Amendments to transportation of dangerous goods legislation

Improving the way dangerous goods are transported by rail

In July 2014, amendments to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act will be published in Canada Gazette, Part II. These amendments will update the DOT-111 tank car standard, introduce new and revised means of containment criteria, improve how dangerous goods are classified, and harmonize the way these goods are labelled across North America.

Improved DOT-111 tank car standard


There are many classes and types of tank cars, all designed to be strong enough to handle the forces of a full train in motion. The DOT-111 is designated to carry liquids.

The DOT-111 tank car is a large family of railcars, each one built to carry specific goods. While all tank cars share certain common design features, not all DOT-111 tank cars are built the same.

The new standard for the DOT-111 tank car includes thicker steel as well as head shield and top fitting protection. All newly manufactured tank cars built for petroleum crude oil service are required to comply with the new standard. The department continues to work with stakeholders, including officials in the U.S., to further improve the North American fleet of DOT-111 tank cars.

Means of containment standards

Transport Canada is introducing new, and revising current, means of containment standards. A safe means of containment—the container or packaging used to hold goods—prevents the release of dangerous goods that could endanger life, health, property or the environment under normal conditions of transport.

Enhanced classification

The Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act divides dangerous goods into nine classes according to the type of danger they present. Shippers are responsible for classifying dangerous goods, completing documentation, selecting the proper means of containment and displaying dangerous goods safety marks on the container.

Following the amendments, shippers will also be required to keep records for up to five years on the classification of dangerous goods and the sampling method used for crude oil. These classification changes will make it easier for inspectors to verify compliance with regulatory requirements.

June 2014

Related Products

June 27, 2014
News Release - Minister Raitt announces new rail and dangerous goods requirements 
Backgrounder - Transportation Information Regulations
Backgrounder - Railway Safety Management System Regulations

Date modified: