TDG Bulletin - Shipping Documents

RDIMS #10104849
July 2016

Table of contents

This bulletin explains shipping document requirements. It does not change, create, amend or suggest deviations to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Regulations. For specific details, consult Part 3 of the TDG Regulations.

General Information 

What is a shipping document?

A “shipping document” is defined under Section 1.4 of the TDG Regulations. Simply put, it is a paper document that contains required information about dangerous goods being handled, offered for transport or transported.

What is the purpose of a shipping document?

A shipping document identifies the dangerous goods being transported. In some cases, a shipping document may be required, even when placards are not.

When is a shipping document required?

A shipping document is always required unless an exemption (i.e., Special Case) states otherwise. While you will find most exemptions to the TDG Regulations in Sections 1.15 to 1.49 of Part 1, some are found in Schedule 2.

Section 1.17 of Part 1 and Special Provision 37 of Schedule 2 are examples of when a shipping document is NOT required. To use any exemption, you must follow all the conditions listed, otherwise the entire TDG Regulations apply.

Format

Does Transport Canada provide shipping documents or do you have a sample I can use?

It is the consignor’s responsibility to create their own shipping document. However, you will find two samples of shipping documents in the Annex of this bulletin that can be used for most Canadian shipments of dangerous goods. You may use them to create your own shipping documents.

Must a shipping document be on a specific form?

No. While you may use any form you want, it must list the necessary information.

However, when you ship dangerous goods by aircraft, the shipping document must have red hatchings on the left and right margins that slant to the left or to the right, as shown below. In addition, Section 12.2 of the TDG Regulations states that the shipping document must be completed in accordance with Chapter 4, Documentation, of Part 5, Shipper's Responsibilities, of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Technical Instructions.

 

A shipping document with red hatchings on the left and right margins that slant to the right.

Are electronic shipping documents permitted while in transit?

No. A paper copy of the shipping document must accompany the dangerous goods at all times. Although the consignor (i.e., shipper) may send electronic copies of the shipping document to the carrier, the carrier must print the shipping document before transport begins and keep a copy of the document in the vehicle while transporting the dangerous goods.

Ref. Section 3.2

Responsibilities

Who is responsible for preparing the shipping document?

The consignor (shipper) must complete the shipping document before allowing a carrier to take possession of the dangerous goods.

Ref. Section 3.1

Who must keep records of the shipping document?

The consignor (shipper), carrier and Canadian importer must all keep copies of shipping documents for at least two years.

Please note that for the purpose of this requirement, the shipping documents may also be kept as electronic copies.

Ref. Section 3.11

 

If I deliver a portion of the load, do I need to update the quantity on the shipping document?

Yes. If the quantity of dangerous goods or the number of small means of containment (i.e., capacity of 450 L or less) changes during transport, the carrier must show the change on the shipping document or on a document attached to the shipping document.

Below is an example on how a person could show the change on a shipping document:

A shipping document showing the total capacity of the means of containment in liters for UN3526. The total capacity in liters was modified from 5 to 4, with a strikethrough on the number 5. The shipping document also shows the number of packages requiring labels that was changed from 5 to 4 for UN3526, with a strikethrough on the number 5.

However, if the quantity of dangerous goods in a means of containment is less than 10% of the maximum fill limit, the words "Residue – Last Contained" may be added before or after the description of the dangerous goods instead of the quantity of dangerous goods. These words must not be used for dangerous goods included in:

  • Class 2, Gases, that are in a small means of containment; or
  • Class 7, Radioactive Materials.
Ref. Subsections 3.5(4) and 3.5(5)

 

Required Information

What kind of information is listed on the shipping document?

As a minimum, the shipping document must contain:

  • Consignor’s name and address in Canada;
  • Date of shipment;
  • Description of the dangerous goods in the following order:
    • UN number (e.g., UN1230);
    • Dangerous goods shipping name (e.g., Methanol);
    • Primary class and subsidiary class (e.g., 3(6.1)), with the compatibility group letter, following the primary class, for explosives;
    • If applicable, the packing group in roman numerals (e.g., I, II or III);
    • If applicable, the words "toxic by inhalation" or "toxic – inhalation hazard" for dangerous goods subject to Special Provision 23.
  • The quantity in metric measurement (e.g., kg or L) for transport originating in Canada;
    • For Class 1, Explosives, the quantity must be expressed in net explosives quantity (NEQ) in kg. For explosives subject to Special Provision 85 or 86, it must be expressed in number of articles or NEQ.
  • The “24-hour number” of an individual who can provide technical information on the dangerous goods; and
  • The consignor’s certification.

In some cases, you may need to include more information, such as:

  • The number of small means of containment (i.e., capacity of 450 L or less) that require labels;
  • The technical name or the statement “not odorized”;
  • The Emergency Response Assistance Plan (ERAP) number and its activating telephone number;
    Note: An ERAP is only required for certain dangerous goods. To learn more about ERAP, please consult Part 7 of the TDG Regulations.
  • The flash point, if the product is a Class 3, Flammable Liquids, and is being transported on a ship; (e.g., gasoline, diesel, etc.);
  • Special instructions, such as the control and emergency control temperatures of Classes 4.1 and 5.2;
  • The words “marine pollutant” for dangerous goods that are marine pollutants under Section 2.7 of Part 2 and are being transported on a ship; and
  • For a pesticide that is a marine pollutant transported on a ship, the name and concentration of the most active substance in the pesticide.
Ref. Sections 3.5, 3.6 and 3.6.1

 

When describing the dangerous goods on a shipping document, how must I display the UN number?

Subsection 3.5(1) of the TDG Regulations states that you must place the UN number of each dangerous goods:

  • before the shipping name (UN1203, GASOLINE, Class 3, PG II).

This subsection is harmonized with international shipments requirements. You will find this requirement in the:

  • ICAO Technical Instructions;
  • International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code; or
  • U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, Title 49 (49 CFR).

When describing the dangerous goods on a shipping document, how must I display the words "toxic by inhalation" or "toxic – inhalation hazard" for dangerous goods subject to Special Provision 23?

Special Provision 23 of the TDG Regulations states that you must place the words "toxic by inhalation" or "toxic – inhalation hazard" on a shipping document immediately after the description of the dangerous goods, found in Paragraph 3.5(1)(c).

Below is an example on how a person could display the words "toxic by inhalation" or "toxic – inhalation hazard" on a shipping document:

A shipping document showing an example of how to display Toxic by Inhalation for UN3526. The words Toxic by Inhalation are displayed under the heading Toxic by Inhalation following the packing group column.

Other Requirements

Are more documents ever required?

Yes. Here are two examples:

  • Shipments of Class 7 - Radioactive Materials require more information on the shipping document. You will find the details in the “Packaging and Transport of Nuclear Substances Regulations”. Please contact the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission for more details.
Ref. Paragraph 3.6(3)(d)

 

  • Rail shipments require an additional document called a “consist”. A consist numerically identifies the railcars, in a train, that contain dangerous goods. The consist will also identify the type of dangerous goods present in the railcar. You must keep the consist with the shipping document(s).
Ref. Section 3.3

 

What are the rules for international shipments?

The TDG Regulations allow you to prepare shipping documents as set out in other regulations for international shipments:

  • For international marine shipments, you must complete the shipping document as set out in the:
  • For international air shipments, you must complete the shipping document as set out in the:
    • ICAO Technical Instructions; and
    • Certain requirements from Part 12 (Air) of the TDG Regulations.
  • For international road or rail shipments from the United States, you may complete the shipping document as set out in the:
Ref. Subsections 9.1(1), 10.1(1), 11.1(1) and 12.2

 

Consignor’s Certification

What is a consignor’s certification?

Essentially, a consignor’s certification is a statement on the shipping document which confirms that the dangerous goods have been properly classified, packaged and labelled with safety marks according to the TDG Regulations.

The certification must be made by the consignor or by an individual acting on his or her behalf. The name of the consignor (or representative) must be indicated on the shipping document.

The certification appearing on the shipping document must be one of the five proposed certifications in Subsection 3.6.1(1) of the TDG Regulations. Here is an example:

“I hereby declare that the contents of this consignment are fully and accurately described above by the proper shipping name, are properly classified and packaged, have dangerous goods safety marks properly affixed or displayed on them, and are in all respects in proper condition for transport according to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations.”

Can a signature be used to identify the individual’s name in the consignor certification?

If the signature is easily legible and it clearly identifies the individual’s name, the signature is acceptable. However, if the signature is not legible, then a signature cannot be used. In this case, the name would also need to be printed to clearly identify the individual who made the consignor’s certification.

For more information on the consignor’s certification requirements, please read the TDG Bulletin titled: Bulletin – Consignor’s Certification.

Contact information

Compliance with the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act and Regulations

Failure to comply with the TDG Act and TDG Regulations may lead to fines and/or imprisonment. For more information, you can visit the TDG website at: www.tc.gc.ca/tdg. If you have any questions about the TDG Regulations, contact a Transport Canada dangerous goods inspector in your region.

Atlantic Region   1-866-814-1477   TDG-TMDAtlantic@tc.gc.ca
Quebec Region   514-283-5722   TMD-TDG.Quebec@tc.gc.ca
Ontario Region   416-973-1868   TDG-TMDOntario@tc.gc.ca
Prairie & Northern Region   1-888-463-0521   TDG-TMDPNR@tc.gc.ca
Pacific Region   604-666-2955   TDGPacific-TMDPacifique@tc.gc.ca

Appendix: Samples of shipping documents

You may use this sample shipping document for most Canadian shipments of dangerous goods. Required information is highlighted in yellow. The other spaces are not required but reflect current industry practice.

SHIPPING DOCUMENT

Consignor (Shipper)

Name:

Address:

Consignee (Destination)

Name:

Address:

DATE: Point of Origin:

Name of Carrier:

Transport unit #:

Shipping Document #:

REGULATED DANGEROUS GOODS

24-HOUR NUMBER:

(Only if applicable)

ERAP reference #:

ERAP telephone number:

UN number

Shipping name

(If applicable, Technical Name)

Primary Class

 

Subsidiary Class

Packing Group

Toxic by inhalation

Total Quantity

(kg, L, NEQ in kg, or articles)

Number of packages requiring labels

               
               
               

I hereby declare that the contents of this consignment are fully and accurately described above by the proper shipping name, are properly classified and packaged, have dangerous goods safety marks properly affixed or displayed on them, and are in all respects in proper condition for transport according to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations.

_________________________

Shipper's name

NON REGULATED DANGEROUS GOODS

Packages

Description of articles

Weight

     
     

Received in apparent good order  ____________________

Consignee’s signature

Driver’s #:
Driver’s signature _________________________

You may use this shipping document for most Canadian shipments of dangerous goods.  It contains only the information required by the TDG Regulations.

 

SHIPPING DOCUMENT

Consignor Name:

Address:

DATE:

REGULATED DANGEROUS GOODS

24-HOUR NUMBER:

 

(Only if applicable)

ERAP reference #:

ERAP telephone number:

UN number

Shipping name

(If applicable, Technical Name)

Primary Class

 

Subsidiary Class

Packing Group

Toxic by inhalation

Total Quantity

(kg, L, NEQ in kg, or articles)

Number of packages requiring labels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hereby declare that the contents of this consignment are fully and accurately described above by the proper shipping name, are properly classified and packaged, have dangerous goods safety marks properly affixed or displayed on them, and are in all respects in proper condition for transport according to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations.

_________________________

Shipper's name

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