Are you in Compliance with Transport Canada TDG regulations?
According to Statistics Canada, There were 334 incidents involving dangerous goods that required a report to Transport Canada in 2015. (statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/170203/dq170203c-eng.pdf). Over two-thirds (69.8%) of the incidents occurred in facilities such as terminals or warehouses, while road incidents accounted for just over one-quarter (26.3%).
The objective of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Act and Regulations is aimed at legislating and promoting public safety when dangerous material are being handled, stored, transported or offered for transport. This is a Federal effective throughout Canada and covers all modes of transportation.
The set of regulations are prescribed necessary health and safety standards and shipping requirements for all dangerous goods. The Act further specifies ways and means of properly communicating relevant information concerning the nature and level of danger for each chemical classified as dangerous.
Recent incidents involving transportation of Dangerous Goods played a major role in the Canadian Federal Regulator’s push to tighten regulations governing handling and transportation of dangerous material. On June 1, 2016, the Canadian Department of Transportation issued major amendments to the TDG act.
Whether you are shipper, carrier or consignee of dangerous goods, you need to fully understand these regulations and how they apply to you, then fully implement these requirements to avoid being found in violation of the rules.
The Act clearly defines many areas of handling Dangerous Goods but we will focus here on the exact definitions of the following areas : (Source: https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/tdg/clear-part3-317.htm#sec31)
- Consignor Responsibilities
- Carrier Responsibilities
- Information on Shipping Document
1- Consignor Responsibilities
A person may be both a consignor and a carrier of the same consignment, for example, a manufacturer who also transports the dangerous goods he or she produces.
- (1) Before allowing a carrier to take possession of dangerous goods for transport, the consignor must prepare and give to that carrier a shipping document or, if the carrier agrees, an electronic copy of the shipping document.
- (2) When dangerous goods are imported into Canada, the consignor must, before the dangerous goods are transported in Canada, ensure that the carrier has a shipping document.
2- Carrier Responsibilities
- (1) A carrier must not take possession of dangerous goods for transport unless the carrier has the shipping document for the dangerous goods.
- (2) A carrier who accepts an electronic copy of a shipping document must produce a shipping document from the electronic copy before taking possession of the dangerous goods for transport.
- (3) Dangerous goods in transport are in the possession of a carrier from the time the carrier takes possession of them for transport until another person takes possession of them.
- (4) While the dangerous goods are in transport and in the possession of a carrier, the carrier must keep the shipping document in the location specified by sections 3.7 to 3.10.
- (5) At or before the time another carrier takes possession of the dangerous goods, the carrier must give the shipping document or a copy of the shipping document to that other carrier or, with that other carrier’s agreement, an electronic copy of it.
- (6) At or before the time a person, other than another carrier, takes possession of the dangerous goods, the carrier of the dangerous goods must give to that person a document that identifies the dangerous goods or, with that person’s agreement, an electronic copy of a document that identifies the dangerous goods.
- (7) A carrier may replace a shipping document provided by the consignor with a new shipping document or with a copy of the shipping document in a different format.
- 3-Information on a Shipping Document
The following information must be included on a shipping document:
- (a) the name and address of the place of business in Canada of the consignor;
- (b) the date the shipping document was prepared or was first given to a carrier;
- (c) the description of each of the dangerous goods, in the following order:
- (i) the UN number,
- (ii) the shipping name
- (iii) the primary class,
- (iv) for dangerous goods with a primary class of Class 1, Explosives, the compatibility group letter following the primary class,
- (v) the subsidiary class or classes, in parentheses,
- (vi) the packing group roman numeral,
- (vii) for dangerous goods that are subject to special provision 23, the words “toxic by inhalation” or “toxic – inhalation hazard”
- (d) For each shipping name, the quantity of dangerous goods and the unit of measure used to express the quantity.
- (e) For dangerous goods in one or more small means of containment that require a label to be displayed on them in accordance with Part 4, Dangerous Goods Safety Marks, the number of small means of containment for each shipping name;
- (f) The words “24-Hour Number” or an abbreviation of these words, followed by a telephone number, including the area code, at which the consignor can be reached immediately for technical information about the dangerous goods in transport,
Based on our experience , and upon careful review of customers’ shipping documents, we noticed that although the majority of our customers seem to be aware of and in compliance with the changes in regulations; the following areas require special attention:
- The name and address of the place of business in Canada of the Consignor
- The description of the goods must be in the following order (any modification to this order will be subject to violations):
- UN number,
- Shipping names (as listed in schedule I),
- Packing group
- The words “24-Hour Number” or an abbreviation of these words; followed by the phone number (including area code) in which the consignor can be reached. Modification to the wording will be subject to violations.
- The Consignor’s certification ” 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.”
- Weights must be in metric
The above provides partial and selective information as a quick snap shot. We strongly recommend Using https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/tdg/clear-tofc-211.htm for the complete Act and exact requirements to ensure full compliance.
Being in compliance should not be merely viewed as an obligation to follow the law, but as a demonstration of being a good corporate citizen. It must become a company wide commitment towards public safety and environmental sustainability. Good, clear documents could mean the difference between life and death in emergency situations. Furthermore, compliance is the right way of doing business, reducing unnecessary delays due to incomplete shipping documents and limiting the costly potential exposure for mishandling dangerous goods.