Dangerous goods placards

From Transport Canada

A placard is a dangerous goods safety mark that is displayed on a large means of containment (MOC). It is used to identify dangerous goods and to show the nature of the danger they pose.

Part 4 of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDG Regulations) defines the requirements for displaying placards on large MOC. Section 4.15 states that the primary class placard for each of the dangerous goods contained in a large MOC (other than a vessel or an aircraft) must be displayed on each side and each end of the MOC. More information on placards can be found in Part 4 of the regulations.

Determining if you need placards

Answering the following questions will help you understand whether you need placards.

Question 1

Are the dangerous goods contained in a large MOC or transported in an outer large MOC (other than an aircraft or a vessel)?

If no: Placards are not required.

If yes: Primary class placards are required for each dangerous good, displayed on each side and each end of the MOC. (Reference: Section 4.15 of the TDG Regulations)

Continue to question 2.

Question 2

Is an emergency response assistance plan (ERAP) required?

If yes: United Nations (UN) number must be displayed for the dangerous goods that require an ERAP. (Reference: Section 4.15.2 of the TDG Regulations)

In addition, subsidiary class placards must be displayed for dangerous goods that require an ERAP, and that are included in one of the subsidiary classes below:

  • Class 1
  • Class 4.3
  • Class 6.1, PG I (inhalation)
  • Class 8 (UN2977 and UN2978 only)

(Reference: Section 4.15.1 of the TDG Regulations)

Continue to question 3.

Question 3

Are the dangerous goods a liquid or gas in direct contact with the large MOC?

If yes: UN number must be displayed. (Reference: Section 4.15.2 of the TDG Regulations)

Continue to question 4.

Question 4

Are the dangerous goods included in Class 1, Explosives or Class 2, Gases?

If yes: Review Sections 4.17 to 4.18.3 of the TDG Regulations. (Reference: Sections  4.17 to 4.18.3 of the TDG Regulations)

Continue to question 5.

Question 5

Are the dangerous goods transported at an elevated temperature?

If yes: The elevated temperature sign is required if the dangerous goods are contained in a large MOC and are offered for transport or are transported at a temperature:

  • greater than or equal to 100° C in a liquid state, or
  • greater than or equal to 240° C in a solid state

(Reference: Section 4.20 of the TDG Regulations)

Continue to question 6.

Question 6

Has the large MOC been fumigated?

If yes: Review Section 4.21 of the TDG Regulations. (Reference: Section 4.21 of the TDG Regulations)

Continue to question 7.

Question 7

Are the dangerous goods classified as a marine pollutant?

If yes: Review Section 4.22 of the TDG Regulations if the dangerous goods are marine pollutants transported by vessel. (Reference: Section 4.22 of the TDG Regulations)

Continue to question 8.

Question 8

Are the dangerous goods subject to Special Provision (SP) 23 or are they included in Class 6.1, Toxic Substances, due to inhalation toxicity or Class 2.3, Toxic Gases?

If yes: Review Section 4.23 of the TDG Regulations. (Reference: Section 4.23 of the TDG Regulations)

Continue to question 9.

Optional placards

Question 9

This question has 2 parts and both conditions must be met in order to answer ‘yes’:

  • Does the large MOC contain 2 or more dangerous goods that require different placards?
  • Are the dangerous goods contained in 2 or more small MOC that are loaded into a large MOC (greater than 450 L)?

If yes: DANGER placard may be displayed, unless the dangerous goods:

  • have a gross mass greater than 1,000 kg per class, per consignor
  • require an ERAP
  • are included in Class 1
  • are included in Class 2.3
  • are included in Class 4.3
  • are included in Class 5.2 (Type B, liquid or solid, that require a control or emergency temperature)
  • are included in Class 6.1, SP 23
  • are included in Class 7 – Category III – Yellow label

(Reference: Section 4.16 of the TDG Regulations)

Continue to question 10.

Question 10

Does the shipment of dangerous goods have a total gross mass of 500 kg or less?

To calculate the total gross mass of the shipment, add the gross mass of all the dangerous goods in the large MOC.

The total gross mass of the dangerous goods that are restricted as per Subsection 4.16.1(2) of the TDG Regulations must be deducted from the original total.

Is the resulting mass less than or equal to 500 kg?

If yes: The placarding exemption may be used, unless the dangerous goods:

  • require an ERAP
  • require the display of the subsidiary class placard
  • are included in Class 1 (some exceptions apply)
  • are included in Class 2.1, if transported by vessel
  • are included in Class 2.3
  • are included in Class 4.3
  • are included in Class 5.2 (Type B, liquid or solid, that require a control or emergency temperature)
  • are included in Class 6.1, SP 23
  • are included in Class 7 – Category III – Yellow label

(Reference: Section 4.16.1 of the TDG Regulations)

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