Regulatory Sandbox on Electronic Shipping Documents

By February 3, 2020 February 25th, 2020 Announcements, General, ICC & Industry News, Popular Topic

Okay, so it’s finally time to start talking about the famous electronic shipping document.

Transport Canada is presenting a study that will examine a possible test for the use of electronic shipping documents for the safe shipment of dangerous goods, and the study should last 2 years.

It should first be noted that the New Brunswick Department of Transportation has already done so for a one-year trial period. They even presented the results of this trial period and following this presentation, Transport Canada had shown an interest in doing the same thing, but at the national level.

Transport Canada is looking for ways to update regulations to keep Canada competitive and encourage innovation, while keeping Canadians safe.

The project is to assess whether electronic shipping documents can help us achieve the same or better level of security than paper documents and, if so, under what conditions.

The four modes of transport will be examined for urban and rural areas, even places where Internet or cellular coverage is more limited or even non existent.

To do this, Transport Canada will not use a particular system or technology because they want to ensure an assessment of a wider variety of platforms and technologies.

It is important to note that Transport Canada is not removing paper shipping documents.

They especially want to know if the electronic document would offer a level of security equal or superior to the paper document. This assessment includes an analysis of the benefits, costs and performance of such an option.

The reason presented by Transport Canada for proposing this study is that a paper document in an accident may be lost or destroyed. It is clear that an electronic document does not present such problems or issues.

There are a multitude of advantages such as: documents that are easier to read, easier to update, communicated more quickly to stakeholders, can be integrated into other digital business processes, more flexible by providing a competitive advantage, harmonized with international regulations, etc.

You can participate yourself if you wish. The success of this project depends on the participation and contribution of the stakeholders. Transport Canada is seeking shippers, carriers, first responders, law enforcement personnel and other government agencies to participate.

How to participate ? You can participate by:

– requesting an equivalency certificate.

– submitting comments or filling out questionnaires.

To request an Equivalency Certificate, you must create an account on the website at the following link: Transport Canada – Requests for Approval and contact them for an application form. If you have already requested an equivalency certificate, you do not need to re-register.

If your request is approved, you will receive an equivalency certificate which will allow you to use electronic shipping documents from spring 2020 until spring 2022. Simulations and mobilization activities will also be held during the same period. Of course, your participation is on a voluntary basis and will therefore not be paid.

So, if we all do a small part in the study and participate in large numbers, we risk having a much better idea of ​​the benefits and / or elements that require modifications or corrections.

For further questions, please contact Transport Canada via the following email address:

Until next time!

Pierre Boies
Regulatory specialist
ICC Compliance Center