Guide to find out if you need an emergency response assistance plan

This guide is for anyone who would like to know if they need an emergency response assistance plan (ERAP). Review the following information in full to learn if you need an ERAP.

Disclaimer

This guide is for information purposes only and has no legal force or effect. If there is a conflict between this guide and the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Act or the TDG Regulations, the TDG Act and TDG Regulations take precedence.

In this guide, a release or anticipated release of dangerous goods that require an ERAP in the course of their handling or transporting that endangers, or could endanger, public safety is shortened to “a release or anticipated release”.

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Persons required to have an ERAP

The first step to determine if you need an ERAP is to check whether you perform certain activities that involve the transportation of dangerous goods in Canada. According to subsection 7(1) of the TDG Act, there is an order for which persons require an ERAP.

A person in Canada requires an approved ERAP when they

  • import certain dangerous goods, or

  • offer for transport certain dangerous goods

    Only when A or B does not apply, the person who requires an approved ERAP is the one who:

  • handles certain dangerous goods while in Canada, or

  • transports certain dangerous goods while in Canada

The definition of import in the TDG Regulations includes transporting goods that originate from outside Canada and pass through Canada to a destination outside Canada. This is also known as transit or bridge traffic. In this case, each person who transports the dangerous goods while they pass through Canada meets the definition of import.

It may happen that more than one person requires an approved ERAP for a consignment of dangerous goods. In such case, each person that meets the requirement for an ERAP must have an approved ERAP. When more than one person has an approved ERAP that applies to the same dangerous goods, those persons must decide which ERAP is to be used. However, in the interest of public safety, we suggests that the ERAP best suited to respond to a release or anticipated release of dangerous goods, such as the one from the producer of the dangerous goods, be selected and shown on the shipping document.

See examples:

Situation A example:
A person ships dangerous goods that require an ERAP from the United States to another person in Canada. The person in Canada is the importer and requires the ERAP.

Situation B example:
Dangerous goods that need an ERAP are transported by rail from the United States, pass through Canada and are delivered in the United States. The carrier meets the definition of "importer" and as such, requires the approved ERAP. Note that the carrier in this case also meets the definition of a person who transports the dangerous goods.

Situation B example:
A freight forwarder, selects a carrier to transport certain dangerous goods. A producer allows the preparation of those dangerous goods so that a carrier can take possession of them for transport. Both the freight forwarder and the producer meet the definition of offer for transport and both persons require an approved ERAP. They must agree to choose whose ERAP information is shown on the shipping document.

Situation C and/or D example:
3 persons are offering for transport dangerous goods in quantities that do not require an approved ERAP. They select the same carrier and the dangerous goods will be transported in the same road vehicle. The sum of the quantities of the dangerous goods for that consignment now requires an ERAP. The person who handles and/or transports the dangerous goods, in this case the carrier, requires the approved ERAP.

Find out if the dangerous goods in your consignment need an ERAP

Section 7.2 of the TDG Regulations provides the conditions and quantities above which an ERAP is required for your dangerous goods.

If you are a person who is involved in transportation activities that may require an ERAP, the following questionnaire will help you find out if the dangerous goods in your consignment require an ERAP.

Take this questionnaire to find out if an ERAP is needed

Persons who can apply for approval of an ERAP

You can apply for approval of an ERAP if:

A person who is not required to have an approved ERAP under subsection 7(1) of the TDG Act, but who is able to take measures to respond to a release or anticipated release, may apply to have an ERAP approved for the purpose of paragraph 7.1(b) of the TDG Act. These ERAPs are only to be used for the protection of public safety, when the identity of the person requiring an ERAP under subsection 7(1) of the TDG Act is not known. As these ERAPs are not required, they are approved on a case by case basis. If you are granted approval for an ERAP under section 7.4 of the TDG Regulations, you will not receive an ERAP reference number and as such, cannot use this ERAP on a shipping document and cannot authorize other persons to use this ERAP.

For example, a person who specializes in emergency response, such as a response contractor, received approval for an ERAP in accordance with section 7.4 of the TDG Regulations. Transport Canada contacts this person to implement the plan in order to respond to a release of a dangerous good that requires an ERAP from a stolen highway tank, since the identity of the person required to have an ERAP is unknown.

ERAP online services (EOS) cannot be used for such applications. For more information or to apply for approval of an ERAP in accordance with section 7.4 of the TDG Regulations, please contact us.

Other persons not subject to the requirement of an ERAP under subsection 7(1) of the TDG Act, may apply for approval of an ERAP. As these ERAPs are not required, they are approved on a case by case basis.

For example, a person in the United States applies for approval of an ERAP because they have the resources, training, knowledge and experience to respond to the dangerous goods they ship to persons in Canada. Those persons in Canada who are importing the dangerous goods must have their own approved ERAP or can be an authorized user of an approved ERAP. If we approve the ERAP from the person in the United States shipping the dangerous goods, the importer could use that ERAP under an authorization.

Determine if you need to apply for approval of an ERAP

If you require an ERAP you may not need to apply to Transport Canada for approval. If authorized, you can use another person's approved ERAP that applies to the dangerous goods, modes of transport, means of containment and geographical areas in which the dangerous goods are to be transported. It is your responsibility to find a plan that meets your response needs. Often, an authorization to use an approved ERAP is given to persons that have shared corporate interests. You cannot be authorized to use the ERAP of a person who has already received an authorization to use an approved ERAP. The following conditions, including those outlined in section 7.7 of the TDG Regulations, must be met to be an authorized user of an ERAP.

You must:

  • Require an ERAP
  • Not be the producer of the dangerous goods that require the ERAP. Producing dangerous goods means, for example, to manufacture or make the dangerous goods and includes those that are by-products or waste
  • Ensure the ERAP applies to the dangerous goods, modes of transport, means of containment and geographical areas in which the dangerous goods will be in transport
  • Obtain a written authorization to use the ERAP
  • In accordance with subsection 3.6(1) of the TDG Regulations, when an ERAP is required, show on your shipping documents:
    • The ERAP reference number of the person who gave you authorization
    • The ERAP telephone number of the person who gave you authorization. You cannot use your own telephone number. You must ensure that the person who gave you the authorization to use their ERAP can be reached at any time while your dangerous goods are in transport.

The person who gives you authorization to use their approved ERAP must:

  • Have an approved ERAP that applies to the dangerous goods, modes of transport, means of containment and geographical areas in which the dangerous goods will be transported
  • Agree to respond to a release or anticipated release on your behalf
  • Give you a written authorization to use the ERAP
  • Be aware of when your dangerous goods that require an ERAP are in transport
  • Implement the approved ERAP in accordance with section 7.8 of the TDG Regulations in response to a release or anticipated release
  • Make the ERAP implementation reports under section 8.22 of the TDG Regulations

The person who received an authorization to use the approved ERAP must be able to produce a copy of the authorization:

  • For two years after the date it is no longer valid
  • Within 15 days after the day you receive a written request from an inspector

We do not mandate the format of a written authorization, however, it should be signed by the person issuing it and include:

  • The name of person authorizing their ERAP to be used
  • The name of person who is authorized to use the ERAP
  • The date the agreement is signed
  • The date the agreement expires, if applicable
  • The dangerous goods, modes of transport and means of containment that apply
  • The geographical areas covered
  • The conditions of the authorization, if applicable

Even if you are an authorized user, you remain the person who requires the approved ERAP and are responsible for the response to a release or anticipated release.

Contact us

TDG Response Operations Group
Transport Canada
Email: ERAPapplications@tc.gc.ca
Telephone: 613-990-8150
TTY: 1-888-675-6863

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