On July 2, 2014, Transport Canada issued its amendment regarding updating the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDG) to reflect recent international standards, and to incorporate some new packaging standards. This amendment is intended to harmonize Canada’s regulations more fully with those used for international shipment, therefore simplifying international transport and improving safety. Please note that is a separate amendment from the one issued at the same time regarding safety marks.
The first thing you’ll notice in this amendment is the table in section 1.3.1, Table of Safety Standards and Safety Requirement Documents, has been extensively revised. Many standard references have been updated to more current versions; one of the most significant updates is the new reference to the Seventeenth Edition (2011) of the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods. Also, some standards have been deleted, such as CAN/CGSB 43.150, “Performance Packagings for the Transportation of Dangerous Goods,” from the Canadian General Standards Board. Instead, new standards such as Transport Canada Standard TP14850, “Small Containers for Transport of Dangerous Goods, Classes 3, 4, 5, 6.1, 8 and 9” have been added. This will bring in a whole new system for selecting packagings for these classes. Other new standards will introduce UN packaging provisions for portable tanks and rail containers. Continue reading »
On March 28, 2014, the Government of Canada tabled new legislation intended, among other things, to start the introduction of the Globally Harmonized System for Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). This legislation, included in Bill C-31, proposes amendments to the Hazardous Products Act which will, eventually, allow Health Canada to replace the Controlled Product Regulations (CPR) with a new regulation, the Hazardous Products Regulation (HPR). The CPR, and the HPR intended to replace it, create the main federal part of the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS). The HPR has come to be known as “WHMIS 2.0″, as it replaces the well-known WHMIS labels, symbols and Material Safety Data Sheets for a new, internationally harmonized, style.
As part of the federal government’s Economic Action Plan 2014, Bill C-31 proposes significant amendments to the Hazardous Products Act, including:
Expanded definitions of terms such as sell, supplier and hazardous waste
New definitions for “Safety data sheet” (SDS) and “hazardous product”, as used by the GHS, to replace the current definitions for “Material Safety Data Sheets” (MSDS) and “controlled product”
Specific requirements for products containing asbestos
Prohibitions against labels or SDSs that contain false or misleading information
Increased record-keeping requirements, such as keeping documentation on goods obtained from other suppliers, as well as goods sold to Canadian workplaces
Significant amendments to section 13 and 14, the main sections dealing with supplier obligations to provide labels and SDSs for hazardous products.
By the end of this year, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) will publish the next revision to the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG). This revision, to be known as Amendment 37-14, will be optional to comply with starting on January 1, 2015, and will become mandatory on January 1, 2016.
What changes will we expect to see in this new revision? Perhaps not as many as in previous amendments, but there will be a number of significant issues addressed. These include:
A clarification that lamps and light bulbs are not to be considered dangerous goods
Significant revisions to the requirements for Class 7 radioactive substances
Addition of shipping descriptions and packaging instructions for adsorbed gases
Clarifications on classifying viscous flammable liquids
Clarification on the design and dimensions of various marks, such as the marine pollutant and limited quantity markings, as well as the design and dimensions of labels and placards
The lettering of the OVERPACK marking must be at least 12 mm high (Mandatory January 1, 2016)
The Dangerous Goods List, Chapter 3.2, will be altered by dividing column 16 (Stowage and segregation) in two, creating column 16a, Stowage, and 16b, Segregation. Codes for appropriate stowage and segregation will be assigned for each shipping description (these codes will be explained in Chapter 7.2). Continue reading »
It may appear at first that these are merely technical changes and updates. Transport Canada says that the main reason for the amendment is that some of the standards need their references updated to the most current version, and some of them need to be introduced for the first time. However, if the amendment is finalized in Gazette II, some of the implications are significant for Canadian shippers and carriers.
The principle points behind this amendment are:
Several new standards must be introduced in order to enhance compliance with the UN Recommendations in their current form. This means including standards for packagings such as cylinders (which currently have a TC (Transport Canada) specification), and UN-specification portable tanks. This will ensure that Canadians are using the most harmonized, as well as the most modern, packaging standards.
A number of the existing standards referenced in TDG are not referenced in the most current version. For example, the current regulation has a reference for CSA Standard B339-08, “Cylinders, spheres, and tubes for the transportation of dangerous goods”, last amended in February 2005. The amendment will update this reference to the version published in March 2008.
So, what’s going to be coming in TDG in the next year?
Well, let’s start with an Equivalency Certificate for limited quantities. Members of the Canadian Paint and Coatings Association have an Equivalency Certificate (http://www.tc.gc.ca/tdg/permits/htm/10832-eng.htm) for the use of the new limited quantity mark. If Transport Canada is not going to have this in a very near future amendment, then why don’t they issue the Equivalency Certificate to all shippers?
Amendments 8, 9 & 10 have come into force this year. Amendment 11 was sent to the Minister on October 20 and it deals with correcting errors in Amendment 6. The next step for Amendment 11 is a consultation phase.
Amendment 12, which was reviewed last June, is a large amendment with emphasis on placarding and introduces the overpack. The comment review was completed in June and it may go direct to Gazette II.
Amendment 13 will deal with the standards and Part 5 Means of Containment. This proposal has been at Justice since June and its next stop should be Gazette I.
Amendment Q will be an update of Schedule 1 and 2. Amendment 12 was to take us to the 17th Edition of the UN Recommendations on the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods, so why would a separate amendment be needed for the Schedules? Interesting that Schedule 3 is not listed in this proposal – typo? The next step for this amendment is consultations. Continue reading »