Transport Canada Renews Temporary Certificate for Transportation of COVID-19 Test Samples
As Covid-19 continues to spread throughout the world, Transport Canada has decided to renew a temporary certificate which provides some relief when shipping test samples. To ensure that health care professionals respond to suspected cases of COVID-19 as rapidly as possible, it is important that test samples be transported to laboratories for analysis without any delay. As a result, this renewed temporary certificate allows shippers of COVID-19 test samples the option to offer for transport, on a road vehicle, railway vehicle, vessel, or aircraft, between two points in Canada, in a manner that does not comply with Part 3 (Documentation), Part 4 (Dangerous Goods Safety Marks), Part 5 (Means of Containment), Part 6 (Training), Part 8 (Reporting Requirements), and Part 12 (Air) of the TDG Regulations. However, this temporary certificate doesn’t completely relieve you from the TDG regulations, certain conditions do apply.
Packaging and Classification
In order to utilize this temporary certificate, the COVID-19 test samples must be classified as UN3373, Biological Substance, Category B, Class 6.2. The samples must be in transport for the purpose of testing or screening. In terms of packaging, the packaging must be a P650 packaging that complies with CGSB-43.125 or the packaging may be placed in a packaging that complies with the conditions below:
- The test sample is placed in a primary receptacle such as a glass or plastic tube;
- The primary receptacle is placed in a secondary inner packaging that provides additional protection for the primary receptacle.
- If multiple glass primary receptacles are placed in a secondary inner packaging, the primary receptacles shall be individually wrapped or otherwise separated to prevent contact between them.
- The primary receptacles and the secondary inner packaging shall be leakproof or siftproof, as applicable.
- For test samples containing liquid, an absorbent material shall be placed between the primary receptacle(s) and the secondary inner packaging. The absorbent material must be in sufficient quantity to absorb the entire content of the primary receptacles.
- The secondary inner packaging shall be placed in an outer packaging;
- Either the secondary packaging or the outer packaging shall be rigid;
- The packaging, once assembled, should be capable of passing a 1.2-meter drop test so that the primary receptacles do not leak. The 1.2-meter drop test is performed by dropping the assembled packaging from a height of 1.2 m onto a solid surface. Once dropped, the package should be opened to confirm the primary receptacles were not damaged and did not leak. This test would be performed on a representative package only.
Once you choose your packaging based on the conditions above, the outer packaging must have the marking below with each side at least 100mm in length.
In addition, the shipping name: “UN3373 – BIOLOGICAL SUBSTANCE, CATEGORY B” or “UN3373 – MATIÈRE BIOLOGIQUE, CATÉGORIE B”, must be next to the mark illustrated above along with the words “Test Samples – COVID-19” or “Échantillons d’épreuve – COVID-19”; and one of the following expressions below:
- “TU 0764”,
- “Temporary Certificate – TU 0764”, or
- “Certificat Temporaire – TU 0764”;
The name and address of the consignor and consignee must also be marked on the packaging with the words: “IN CASE OF DAMAGE OR LEAKAGE IMMEDIATELY NOTIFY LOCAL AUTHORITIES AND”, or “EN CAS DE DOMMAGE OU DE FUITE COMMUNIQUER IMMÉDIATEMENT AVEC”, followed by one of the telephone numbers listed below:
1-888-CAN-UTEC (226-8832), or
24-hour telephone number where the consignor can be reached to provide information on the test samples.
Although documentation isn’t a requirement necessarily, you can include a document instead of marking the outer packaging with the consignor or consignee address mentioned above. The document should additionally include the information below:
- The telephone number of: CANUTEC, which is 1-888-CAN-UTEC (226-8832), or a 24-hour telephone number where the consignor can be reached to provide information on the test samples;
- The words “Test Samples – COVID-19” or “Échantillons d’épreuve – COVID-19”.
This temporary certificate took effect on May 30, 2022, and will remain in effect until May 31, 2023, or the day it is canceled in writing by the Minister of Transport. If you are shipping by air, there are additional requirements. You can view the temporary certificate here.
If you are looking for category A or B packaging, please view our selection here.
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Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations
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