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TDG Marine Amendment Clarified (SOR/2017-253)

Let’s Have the FAQs!

Transport Canada published an FAQ (“Frequently Asked Question”) summary on January 17 to clarify and provide background on the Marine Amendment (SOR/2017-253).

Although much of the information in the FAQ, detailing the purpose of the Part 11 and other related changes, was covered in the Gazette II RIAS (CGII Regulatory Impact and Analysis Statement), there are a couple of points that may be of interest.

Schedule 1 – Column 8 Clarification

The FAQ clarifies that the Col. 8 restriction is based on the specific categorization of the number of passengers as dictated in s. 1.10, not on the definition of “passenger carrying vessel” itself in s. 1.4

The amended reference to restriction of DG on board passenger-carrying vessels resulted in a separation on the basis for applying the Schedule 1, Col. 8 restriction. Formerly there was a qualifier in the Part 1.4 definition of “passenger carrying ship”, that invoked the restriction, based on a number of passengers per ship and/or per meter of ship length.

The current Canada Shipping (CS) Act has a definition for “Passenger, but not “passenger carrying vessel””.
Similarly, the Cargo, Fumigation and Tackle Regulations (CFTR), in s. 142, defines “passenger vessel” in the terms currently found in s. 1.10 of the TDGR.

Presumably, without the clarification in the FAQ, shippers might conclude that 1 passenger (based on the s. 1.4 definition) would invoke the Col. 8 restriction since there was no other clear reference directing the user to s. 1.10.

Vessel vs Ship (& boat, craft …)

Despite the fact that “vessel” is now being used to align with the current CS Act, the noun “ship” has not been completely banished. The roll-on/roll-off (“ro-ro”) term retains the noun “ship” used in the IMDG Code, the source of the definition. (Although “vessel” predominates in the current CS Act/regulations, the IMDG Code usually refers to “ship”- without defining either term).

Domestic vs Marine

The qualification of a voyage as either under the IMDG Code or an extension of a TDGR ground voyage is explained in this section. Had the term “Home-Trade Voyage” definition invoking mandatory use of the IMDG Code been maintained, the (obsolete) CS Act wording could have been interpreted as including the (French) territory of St. Pierre and Miquelon in a “domestic” TDGR) voyage. Technically, although only a few km from the Newfoundland coast, voyages to these islands requires adherence to the IMDG Code.

Note: This map is for illustration purposes only and is not intended to be a navigable reference.

A summary table of changes in Part 11 wording is included in the FAQ.


As a minor aside, it’s interesting that despite our official metric status, a key component of a domestic voyage is qualified by citing distance from shore in “nautical miles” (1 nautical mile is approximately 1.85 km)- other references to ferry distances are in km. This is an artifact of the CFTR. The IMDG Code references miles/nautical miles in the reporting procedures in the supplement to the Code- without otherwise qualifying or defining distances.

“Ferry” Interesting

The FAQ section also contains some comparison tables showing differences between the pre/post SOR/2017-253 versions. These indicate that although there are some increased exemptions in the amended regulations (e.g. additional exemptions for fuels, increased voyage distances qualifying for general ferry exemptions), there are some increases in requirements.

These include:

  • expansion of the applicability Column 8 restrictions,
  • and inclusion of the requirement for the master of the vessel to have ready access to shipping documents,
  • as well as reporting potential/actual releases to the Coast Guard.

The FAQ is available for consultation at:

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