Ottawa, March 11, 2016
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This memorandum has been updated to:
- (a) reflect the change from Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA) to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA); and,
- (b) modify text and links where necessary to relevant legislation and regulations.
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has specific responsibilities in assisting Transport Canada (TC) in administering and enforcing the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992 and the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations. This memorandum outlines the legislation, regulations and general guidelines that apply to the transportation of dangerous goods.
TC is responsible for administering the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992 and the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations, which protect the public from the hazards of dangerous goods while being transported. The CBSA's role under the Regulations include the verification of shipping documents to ensure that required information is provided, as well as determining if the safety marks on containers, transport units, etc., are present. These marks must be consistent with specific information contained on the shipping document. The information contained in this memorandum relates to CBSA's role in the administration of the Act and Regulations.
- Customs Act– Section 101, Section 102
- Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992
- Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations
Guidelines and general information
Transportation of Dangerous Goods
1. The purpose of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations is to establish and regulate safety standards, safety marks, and safety requirements for the transportation of dangerous goods.
2. Dangerous goods, hazardous wastes, explosives, and radioactive materials are examples of products that pose a hazard or risk to human health or the environment, and as such, are regulated and require special handling while being transported.
3. The Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations requires that all shipments of dangerous goods be classified, labeled, placarded, packaged, and documented in a specific manner by the consignor (refer to the section below entitled "Shipping Document Requirements," as well as the following link for required safety marks according to class).
4. The Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992, and the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations control the following nine classes of products, substances, or organisms considered to be dangerous goods:
- Class 1 – Explosives (including explosives within the meaning of the Explosives Act)
- Class 2 – Gases (compressed, deeply refrigerated, liquefied or dissolved under pressure)
- Class 3 – Flammable liquids (flammable and combustible liquids)
- Class 4 – Flammable solids (substances liable to spontaneous combustion; substances that on contact with water emit flammable gases (water-reactive substances)
- Class 5 – Oxidizing substances and organic peroxides
- Class 6 – Poisonous (toxic) and infectious substances
- Class 7 – Nuclear substances (within the meaning of the Nuclear Safety and Control Act, that are radioactive)
- Class 8 – Corrosives
- Class 9 – Miscellaneous products (substances or organisms considered by the Governor in Council to be dangerous to life, health, property or the environment when handled, offered for transport or transported and prescribed to be included in this class)
5. Hazardous waste generally includes dangerous goods that are no longer used for their original purpose, and that are recyclable materials or intended for treatment or disposal. Of the nine classes noted above, seven categories (i.e., excluding explosives and radioactives) are also controlled by the Canadian Environmental Protection Act,1999 (CEPA) administered by Environment and Climate Change Canada. For more information on hazardous wastes, refer to Memorandum D19-7-3, Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material.
6. Explosives are defined as any substance that is made, manufactured, or used to produce an explosion or detonation or a pyrotechnic effect, and include gunpowder, propellant powders, blasting agents, dynamite, detonating cord, lead azide, detonators, ammunition of all descriptions, rockets, fireworks, firework compositions, safety flares, and other signals. Explosives are also regulated under the Explosives Act administered by Natural Resources Canada. For more information on explosives, refer to Memorandum D19-6-1, Administration of the Explosive Act.
Atomic Energy "Nuclear Substances"
7. In accordance with section 2 of the Nuclear Safety and Control Act, "nuclear substances" means uranium, thorium, plutonium, neptunium, deuterium, their respective derivatives and compounds, and any other substances that the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) may by regulation designate as being capable of releasing atomic energy, or as being requisite for the production, use, or application of atomic energy. For more information related to the Nuclear Safety and Control Act and Regulations, refer to Memorandum D19-2-1, Administration of the Nuclear Safety and Control Act.
Note: For hazardous waste (Memorandum D19-7-3, Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material), explosives (Memorandum D19-6-1, Administration of the Explosive Act), and nuclear substances (Memorandum D19-2-1, Administration of the Nuclear Safety and Control Act) import and export requirements please refer to the applicable memoranda.
Shipping Document Requirements
8. The Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations requires carriers to have with them a shipping document containing the specific information outlined below to describe the type of goods being carried. The consignor is responsible for preparing the shipping document.
9. The shipping document is not a prescrib+ed form other than when accompanying a shipment by air and for shipments of hazardous wastes. The information can be included on Form CI1, Canada Customs Invoice, or its commercial invoice, a bill of lading, or any other document.
10. For shipments of dangerous goods transported by air, the prescribed shipping document is the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Shipper's Declaration for Dangerous Goods. For shipments of hazardous wastes, the prescribed shipping document is the Canadian Waste Manifest (refer to Memorandum D19-7-3, Export and Import of Hazardous Waste and Hazardous Recyclable Material).
Information Requirements on a Shipping Document
11. The basic description of goods should be listed in the following order:
- (a) Product Identification Number (PIN) – It will take the form of a four-digit number preceded by UN (United Nations) or NA (North America) code, and is specific to the product (e.g., gasoline has a PIN of UN1203);
- (b) the shipping name is the name of the product;
- (c) the Class of dangerous goods is one of the nine classes;
- (d) Packing Group – Packing Group means the level of hazard inherent to dangerous goods. There are three packing groups: Packing Group I being the most dangerous, Packing Group II being of moderate danger, and Packing Group III being the least dangerous. Class 2, Gases, Class 6.2, Infectious Substances, and Class 7, Radioactive Materials are not assigned any Packing Group. Infectious substances are assigned a risk group;
- (e) Twenty-four (24) Hour Emergency Telephone Number – The Canadian Transport Emergency Centre's (CANUTEC) twenty-four (24) hour emergency telephone number, 613-996-6666 / 1-888-CAN-UTEC (1-888-226-8832), or the shipper's number may be listed.
12. When the CBSA processes a declared shipment of dangerous goods, and discovers or suspects non-compliance with the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992, or Regulations (e.g., the information required under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations does not appear on the shipping document, or the safety marks on the containers/transport units are not consistent with information on the shipping document), the CBSA will take all reasonable measures to ensure that the dangerous goods shipment is detained in the most suitable location possible and contact CANUTEC who will notify the appropriate region for follow up action.
13. When the CBSA discovers an undeclared/miss-declared shipment of dangerous goods that have been transported into Canada by air, road, rail or ship, it will take all reasonable measures to ensure that the dangerous goods shipment is detained in the most suitable location possible and report to CANUTEC, who will notify the appropriate region for follow up action.
14. Detained shipments will be held in the most suitable location possible pending direction from CBSA or the appropriate Transport Canada Regional Dangerous Goods Office (TCRDGO), or local emergency response agency (e.g., fire department).
15. You can access the Border Information Services (BIS) free of charge throughout Canada by calling 1-800-461-9999. If you are calling from outside Canada, you can access BIS by calling 204-983-3500 or 506-636-5064 (long distance charges will apply). To speak directly to an agent, please call during regular business hours from Monday to Friday (except holidays), 8:00 to 16:00 local time. TTY is also available within Canada: 1-866-335-3237.
- Issuing office:
- Commercial Programs Policy and Management Division
Commercial Programs Directorate
- Headquarters file:
- Legislative references:
- Customs Act
Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992
Canadian Environmental Protection Act,1999
Nuclear Safety and Control Act
Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations
- Other references:
- D19-2-1, D19-6-1, D19-7-3
- Superseded memorandum D:
- D19-13-5 dated January 18, 2001
- Date modified: