by Jonathan Sypal-Kohout on September 9, 2013 at 1:00 pm · in Jonathan's Blog
So, you want to bend the rules? What happens when you have a scenario where following the regulations to ship your dangerous goods becomes impractical to the point of impossibility?
This blog entry will speak to what the process is for applying for an Equivalency Certificate in Canada as per the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Clear Language Regulations.
Generally when people ship dangerous goods, the process becomes a matter of reading and complying with everything the regulations state. However, below are some scenarios where following exactly what the regulations state is… shall we say… less than ideal.
Al wants to ship some large batteries for equipment within Canada with classification:
UN 2794, Batteries, Wet, Filled With Acid, Class 8, P.G. III
His dilemma is that when a new battery is commissioned, the outer package is generally discarded due to space limitations. In many cases these batteries were installed prior to the packaging requirements of Part 5 of the TDG Regulations.
Al wants to ship this without UN approved packaging.
Bill wants to ship a MRI machine that contains liquid helium, classification:
UN 1963, Helium, refrigerated liquid, Class 2.2
His dilemma is that his MRI machine is what contains the Helium and it is not in an approved means of containment. He requires the helium to remain in his equipment during transport in order to keep the magnet cool.
Bill wants to ship this without approved packaging.
Chuck wants to send some prototype lithium ion batteries that have not undergone the UN 38.3 Part 3 tests, to be sent internationally with the classification:
UN 3480, Lithium ion batteries, Class 9, PG II
His situation is that he must ship these by air and in order to do so, as per the ICAO Technical Instructions, approval by the appropriate authority of the State of origin (Transport Canada) is required.
Chuck wants to ship this before having the required test results from the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria, Part III, subsection 38.3 for lithium ion batteries.
In all three of these scenarios, someone is looking to send a shipment outside a normal scope of work. Normally when one thinks of shipping dangerous goods, the process is somewhat standardized. All three of the above scenarios are looking to send a shipment without being in complete compliance with the regulations. This is when an Equivalency Certificate must be used. Essentially when you apply for a certificate you are saying:
Dear Transport Canada, I would like to have permission to not follow one of the parts of the regulations, but I promise that in breaking from the regulations I will ship the dangerous goods in such a way that they are just as safe as if I did follow the rules, perhaps even safer. Here is how I propose to do it…
If they feel that your methods are adequate, they may approve your application.
Once you realize that your goods require an Equivalency Certificate in order to be allowed to be transported, you should write up your proposal as soon as possible. Transport Canada requests that you submit the proposal to them three months before you intend to start shipping. If you are currently using an Equivalency Certificate to transport your goods, keep in mind that they do expire and must be renewed periodically which requires another submission to Transport Canada, again giving them the requested three month lead time.
What must you put on your application? 14.1 in TDG specifically lists what is required. I received a recent version of essentially the same checklist from Transport Canada last month. Keep in mind that all information must be provided and that missing information will delay the application. Here is what they sent me:
How to Apply for a Permit of Equivalent Level of Safety
if the applicant is an individual, the name of the individual;
if the applicant is a company or an association, the name of the company or association and each association member as the name appears in letters patent, articles of incorporation or other documents that show the legal identity of the applicant;
the street address of the applicant, including the postal code;
the telephone number of the applicant and, if applicable, the facsimile number;
where a person applies on behalf of the applicant, the name, position and business telephone number of the person and the name, position and business telephone number of the contact person identified in the documents that will accompany the permit;
a description of the dangerous goods, including the shipping name, primary classification, subsidiary classification, if any, product identification number, packing group and, if the dangerous goods are in a solution or mixture, the composition of the solution or mixture and the percentage (specified by volume or weight) of each chemical;
the method of packaging the dangerous goods, including a description of the means of containment and the quantity of dangerous goods in each means of containment;
the modes of transport for which the permit is requested, that is by rail, road, aircraft or ship;
the requirements of the Act and these Regulations that the applicant proposes not to comply with;
a detailed description of the proposal for the permit, including:
the length of time or schedule of activities for which the permit is requested,
the manner in which the applicant will handle, offer for transport or transport the dangerous goods and how that manner will ensure a level of safety at least equivalent to that achieved by complying with the Regulations, and
drawings, plans, calculations, procedures, test results and any other information necessary to support the proposal.
Applications can be forwarded to one of the following addresses:
Chief, Permits and Approvals Division, Transport Dangerous Goods
330 Sparks Street, 9th Floor
Ottawa ON K1A 0N5
If you are beginning to feel daunted by the task at hand, here is my advice. Take everything step by step and talk to some of the people at Transport Canada to ask for their guidance and advice. I have picked the brains of several Transport Canada personnel and not one of them has ever given me a hard time or made things difficult on me. Their main goal is safety and if you go in with the mentality that safety is paramount, the rest should flow nicely.
If your application gets accepted, ensure that you enclose a copy of the Equivalency Certificate with your shipment so that everyone along the way who comes in contact with the packages understands how this is being shipped.
After approval, the Equivalency Certificate information will be available online.
Keep in mind that different countries have different rules and regulations. Each of the three scenarios above has a different outcome when travelling abroad.
Even with a Canadian Equivalency Certificate, if travelling by ground to the United States, Al must make sure he is compliant with 49 CFR (specifically packing instruction 173.159), otherwise he must speak with the Department of Transportation and apply for a similar permit with them.
Even though an Equivalency Certificate is required for transport in Canada, while travelling by ground through the United States, the MRI is not considered dangerous goods. This is referenced from the DOT Ref: 99-0056.
As per the ICAO Technical Instructions, this shipment only requires approval from the appropriate authority for the state of origin. So long as it will first be loaded onto an aircraft in Canada, Transport Canada’s Equivalency Certificate is all that is required, even when flying to a different country. It is still worth double checking with the country you wish to fly into to ensure that they do not have a state variation saying differently.
If you ever do require a permit in another country, it is important to communicate with them well before your anticipated ship date as you might have to go through an application process that is similar to that of Transport Canada, but in their country, and it may take a few months to process.
Transport Canada has posted a bulletin for shipping infectious substances (RDIMS#8210418).
In the overview, Transport Canada reviews what an infectious substance is: anything that is known or reasonably believed to cause disease in humans or animals. This substance can be in blood, body fluids, body parts, organs, tissue or cultures. The responsibility of the consignor is to: train, classify, package, mark/label, document, placard and have an ERAP in place, if necessary. In addition to the definition found in section 1.4 of TDG (Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations), the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has regulations that apply to lab safety and the import of human pathogens into Canada. Please keep in mind that provincial governments may have additional regulations in place.
Classification of infectious substances is generally done by a medical professional. If you know that what you want to ship is an infectious substance, then it is class 6.2. In TDG, under Appendix 3 in Part 2 is a listing of regulated infectious substances. This list is not exhaustive. If what you want to ship is not on the list, but exhibits the characteristics of an infectious substance, then it is class 6.2.
The authorized shipping names in TDG are:
UN2814 Infectious substance, affecting humans,
UN2900 Infectious substance, affecting animals
UN3373 Biological substance, Category B
UN3291 Clinical waste, unspecified, n.o.s., (Bio)Medical waste, n.o.s., or Regulated medical waste, n.o.s. are not listed in TDG. These shipping names can be used utilizing section 1.10 of TDG. It is recommended to use Type 1C packaging.
When shipping infectious substances, you must do so in compliance with TDG. When shipping by air, you must use the ICAO Technical Instructions and by sea, the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG). Please note that competent authority approval may be needed.
There are exemptions available for shipping within Canada:
section 1.39 – Class 6.2, Infectious Substances, Category B Exemption
section 1.41 – Biological Products Exemption
section 1.42 – Human or animal Substance Believed not to Contain Infectious Substances Exemption
section 1.42.1 – Tissues or Organs for Transplant Exemption
section 1.42.2 – Blood or Blood Components Exemption
Quick reference guide for road transport
Infectious Substance, Affecting Humans
Infectious Substance, Affecting Animals
Biological Substance, Category B
UN2814 or UN2900 if waste contains Category A.
UN3291 if waste contains Category B.
Type 1B (only in certain instances. Refer to TDG 5.16)
Type 1A, or
Type 1B, or
No, if shipped in accordance with the exemption in TDG 1.39
Transport Canada published in Canada Gazette, Part I, the amendment titled “Part 4 Dangerous Goods Safety Marks”. Notable changes include:
introduction of overpacks
modifications to the use of the DANGER placard
introduction of new safety marks (3)
new proposal for placarding large means of containment
Let’s start with the overpacks. Currently under TDG, overpacks are not recognized although they are being used. And this is causing enforcement issues. TC considers an overpack to be a large means of containment. The definition for overpacks will be added to section 1.4 of TDG. Safety marks for overpacks is covered in section 4.10.1. As part of this section, when the overpack has a capacity ≥ 1.8 m3, then safety marks must appear on two opposite sides of the overpack.
All the safety marks are in the UN Model Regulations, ICAO Technical Instructions, IMDG Code and 49 CFR.
The requirements for placards will undergo a major change. The table in TDG section 4.15 is replaced. Placards will be required on both ends and sides of a large means of containment. The subsidiary placard requirements do not change. UN numbers on a placard or orange panel will be required when an ERAP is required, or the dangerous goods are liquids or gases in bulk. IBCs (intermediate bulk containers) will be permitted to only have 2 placards with UN number on opposite sides, or a label and UN number on each side. This will remove the need for equivalency certificates. However, placards with UN numbers will be needed on the outside of the truck.
The use of the DANGER placard changes as well. The DANGER placard can be displayed in place of hazard class placards when there are 2 or more classes and there are 2 or more small means of containment. The current restrictions for the use of the DANGER placard do not change, but those restrictions now include:
gross mass not to exceed 1,000 kg,
not to include only one hazard class, and
are offered by one consignor at one location.
The 500 kg requirement for placards is found in section 4.16.1 with the restrictions being very similar to the restrictions currently found in the exemption 1.16 500 kg gross mass exemption. If any part of a shipment involves a restriction that is listed, then that amount is not used in the calculation for determining placards. For example, if a shipment consists of 2,300 kg of dangerous goods, with 2,000 kg being sodium, then that shipment will require the hazard class placard with UN number as it requires an ERAP. The remaining 300 kg, being under the 500 kg, will not require placards.
The wording of section 4.22.1 for the Category B mark has been changed to read that the Category B mark replaces the Class 6.2 hazard label.
For dangerous goods that are subject to special provision 23, it will now be required to add the words “toxic – inhalation hazard” next to the shipping name for small packages, and on the large means of containment, in addition to any required placards.
The purpose of this amendment is harmonize with the international regulations as well as with 49 CFR. There may be additional costs to carriers for implementing these changes, but TC is of the opinion that for carriers who do business in the US, they will already have the additional placard holders on their trucks.
Transport Canada has given 75 days for comment from December 1, 2012. Comments are to be sent to:
Genevieve Sansoucy, Legislation and Regulations, Transport Dangerous Goods Directorate, Department of Transport, Place de Ville, Tower C, 9th Floor, 330 Sparks Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N5 (tel.: 613-990-5766; fax: 613-993-5925; email: TDGRegulatoryProposal-TMDPropositionReglementaire@tc.gc. ca).
Transport Canada published Amendment 11 in the Canada Gazette, Part II on December 5, 2012. In Amendment 6 (February 2008), a number of errors were introduced. This amendment corrects those errors, and brings others into line with some changes to the Act (June 2009).
The changes in this amendment are:
definition of “person” now aligns with the definition in the Act, including the addition of “organization”,
section 1.15 150 kg Gross Mass Exemption has been changed to allow up to 6 aerosols to be transported without complying with Part 5 Means of Containment. However, the aerosols must have a valve protection cap; in addition, special provision 80 has been changed to provide consistency,
section 5.5 Filling Limits goes back to the wording prior to Amendment 6 so as to remove any confusion and misinterpretation regarding standards or safety requirements,
the placarding provisions of the IMDG Code have been placed in Part 9 Road and Part 10 Rail; this allows for the placarding under the IMDG Code which means that placarding requirements are simpler and will reduce if not eliminate confusion,
other changes are of an editorial nature or typo:
in section 2.29(2)(c), 0.2 g/L now reads 0.2 mg/L
in the restricted paragraphs of section 1.15 and section 1.16, the title for Class 4 has been corrected
in section 1.32.1, the shipping name Liquefied Petroleum Gas now reads Liquefied Petroleum Gases
table of contents for Part 2 Classification now shows Category A and Category B instead of risk groups
in part 2, appendix 3, item 3, the word “formerlly” is changed to read “formerly”
section 1.32.2 Gases, Absolute Pressure between 101.3 kPa and 280 kPa now reads 1.32.2 Class 2, Gases, Absolute Pressure between 101.3 kPa and 280 kPa
in section 1.47 UN1044, Fire Extinguishers, Exemption, “and (d)” is added after “Paragraphs 5.10(1)(a)(b)”
Although these changes come into force on December 5, there is a transition period of six months (June 5, 2013) before all the changes become mandatory.
by Karrie Monette-Ishmael on August 1, 2012 at 8:00 am · in Karrie's Blog
What information do you need on a shipping paper or an emergency response situation? Depending on the country you are shipping from, the answer can vary.
The Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations, Part 3, (1) 3.5(f) and (2) outlines the requirements for the shipping document. These requirements include:
Having the words “24 hour number” followed by an active 10-digit telephone number xxx.xxx.xxxx,
Being able to reach the consignor immediately, and
Providing technical assistance without breaking the connection. An outside agency that is registered with the emergency response provider may be used.
The requirements outlined in the 49 CFR [172.201(d) and 172.604(b)(1)&/or(2)] states that if the shipper is using an Emergency Response Information provider or an agency on their behalf, a 24-hour telephone number and name of the person or contract number must be added to the Emergency Response Shipping paper.
Recently, an FAA inspector visited a customer of ours and the Emergency Response information on the shipping document was something they checked. As part of their audit, they called the number listed on the form to verify that the contract number was indeed valid.
Remember, during a transport emergency, first responders rely on this information to react to the situation quickly and to react with the correct protective and fire-fighting measures.
Do you need a 24-hour emergency response service?
ICC has a 24-hour phone number available in the USA, Canada and internationally.
Call us today: USA – 888.442.9628 · Canada 888.977.4834
to get more information or to request a quote.