Shipping Infectious Substances

This bulletin explains the requirements related to the transportation of infectious substances. It does not change, create, amend or suggest deviations to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Regulations. For specific details, consult the TDG Regulations.

On this page

Overview

What is an infectious substance?

An infectious substance is defined under Section 1.4 of the TDG Regulations. Basically, it’s a substance, such as viruses, bacteria, parasites, fungi or other agents that is known or reasonably believed to cause disease in humans or animals. Infectious substances might also be blood, tissue, organs, body fluids, or cultures that contain pathogenic microorganisms.

You can find a list of infectious substances, such as Ebola virus, Herpes B virus, in Part 2 of the TDG Regulations under Appendix 3.

Note: The table is not a complete list. If a substance is not listed in Appendix 3, it is still considered an infectious substance when it meets the definition above and exhibits characteristics similar to an infectious substance on the list, such as the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Associated Coronavirus (SARS-CoV), Salmonella Enterica SPP, Hepatitis C virus and many others.

As a consignor (i.e., shipper), what are my responsibilities?

As a consignor, you must comply with the requirements related to:

Note 1: Placarding applies to the person transporting the infectious substance or to the person loading the vehicle or large means of containment.

Note 2: The primary class placard must be displayed when infectious substances are transported unless the placarding exemption is used and no ERAP is required (Section 4.16.1).

Note 3: Placards and UN number are required when the shipment is transported in a large means of containment and it requires an ERAP in accordance with Part 7 of the TDG Regulations.

Do other government departments regulate infectious substances?

Yes. The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) administers regulations that apply to laboratory safety and the importation of human pathogens in Canada, while the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) regulates animal pathogens. In addition, provincial governments may have additional regulations that pertain to infectious substances.

Training

Do I need TDG training?

Always assume you need training. The only time training is not required is when you are using an exemption (i.e., special case) which exempts you from Part 6. You will find most exemptions in Part 1 of the TDG Regulations, from Sections 1.15 to 1.50.

Who issues the training certificate?

Employers are responsible for issuing a training certificate once their employee has received adequate training.

Is there a standard format for the training certificate?

No. However, the certificate must contain all of the information required by Section 6.3 of the TDG Regulations. Even though there is no standard format, the TDG Directorate has a sample in the TDG Bulletin titled: "TDG Bulletin - TDG Training".

Classification

How do I classify an infectious substance?

Infectious substances are classified as Class 6.2, Infectious Substances dangerous goods. Class 6.2 has two categories: A or B.

Note that Class 6.2, Infectious Substances are not assigned packing groups but are included in either Category A or B.

Category A

Infectious substances included in Category A are transported in a form that poses the highest risk of infection during transportation. They are capable of causing permanent disability, life-threatening or fatal disease in otherwise healthy individuals or animals. The proper shipping name of a Category A infectious substance is, as appropriate:

  • UN2814 – INFECTIOUS SUBSTANCE, AFFECTING HUMANS
  • UN2900 – INFECTIOUS SUBSTANCE, AFFECTING ANIMALS only

Category B

Category B infectious substances may be responsible for causing disease in human or animals, but the conditions in transport are such that the likelihood of contracting the disease upon exposure is extremely remote. The proper shipping name of a Category B infectious substance is:

  • UN3373 – BIOLOGICAL SUBSTANCE, CATEGORY B

What are the ʺformsʺ an infectious substance can be transported in?

Infectious substances can be either transported as cultures or contained in patient specimens. The risk of infection is higher in cultures, due to the high concentration of infectious substances as opposed to patient specimens. Generally, infectious substances in the form of cultures must be shipped as Category A. However, if contained in patient specimens, they might be shipped as Category B.

However, some infectious substances must always be shipped as Category A regardless of its form, due to its pathogenicity. Table 1 provides a list of the 19 infections substances that you must always ship as Category A.

Table 1 - Infectious substances that are always shipped as Category A
Name of infectious substance UN number
  1. Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic fever virus;
  2. Ebola virus;
  3. Flexal virus;
  4. Guanarito virus;
  5. Hantaviruses causing hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome;
  6. Hantaviruses causing pulmonary syndrome;
  7. Hendra virus;
  8. Herpes B virus (Cercopithecine Herpesvirus-1);
  9. Junin virus;
  10. Kyasanur Forest virus;
  11. Lassa virus;
  12. Machupo virus;
  13. Marburg virus;
  14. Monkeypox virus;
  15. Nipah virus;
  16. Omsk hemorrhagic fever virus;
  17. Russian Spring – Summer encephalitis virus;
  18. Sabia virus; and
  19. Variola (smallpox virus).
UN2814

What substances are subject to the TDG Regulations?

Any substance known or believed to contain infectious substances which meet the criteria of Category A or Category B is regulated under the TDG Regulations and must be assigned to UN2814, UN2900, UN3373, or UN3291, as appropriate.

A list of regulated infectious substances can be found in Appendix 3 of Part 2 of the TDG Regulations. Note that this list is not exhaustive, but it serves as guide to classify pathogens.

Medical or Clinical Waste

Medical or clinical wastes include sharps, soiled linen, etc. They are derived from the medical treatment of animals or humans or from bio-research. They can be assigned:

  • UN2814 – INFECTIOUS SUBSTANCE, AFFECTING HUMANS, if they contain Category A infectious substances;
  • UN2900 – INFECTIOUS SUBSTANCE, AFFECTING ANIMALS only , if they contain Category A infectious substances; or
  • UN3291 – CLINICAL WASTE, UNSPECIFIED, N.O.S., (BIO) MEDICAL WASTE, N.O.S. or REGULATED MEDICAL WASTE, N.O.S., if:
    • The medical or clinical wastes contain Category B infectious substances; or
    • The shipper has reasonable grounds to believe that there are low probabilities of containing infectious substances.

Biological Products

Biological products are derived from living organisms, such as virus, therapeutic serum, blood, blood derivative, or vaccines applicable to the prevention, treatment, or cure of a disease or condition of human or animals.

A biological product known or reasonably believed to contain a pathogen that meets the definition of a Category A or B infectious substance must be assigned to UN2814, UN2900, or UN3373, as appropriate.

Genetically Modified Microorganism and Organisms (GMO)

GMO which do not meet the definition of infectious substances are not subject to the TDG Regulations, unless they meet the criteria for inclusion in another class.

Patient Specimens

Patient specimens are collected directly from humans or animals. For example, excreta, blood and its components, tissue and tissue fluids swabs, and body parts being transported for purposes such as research, diagnosis, investigational activities, disease treatment and prevention.

Are all human or animal specimens regulated as infectious substances?

Human or animal specimens are exempted from certain parts of the TDG Regulations if you have no reason to believe that the specimen contains an infectious substance. You can ship such specimens using the exemption under Section 1.42 of the TDG Regulations.

If the specimens are part of routine screening tests, then they may be shipped as per Section 1.42 of the TDG Regulations, even when testing for an infectious substance, but not for diagnosis of an infectious disease. For example, an employer may wish to screen all new employees for infectious diseases. In this case, you may ship the sample as "Exempt Human Specimen" if the medical professional has no reason to believe that the person has been in contact with an infectious substance.

Examples of specimens that may be transported under this section include:

  • Blood or urine specimens to monitor cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels or hormone levels;
  • Specimens to determine the presence of drugs or alcohol for insurance or employment purposes;
  • Pregnancy test; or
  • Biopsies to detect cancer.

How do I classify patient specimens?

The table below is a guide for classification of infectious substances contained in patient specimens.

Table 2 - Classification of human or animal specimens
Patient specimen condition There is no reason to believe sample contains infection substances (include routine tests) For diagnosis of an infectious substances when there is suspicious of an infectious disease Category A infectious substance Category B infectious substance
Classification Human or animal specimens believed not to contain infectious substances exemption
(Section 1.42 of the TDG Regulations)
Regulate as appropriate Fully regulated Class 6.2, Infectious substances, UN3373, BIOLOGICAL SUBSTANCE, CATEGORY B exemption (Section 1.39 of the TDG Regulations)

What is "reason to believe"?

The term "reason to believe" means that there is sufficient belief to suggest that the specimens contain infectious substances included in Category A or B.

Professional judgment is required to determine if a specimen is regulated. Factors such as the known medical history, symptoms and individual circumstances of the source, human or animal, and endemic local conditions should be considered. For example, organizations that transport blood bags and tubes from blood donor clinics to laboratories should not automatically have a "reason to believe" that the blood collected contains infectious substances.

I don’t want to violate doctor / patient confidentiality. Are there any exemptions that apply to shipping samples that I suspect or know contain infectious substances?

No. However, the TDG Regulations do not require you to include a patient’s name or any personal reference when shipping infectious substances.

If you ship a known or suspected infectious substance without the proper labelling or documentation, you could be fined up to $50,000 or sentenced to 2 years in prison.

Who can we contact if we need assistance for classifying infectious substances?

TDG Directorate is the authority with regards to the classification of infectious substances for transportation. However, you could contact the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) or the Canadian Food Inspection Agency of Canada for assistance in the classification of infectious substances.

Public Health Agency of Canada

Phone: 613-957-1779
E-mail: PHAC.pathogens.pathogenes.ASPC@canada.ca

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Phone: 613-773-5327
E-mail: biocon@inspection.gc.ca

Packaging

What type of packaging may I use to ship infectious substances?

You may use the following types of packaging:

  • Type P620;
  • Type P650; or
  • Standardized and non-standardized packagings permitted in Part III of the CAN/CGSB 43.125 standard* for the transport of infectious substances intended for disposal or clinical, (bio) medical or regulated waste.

    *A copy of the CAN/CGSB-43.125 Standard can be obtained from Public Service and Procurement Canada.

Below is a table that summarizes when to use a given type of packaging.

Type of packaging UN Number - Category
Type P620
  • UN2814 – Category A
  • UN2900 – Category A
  • UN3373 – Category B
  • UN3291 – Waste
Type P650
  • UN3291 – Waste
  • UN3373 – Category B (including Category A infectious substances that can be shipped as Category B)
Standardized and non-standardized packagings permitted in Part III of the CAN-CGSB-43.125 standard
  • UN2814, UN2900 - Category A infectious substances intended for disposal (except for infectious substances listed in Subsection 2.36(3) of the TDG Regulations)
  • UN3291 - Waste

What is a Type P620 packaging?

It is defined as a packaging that is in compliance with the requirements of the CAN/CGSB-43.125 standard for Type P620 packaging or, if it is manufactured outside Canada, is in compliance with the requirements of Chapter 6.3 and Packing Instruction P620 of the UN Recommendations and the national regulations of the country of manufacture.

This packaging is intended to transport an infectious substance of Category A in a form of culture or infectious substance of Category A meeting the requirements of Subsection 2.36 (3) of the TDG Regulations. However, this packaging can also be used to transport Category B infectious substances and clinical, (bio) medical or regulated waste.

You will find the requirements for the design, testing and marking of Type P620 packaging in the CAN/CGSB-43.125 standard. Facilities that manufacture Type P620 packaging in Canada must be registered with Transport Canada and must have their design registered with Transport Canada.

How do I identify a Type P620 packaging?

A Type P620 packaging will have UN marking on the outer packaging as set out in Section 5.1 of the CAN/CGSB-43.125 standard. For example:

The United Nations packaging symbol. This image consists of a circle and inside the circle are the letters u and n, which are in lower case letters. The letter

4G/CLASS 6.2/17
CAN/ABC 8-9999

Code or symbol Description
The United Nations packaging symbol. This image consists of a circle and inside the circle are the letters u and n, which are in lower case letters. The letter United Nations packaging symbol.

4G
or
4GU
or
4GW

Packaging code (in this example, 4G represents a fiberboard box).

The "U" indicates the packaging is a special packaging which meets more stringent requirements.

The "W" indicates the packaging is manufactured to a different specification than the CAN/CGSB-43.125 standard but is equivalent to a packaging that conforms to the requirements of the standard.

CLASS 6.2 The text "CLASS 6.2" means that this type of container is suitable for Class 6.2 infectious substances.
17 The last two digits of the year of manufacture.
CAN The country authorizing the allocation of the marking.
ABC 8-9999 The name or symbol of the manufacturer and other identification of the container as specified by the country authorizing the allocation of the mark (e.g., design registration number).

A Type P620 packaging shall consist of:

  1. Inner packagings comprising:
    1. Leakproof primary receptacle(s);
    2. Leakproof secondary packaging(s);
  2. A rigid outer packaging of adequate strength for its capacity, mass and intended use of which the smallest external dimension is at least 100 mm. The outer packaging shall be selected from Table 1 of the CAN/CGSB-43.125 standard.

For liquid infectious substances, an absorbent material must be placed between the primary receptacle(s) and the secondary inner packaging and in sufficient quantity to absorb the entire content of the primary receptacle(s).

Example of a Type P620 packaging

Figure 1: Figure provided by IATA, Montreal, Canada (modified by the TDG Directorate)
Figure 1 - Text version

Type P620 packaging, which is a triple packaging system.

The outer packaging is a UN specification box, with UN specification marking. The box is also marked with a Class 6.2 infectious substance label. Next to label is the shipping name "infectious substance affecting humans" and the UN number. There are also labels for the consignor (i.e. shipper) and consignee and a label for the responsible person that includes their telephone number. Finally, the outer packaging is labelled with an orientation label, which is two arrows pointing up. These arrows are only required for Air and Marine transport when the primary receptacle exceeds 50 ml or 50 g.

Placed inside the outer package is a secondary packaging, which is leakproof. This secondary packaging is cylindrical in shape and has a screw-on cap. The secondary packaging is affixed with a label that includes an itemized list of its contents.

Finally, inside the secondary packaging is the leakproof primary receptacle, which is a test tube. The test tube is surrounded by absorbent material.

What is a Type P650 packaging?

It is defined as a packaging that is in compliance with the requirements of the CAN/CGSB-43.125 standard for Type P650 packaging or, if it is manufactured outside Canada, is in compliance with the requirements of Packing Instruction P650 of the UN Recommendations and the national regulations of the country of manufacture.

A Type P650 packaging is typically used for UN3373 - Category B, but it can also be used for certain Category A infectious substances. However, a Type P650 packaging CANNOT be used for the infectious substances listed in "Table 1" of this document or for Category A infectious substances that are in the form of a culture.

You will find the requirements for the design, testing and marking of Type P650 packaging in the CAN/CGSB-43.125 standard.

How do I identify a Type P650 packaging?

The marking required on the outer packaging of a Type P650 packaging is specified in Section 5.2 of the CAN/CGSB-43.125 standard.

The marking shall be in the form of a square on point with each side having a length of at least 50 mm. The width of the line shall be at least 2 mm and the letters and numbers shall be at least 6 mm high. The illustration below shows the marking for Type P650 packaging.

Category B Mark. Square on a point. White background with UN3373 in the centre.

Note: The marking required on a Type P650 packaging is identical to the Category B Mark found in the Appendix of Part 4 of the TDG Regulations. Therefore, having an empty packaging with this mark displayed on it could be considered misleading as it could indicate that a person is transporting UN3373, BIOLOGICAL SUBSTANCE, CATEGORY B. However, Special Provision 165 of the TDG Regulations allows the use of this mark even if the packaging is empty.

A Type P650 packaging shall consist of:

  1. Inner packagings comprising:
    1. primary receptacle(s) (leakproof or siftproof);
    2. secondary packaging(s) (leakproof or siftproof);
  2. An outer packaging with at least one surface having a minimum dimension of 100 mm x 100 mm

Note: Either the secondary packaging(s) or the outer packaging shall be rigid.

When transporting liquid infectious substances, absorbent material must be placed between the primary receptacle(s) and the secondary packaging in sufficient quantity to absorb the entire contents of the primary receptacle(s) so that any release of the liquid substance will not compromise the integrity of the cushioning material or of the outer packaging.

When transporting solid infectious substances, if there is any doubt as to whether or not residual liquid may be present in the primary receptacle during transport then a packaging suitable for liquids, including absorbent materials, shall be used.

Example of a Type P650 packaging

Figure 2: Figure provided by IATA, Montreal, Canada (modified by the TDG Directorate)
Figure 2 - Text version

Type P650 packaging.

The outer packaging is a box that is labelled with the Category B mark, which is a square on point mark with "UN3373" written inside. Next to label is the shipping name "Biological Substances Category B". Also written on the box is the 24 hour telephone number. There are also labels for the consignor (i.e. shipper) and consignee.

Placed inside the outer package is a secondary packaging, which is leakproof or siftproof. This secondary packaging is cylindrical in shape and has a screw-on cap. The secondary packaging is affixed with a label that includes an itemized list of its contents.

Inside the secondary receptacle is a rack-type holder made from styrofoam or sponge. This rack is holding the primary receptacles, which are test tubes and surrounded by cushioning and absorbent material.

What types of standardized and non-standardized packagings are permitted in Part III of the CAN-CGSB-43.125 standard to transport infectious substances intended for disposal or clinical, (bio) medical or regulated medical waste?

There are various types of standardized and non-standardized packagings permitted in Part III of the CAN/CGSB-43.125 standard for the transport of infectious substances of Category A and Category B intended for disposal and clinical, (bio) medical or regulated medical waste.

  1. UN Standardized Small Container
    The UN standardized small container must be a drum, jerrican, box, or composite packaging listed in Table 3 of the CAN/CGSB-43.125 standard and must meet a Packing Group I or II performance level.

    The packaging must be leakproof or be made leakproof by inserting a plastic bag in the packaging. The plastic bag must pass the Elmendorf tear strength and the Dart impact strength tests as specified in Table 5 of the CAN/CGSB-43.125 standard.

  2. UN Standardized Intermediate Bulk Container (IBC)
    The UN standardized IBC must be listed in Table 4 of the CAN/CGSB-43.125 standard and must meet a Packing Group I or II performance level.

  3. UN Standardized Large Packaging
    The UN standardized large packaging must be rigid and leakproof and meet a Packing Group II performance level.

  4. Non-Standardized Combination Packaging
    This type of package consists of a securely closed plastic film bag placed inside either a:

    • Packaging that is rigid, leak-proof and designed for repeated use; or
    • Inside a fibreboard box that meets the capacity and performance requirements listed in Table 6 of the CAN/CGSB-43.125 standard.

    Note: The plastic bag must pass the Elmendorf tear strength and the Dart impact strength tests as specified in Table 5 of the CAN/CGSB-43.125 standard.

  5. A Type P620 Packaging
    Learn more on a Type P620 packaging.

  6. Packaging for Sharp Objects (i.e., sharps container)
    A packaging intended to contain sharp objects (for example, broken glass and needles) must meet the requirements of the CAN/CSA-Z316.6 standard or be rigid, leakproof, puncture resistant and designed for repeated use. Below is an image of a sharps container.

    Picture of a red rigid plastic container with clear lid. A label indicating the presence of regulated medical waste with the biohazard symbol is displayed one side of the container.

How do I identify a packaging permitted in Part III of the CAN-CGSB-43.125 standard to transport infectious substances intended for disposal or clinical, (bio) medical or regulated medical waste?

There is no unique compliance marking specifically prescribed for this type of packaging. If the packaging is a non-standardized packaging, it will not have a UN marking displayed. However, UN standardized packagings will have a UN marking. For example, a UN standardized drum will have a marking displayed as follows:

The United Nations packaging symbol. This image consists of a circle and inside the circle are the letters u and n, which are in lower case letters. The letter

1A1/Y200/S/16
CAN/ABC 2-9999

Where can I buy Type P620 packaging, Type P650 packaging or a packaging permitted in Part III of the CAN-CGSB-43.125 standard for the transportation of infectious substances intended for disposal or waste?

The Transport Canada website has a list of vendors for Type P620 and P650 packaging.

Transport Canada does not have a list of vendors for packagings permitted in Part III of the CAN/CGSB-43.125 standard because many different types of standardized and non-standardized packagings are permitted. You must ensure that your shipment meets the requirements listed in the standard for these types of packagings.

How do I learn more about infectious substance packaging?

To learn more about Type P620, Type P650 and packagings permitted in Part III of the CAN/CGSB-43.125 standard for the transportation of infectious substances intended for disposal or clinical, (bio) medical or regulated waste, you can:

Documentation

Do I need a shipping document?

Yes. You must prepare a shipping document if you are shipping a Category A infectious substance (UN2814 or UN2900).

However, you will not need a shipping document if you are shipping a Category B infectious substance (UN3373) in accordance with the exemption set out in Section 1.39 of the TDG Regulations. Don’t forget that there are certain Category A infectious substances than can be shipped as a Category B. You need to refer to Subsections 2.36(2) and (3) of the TDG Regulations to verify which Category A infectious substances can be shipped as a Category B.

Where can I get more information on shipping documents?

To learn more, or to view a sample shipping document, consult the TDG Bulletin titled: "TDG Bulletin - Shipping Documents".

Labels and placards

Which dangerous goods safety marks must I display on a small means of containment?

That depends on the type of infectious substance you are shipping.

Category A

If you are shipping a Category A, you must label the package with an infectious substance label. This label is illustrated in the Appendix to Part 4 of the TDG Regulations.

Infectious substance label - Text version

Class 6.2, Infectious Substances label (square on point ). This label has the biohazard symbol at the top and the number 6 at the bottom. In the center of the label there is bilingual text that reads as follows:

INFECTIOUS IN CASE OF DAMAGE OR LEAKAGE IMMEDIATELY NOTIFY LOCAL AUTHORITIES AND CANUTEC 613-996-6666

INFECTIEUX EN CAS DE DOMMAGE OU DE FUITE COMMUNIQUER IMMÉDIATEMENT AVEC LES AUTORITÉS LOCALES ET CANUTEC 613-996-6666

The text on the label is:

INFECTIOUS
IN CASE OF DAMAGE
OR LEAKAGE
IMMEDIATELY
NOTIFY
LOCAL AUTHORITIES
AND

INFECTIEUX
EN CAS DE DOMMAGE
ON DE FUITE
COMMUNIQUER
IMMEDIATEMENT
AVEC LES AUTORITÉS
ET

CANUTEC
613-996-6666

Extra marking requirements:

The shipping name and UN number:

  • UN2814 – INFECTIOUS SUBSTANCE, AFFECTING HUMANS, or
  • UN2900 – INFECTIOUS SUBSTANCE, AFFECTING ANIMALS only

(No technical name (SP16))

Category B

When shipping a Category B infectious substance, Section 1.39 and Section 4.22.1 state that you must label the package with the "Category B mark" illustrated in the appendix to Part 4 of the TDG Regulations.

Category B mark - Text version

Category B Mark. Square on a point. White background with UN3373 in the centre.

The text on the mark is:

UN3373

Text on the package is:

24-Hour Number: 999-999-9999

Extra marking requirements:

The shipping name:

  • UN3373, BIOLOGICAL SUBSTANCE, CATEGORY B

Does the vehicle need placards?

As per Subsection 4.15(1) of the TDG Regulations, placards are required in the following instances:

The infectious substances are transported in a large means of containment. By definition, a large means of containment is a means of containment with a capacity greater than 450 L (i.e., a delivery truck). However, Section 4.16.1 provides a placarding exemption for dangerous goods having a gross mass of 500 kg or less.

Class 6.2 infectious substance placard, which is a diamond shaped mark. This placard has the biomedical symbol at the top and the number 6 at the bottom. There is no text in the center of the placard.

Subsection 7.1(7) of the TDG Regulations lists 16 infectious substances that require an Emergency Response Assistance Plan (ERAP). For those situations, the placards and UN number must be displayed. The placarding exemption found in Section 4.16.1 cannot be used when an ERAP is required.

Class 6.2 infectious substance placard, which is a diamond shaped mark. This placard has the biomedical symbol at the top and the number 6 at the bottom. In the center of the placard, the number 2814 is written.

Who is responsible for placarding the vehicle?

The person who loads the vehicle or large means of containment is responsible for displaying the placards. This person could be either the consignor (i.e., shipper) or the carrier. Once the vehicle leaves the site, the carrier is responsible for placarding.

Exemptions and Special Provisions

Are there any exemptions?

There are two exemptions for shipping infectious substances or potential infectious substances. Like most exemptions, you can find them in Part 1 of the TDG Regulations.

Section 1.39 – Class 6.2, Infectious Substances, UN3373, BIOLOGICAL SUBSTANCE, CATEGORY B exemption.

Section 1.42.3 – Medical or Clinical Waste.

In order to use an exemption, you must comply with all conditions listed in the exemption. If you can’t, then you need to ship your infectious substances fully regulated.

What are the special provisions that only apply to infectious substances?

Special Provision 84 states that infectious substances listed in Subsection 7.1(7) of the TDG Regulations require an emergency response assistance plan.

Special Provision 128 exempts decontaminated medical or clinical waste that from all parts of the TDG Regulations (except Parts 1 and 2) under certain conditions.

Special Provision 164 allows for the transport of other dangerous goods in the same small means of containment with UN2814, UN2900 or UN3373, if they are necessary for maintaining the viability or stability of the dangerous goods, for preventing their degradation or for neutralizing the hazards that they represent.

Special Provision 165 of the TDG Regulations allows the use of the Category B mark even if the packaging is empty.

Marine shipments

Is there anything I should know for marine shipments?

When shipping by vessel, you must refer to Part 11 of the TDG Regulations.

Air shipments

Is there anything I should know for air shipments?

When shipping by air, you must refer to Part 12 of the TDG Regulations.

For shipments by air only, Type P650 packages must undergo the internal pressure test in accordance with Section 7.5 of the CAN/CGSB-43.125 standard.

Domestic Transport

When transporting infectious substances domestically by air, Part 12 of the TDG Regulations requires you to comply with the ICAO Technical Instructions and Subsection 12.1(1) of the TDG Regulations.

International Transport

When transporting infectious substances internationally by air (from or to Canada), Part 12 of the TDG Regulations requires you to comply with the ICAO Technical Instructions and Subsection 12.1(1) of the TDG Regulations.

Quick Reference Guide – Road Transport

Item Category A Category B Waste
Classification

UN2814

INFECTIOUS SUBSTANCE, AFFECTING HUMANS

UN2900

INFECTIOUS SUBSTANCE, AFFECTING ANIMALS only

UN3373

BIOLOGICAL SUBSTANCE, CATEGORY B

UN2814 or UN2900 if waste contains Category A

UN3291 if waste contains Category B or if the shipper has reasonable grounds to believe that there is a low probability of containing infectious substances

Packaging selection

Type P620

Type P650 (Only in certain instances. Refer to Section 5.16 and Subsections 2.36(2) and (3) of the TDG Regulations for more details)

Type P620

Type P650

Type P620

Type P650

A standardized or non-standardized packaging permitted in Part III of CAN/CGSB-43.125 standard

Documentation Yes Yes, unless shipped in accordance with Section 1.39 of the TDG Regulations Yes, unless shipped in accordance with Section 1.42.3 of the TDG Regulations
Dangerous goods safety marks

Yes, Class 6.2 label

Shipping name and
UN number (no technical name)

Yes, unless shipped in accordance with Section 1.39 of the TDG Regulations Yes, unless shipped in accordance with Section 1.42.3 of the TDG Regulations
Placards

Yes, if ERAP is required; see Section 7.1(7)

No, if total gross mass of shipment is 500 kg or less and no ERAP is required

Yes, unless the total gross mass of shipment is 500 kg or less Yes, unless total gross mass of shipment is 500 kg or less
Training Yes Yes Yes, unless shipped in accordance with Section 1.42.3 of the TDG Regulations

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. If you have any questions about the TDG Regulations, contact a Transport Canada dangerous goods inspector in your region.

Atlantic region

Telephone: 1-866-814-1477
Email: TDG-TMDAtlantic@tc.gc.ca

Quebec region

Telephone: 514-633-3400
Email: TMD-TDG.Quebec@tc.gc.ca

Ontario region

Telephone: 416-973-1868
Email: TDG-TMDOntario@tc.gc.ca

Prairie & Northern region

Telephone: 1-888-463-0521
Email: TDG-TMDPNR@tc.gc.ca

Pacific region

Telephone: 604-666-2955
Email: TDGPacific-TMDPacifique@tc.gc.ca

Purchase of publications

International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)Air

International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code)Ship / Vessel

Appendix - Transporting Ebola contaminated waste

Transport Canada regulates the Ebola virus as an infectious substance under the TDG Regulations. Anyone handling, offering for transport or transporting this infectious substance by road, rail, marine or air must comply with the TDG Regulations:

  • Part 3 requires the consignment to be accompanied by a shipping document.
  • Part 4 requires the means of containment to display the appropriate safety marks.
  • Section 5.16 requires the use of a Type P620 packaging. However, with the Ebola outbreak in 2015, the TDG Directorate realized that these packages were not large enough for items such as personal protective equipment, gowns, gloves, linen, waste, etc.

As such, a person may apply for an equivalency certificate in order to transport Ebola contaminated waste in a means of containment, other than a Type P620 packaging, that provides an equivalent level of safety. The person must provide the required information listed in Section 14.1 of the TDG Regulations and include a detailed description of the packaging he/she proposes to use.

For questions pertaining to an equivalency certificate, please contact tdgapprovals@tc.gc.ca or call 1-855-298-1520.

You may apply:

By mail:

David Lamarche
Chief, Permits and Approvals Division
Transportation of dangerous goods Directorate
Transport Canada
330 Sparks Street, 9th Floor
Ottawa ON K1A 0N5

By fax:

(613) 993-5925

By e-mail:

  • Part 6 requires anyone who handles, offers for transport or transports the infectious substances to be properly trained and hold a training certificate.
  • Part 7 requires anyone who offers for transport or imports any quantity of the Class 6.2 infectious substances listed in Subsection 7.1(7) to have an approved emergency response assistance plan (ERAP). The Ebola virus is listed in Paragraph 7.1(7)(b).
    • It is the person who offers for transport or imports Ebola contaminated waste who must apply for an ERAP.
    • Transport Canada will issue a reference number in writing when it approves the ERAP.
    • The ERAP reference number and activation telephone number must appear on the shipping document.
    • A person may request written permission to use another person’s approved ERAP if it applies to the dangerous goods, the mode of transport, the means of containment and the geographical area. The person who holds the approved ERAP must also agree to respond to an emergency on behalf of the other person.

Note: The transport of deceased bodies contaminated with the Ebola virus is not regulated under the TDG Regulations.

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