Regulatory Proposals under Development

  • Preliminary Consultation on Canadian Updates to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations

    Transport Canada (TC) is currently conducting a consultation on proposed amendments to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDG Regulations). The TDG Regulations are updated on a regular basis to ensure public safety and address issues related to interpretation and application of the Regulations that have been identified by various stakeholders through previous consultations and ongoing correspondence.

    The TDG Regulations also aim to stay current with the latest international standards and to harmonize approaches, to the greatest extent possible, with the United Nations Model Regulations in the Transport of Dangerous Goods (UN Recommendations) as well as other international and domestic regulations. For instance, several proposed amendments will aim to harmonize the TDG Regulations with the Packaging and Transportation of Nuclear Safety Regulations, 2015, and to modernize Canada’s classification of dangerous goods scheme with the UN Recommendations. This proposed amendment will focus on the following Parts of the TDG Regulations:

    Part 1 (Coming into Force, Repeal, Interpretation, General Provisions and Special Cases) and Schedule 2 (Special Provisions)

    The proposed amendment for Part 1 (Coming into Force, Repeal, Interpretation, General Provisions and Special Cases) and Schedule 2 of the TDG Regulations will include some of the following changes:

    • Add new terms such as fire extinguisher, combination packaging, package and packaging, to better align the UN Recommendations and Chapter 49 of the United States Code of Federal Regulation dealing with hazardous materials regulation. Due to many changes proposed in Part 5 (Dangerous Goods Packaging) of the TDG Regulations, new definitions would be introduced for specific types of means of containment, such as box, bag, crate, drum, large packaging and intermediate bulk container (IBC) for example. Other definitions would be modified, due to interpretation issues. For example, the new definition of “overpack” would use the word “packaging” versus “small means of containment”, which would allow for all types of packaging or articles, including large means of containment, to be included in the definition. This would resolve some confusion related to labels and placarding in Section 4.10.1, Safety Marks on an Overpack and 4.15, Placards on a Large Means of Containment.
    • Clarify Section 1.5, General Provisions to ensure that exemptions in Part 1 (Coming into Force, Repeal, Interpretation, General Provisions and Special Cases) of the TDG Regulations would be used alone or in combination with other exemptions in Part 1 (Coming into Force, Repeal, Interpretation, General Provisions and Special Cases) or other Parts of the TDG Regulations;
    • Modify Section 1.18 related to medical device or article exemptions would allow medical cylinders for personal use to be transported by vehicle;
    • New Section 1.20.1 Peace Officer exemptions would eliminate administrative burden linked to equivalency certificates and allow for the handling, offering for transport or transporting of dangerous goods, such as ammunition or bear spray, for the purpose of carrying out his/her duties;
    • Add a limit to Section 1.24 related to the amount of anhydrous ammonia transported, so the limit would relate to the means of transport instead of the means of containment.
    • Add an exemption for the transport of live fish and other aquatic organisms by allowing aeration and oxygenation units to be used during transport in Section 1.27.
    • New Special Provisions would be added for UN 3507, URANIUM HEXAFLUORIDE, RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL, EXCEPTED PACKAGE, as well as more details in SP 72 and SP 74 related to radioactive materials based on the Packaging and Transport of Nuclear Substances Regulations, 2015.

    Part 2 (Classification)

    This amendment proposes a series of changes to Part 2 (Classification) of the TDG Regulations in order to align with many of the classification requirements in the UN Recommendations 19th edition. Some of these proposed changes are:

    • To change the Canadian classification scheme in order to align with the UN Recommendations and the 49 CFR, which would allow the use of a shipping name listed in Schedule 1 without having to proceed to the tests or assessment of the criteria under Part 2 (Classification) for common dangerous goods in transport. Aligning with the UN would simplify the criteria and make the classification procedure more efficient for regulatees;
    • Introduce all classification requirements and criterion from Chapter 2 of the UN Recommendations for the classification of dangerous goods included in Class 2 (Gases), 3 (Flammable Liquids), 4 (including Flammable Solids), 5 (Oxidizing Substances and Organic Peroxides) and 6 (Toxic and Infectious Substances);
    • Introduce the alternative classification methods for Class 8 (Corrosives) adopted by the UN ECOSOC Subcommittee on the transportation of dangerous goods in Geneva in June 2016;
    • The divisions within classes of dangerous goods would be named using the term “Division” instead of “Class” to harmonize with the UN Recommendations to better describe the dangerous goods for Classes 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6. For example, Class 1.1 would become Division 1.1.
    • Many definitions would be aligned with the UN Recommendations, and classification-related definitions would be moved from Part 1 (Coming into Force, Repeal, Interpretation, General Provisions and Special Cases) to Part 2 (Classification) of the TDG Regulations, to add clarity in the respective sections (i.e. LC50, gas, patient specimen).
    • The term “subsidiary hazard” would be used instead of “subsidiary class”.
    • While the UN Recommendations use the term “risk” TDG proposes to use the word “hazard” as the term “hazard” communicates the dangerous goods’ capability to do harm, as opposed to “risk” which conveys a probability that a hazard will occur.
    • Information currently located in the appendices would be updated and integrated into the relevant sections (i.e. the Class 1- Compatibilities Group table would be moved to the Class 1 section).
    • A series of consequential changes would be occurring throughout the document to harmonize the TDG Regulations with the UN Recommendations.
    • New special provisions, from the UN Recommendations, would be added to the TDG Regulations for further harmonization.
    • New application and interpretation clauses would be added to provide guidance related to the classification principles (i.e. tear gas).

    Part 3 (Documentation) and Part 4 (Dangerous Goods Marks)

    The proposed amendments to these Parts will aim to clarify and improve certain sections in order to address ongoing issues identified by various stakeholders on the definition of residue and labelling requirements for cylinders.

    A new definition of residue would be added to Part 1 (Coming into Force, Repeal, Interpretation, General Provisions and Special Cases) of the TDG Regulations, and applied in Section 3.5 to replace the concept of “is less than 10 per cent of the maximum fill limit”. This would clarify current interpretation issues, along with restrictions around using the words “Residue-Last Contained” and the specific quantity of dangerous goods on the shipping document at the same time. Section 4.1, Requirement for Dangerous Goods Marks would add the concept of unpackaged articles, while Section 4.1.1, Voluntary Display of a Placard would also allow for the voluntary display of UN Numbers.

    Currently Subsection 4.7 (2) of the TDG Regulations requires that each side of a label to be at least 100 mm in length with a line running 5 mm inside the edge. However, if that size label, together with the shipping name, technical name and UN number, cannot be displayed because of the irregular shape or size of a small means of containment, each side of the label may be reduced in length by the same amount, to the point where the label, together with the shipping name, technical name and UN number, would fit that small means of containment. In this instance, the label must not be reduced to less than 30 mm. In the case of cylinders, the full-size label could easily fit on either side of the cylinder and therefore industry is not allowed to reduce the dimensions of the label. It is proposed to amend this subsection of the TDG Regulations to allow each side of a label to be reduced to no less than 30 mm, in order for shoulder or neck labels to be displayed on cylinders. This change would also harmonize Canada with similar allowances under the UN Recommendations, ISO 7225-2005 standard and a notice of proposed rulemaking by the U.S Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) authorizing neck ring markings (i.e. shoulder labels).

    Part 5 (Dangerous Goods Packaging)

    The objective of the proposed amendments to Part 5 (Dangerous Goods Packaging) of the TDG Regulations is to introduce the concept of “packaging” and to provide greater direction as to the selection, use, scope, and application of the various dangerous goods containment standards.

    The proposed definition of packaging would be similar to the definition found in the UN Recommendations 19th edition, and would align the TDG Regulations terminology with other international regulations such as the 49 CFR in the United States that also uses the term “packaging”. “Packaging” would be defined in Part 1 (Coming into Force, Repeal, Interpretation, General Provisions and Special Cases) of the TDG Regulations as “a means of containment, not including the means of transport, where the receptacle or packaging specification, instruction or any other components or materials are required for the receptacles to safely perform its containment functions” and would be used throughout the new Part 5 (Dangerous Goods Packaging) and other Parts of the TDG Regulations, where applicable. Packaging would provide a clear distinction between a means of containment, that includes “any part of a means of transport” and a receptacle that performs a containment function. Another new term “package supplements” is also being proposed and would address other parts, besides a packaging, used to support and secure a packaging on a means of transport (e.g. consolidation bin, overpack). The title of Part 5 (Dangerous Goods Packaging) would also change from “Means of Containment” to “Dangerous Goods Packaging” to reflect this change in terminology.

    This amendment would also seek to better guide consignors towards the appropriate standards to use based on the type of packaging activity they plan to undertake. Currently Part 5 (Dangerous Goods Packaging) of the TDG Regulations has a Section for loading and securing as well as filling limits, while this amendment recommends adding 4 new Sections for compliance marking, design and manufacture, repair, and retesting. The Sections related to packaging activities would name each of the packagings by name (e.g. Ton container, Rail tank cars, UN portable tanks) and point to its associated standard. Consignors will therefore be able to more easily select the standard they need, based on either the packaging activity and/or by referring to the selection, and use Sections that are divided by dangerous goods Classes. Furthermore, compliance and enforcement for many of the infractions related to Part 5 (Dangerous Goods Packaging) of the TDG Regulations are often cited through Sections of the TDG Act (i.e. 5(d) or 5.1). Inspectors would be able to specifically associate an enforcement or compliance issue directly to these new Sections of the TDG Regulations.

    Part 16 (Inspectors)

    Various references in Part 16 (Inspectors) would change to reflect the proper Sections set out in the TDG Act that are incorrect, as well as remove certain forms and other subsections that would be more appropriately established by internal policy procedures.

    Other Amendment: Hydrogen sulphide (H2S) in Petroleum Crude Oil

    In light of the results obtained during the Transport Canada 2014-2015 crude oil sampling and testing campaign, TC is proposing to amend the TDG Regulations to establish concentrations thresholds for the designation of shipping name and the classification of crude oil that would take into account the hazards associated with H2S contained in crude oil. The proper classification of the different fractions of crude oil is essential for the appropriate selection of means of containment and safety marks that are representative of the hazards associated with H2S exposure during the offer for transport, handling and transport of crude oil and ensure safety in transportation.

    To request a copy of the consultation documents, please send an email to

    Please send your comments in writing, on or before February 22nd, 2017 to:

    Regulatory Affairs Branch
    Transportation of Dangerous Goods
    Transport Canada
    Place de Ville, Tower, 330 Sparks Street, 9th Floor
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1A 0N5

  • Public Consultation: Training requirements (Part 6) of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations

    The transportation of dangerous goods connects Canadians with the high value goods they use every day. From the gasoline in your car to the pharmaceuticals that keep you healthy, dangerous goods are a part of your daily life. The Government of Canada ensures that this transport is done safely, which is why we are proposing to improve the training requirements for those involved in the transport of dangerous goods.

    We invite you to share your ideas on how we can further improve the safe transport of dangerous goods through better training.

    From now until February 28, 2017, we are seeking feedback on the training requirements of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations.

    Whether you are an interested individual, a shipper, an inspector, a manufacturer, or in academia, we want to hear about your experiences and ideas on improving training for the safe transport of dangerous goods. Your ideas are important to building safer transport of dangerous goods. You can read more about the topic in our White Paper. We look forward to engaging with you! Join us at Let’s Talk Transportation of Dangerous Goods in Canada!
  • Public consultation: International Harmonization update, 2016

    An amendment entitled Regulations Amending the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (International Harmonization Update, 2016) was published in Part I of the Canada Gazette on November 26, 2016, for a 60-day public comment period. The amendment is accessible through the following URL:

    Transport Canada updates the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations(TDG Regulations) on a regular basis to harmonize them – to the greatest extent possible – with the United Nations Model Regulations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (UN Recommendations), the International Civil Aviation Organization Technical Instructions (ICAO TI's), the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG), as well as to harmonize requirements with the United States (US) under the Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) work plan. The proposed amendment has the following objectives:

    • Harmonize with international regulatory requirements by updating the TDG Regulations to incorporate changes introduced in the 19th edition of the UN Recommendations, the IMDG Code 2014 and the 2015-2016 ICAO TI's with respect to safety marks, classification information, shipping names, special provisions, and marine pollutants.
    • Introduce dynamic references (also known as "ambulatory references") for the international codes mentioned above and some technical standards that are incorporated in the TDG Regulations. This would allow the most recent versions of these documents to be used.
    • Reduce regulatory barriers on cross-border trade with the US by proposing reciprocity of regulatory requirements for pressure receptacles and special permits and equivalency certificates.
    You are encouraged to read the Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement (RIAS) that follows the regulatory text in the proposal. The RIAS provides plain language background information explaining why the changes are required, as well as a description of the main updates that would be made. It provides Transport Canada's rationale for proceeding with the changes, and outlines the expected costs and benefits that would result from the proposal. It also summarizes the consultations that Transport Canada has held to date on related issues, and shows how the comments received have been addressed in the proposal.

    All interested parties are invited to comment on this proposed amendment. Comments should be sent in writing at the address below by January 25, 2017. The feedback received will be taken into consideration in the development of the final amendment to be published in the Canada Gazette, Part II.

    Regulatory Affairs Branch
    Transportation of Dangerous Goods
    Transport Canada
    Place de Ville, Tower C, 330 Sparks Street, 9th Floor
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1A 0N5

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