by a person possessing a valid AN Registered User Number to act on their behalf as an agent.

The regulation will require businesses to keep records of all ammonium nitrate transactions for two years, and DHS may inspect and audit facility records to ensure compliance. For more info on the program, CLICK HERE.

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