Inside Logistics

Dangerous goods transport rules change proposed

New reporting requirements to improve risk analysis and emergency response


June 8, 2015
by MM&D Online Staff

OTTAWA, Ontario—Transport Canada is proposing amendments to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations that would include new security provisions, modify existing reporting requirements, and specify the data to be made available to the department following incidents involving dangerous goods. The proposed amendments would apply to the transportation of dangerous goods in all transportation sectors.

The proposed amendments would broaden the scope of the original reporting requirements and are intended to help improve emergency response and risk analysis through stronger, more comprehensive data collection. This additional information would allow Transport Canada to establish more effective regulations in the future.

New reporting requirements would also be put in place for dangerous goods incidents involving road vehicles, aircraft, aerodromes, and air cargo facilities, allowing the department to obtain more comprehensive information for all transportation sectors.

These amendments propose to:

  • modify the criteria and circumstances under which incidents involving dangerous goods would be reported;
  • require additional information for the initial telephone report to CANUTEC, the Canadian Transport Emergency Centre,  following an incident;
  • add new requirements for the 30-day written report to improve the data available for emergency response and risk analysis;
  • add a new requirement for reporting lost or stolen dangerous goods, or that have otherwise been interfered with, to better align with security provisions in the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act; and
  • adopt the International Civil Aviation Organization reporting requirements for dangerous goods that are either incorrectly declared or undeclared.

The proposed amendments would allow Transport Canada to capture information regarding releases or anticipated releases of dangerous goods that endanger public safety.
Properly classifying a dangerous good and ensuring it is transported in the proper means of containment are crucial elements in the safe transportation of dangerous goods. Other safety requirements include Emergency Response Assistance Plans, proper documentation, safety marks, reporting, and training.

The proposed amendments would include reporting requirements for the loss, theft or unlawful interference of dangerous goods. Those incidents would need to be reported to CANUTEC—Transport Canada’s free 24-hour emergency centre for dangerous goods—and, if applicable, to Natural Resources Canada and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

The proposed amendments would also adopt International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) reporting requirements and include new criteria for reporting dangerous goods transported by aircraft that are either incorrectly declared or undeclared. Most air operators already report undeclared items voluntarily to Transport Canada.

Under the new rules, reporting would be mandatory when dangerous good are discovered on an aircraft, at an aerodrome, or at an air cargo facility.  This information would include situations when dangerous goods are shipped without a shipping document or without a proper dangerous goods safety mark (e.g. electronic equipment with a lithium battery shipped in a box without the proper labels). This would help the department better track compliance issues and target awareness efforts.

The proposed amendments would also put in place a new reporting requirement for any release or anticipated release of dangerous goods from a road vehicle. Presently, road incidents are not reported to Transport Canada. This change would fill an important reporting gap, allowing the department to obtain more comprehensive information for all transportation sectors.

The proposed amendments would allow the department to collect additional data following an incident involving dangerous goods. This data would help Transport Canada conduct more comprehensive risk analyses and establish more effective regulations in the future.