January 19, 2024 | Circular No. 11623

Dear Member,

Please find below an overview of current issues and regulatory updates related to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) with which the Federation is actively involved.

Client Identification Database (CID)

In October 2023, Transport Canada announced the launch of new site registration requirements and a new Client Identification Database to reduce risks associated with the transportation of dangerous goods, as per a series of recent amendments to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations. Applicable companies will have until October 25th, 2024, to register in the new database, with enforcement only beginning thereafter. We are consulting with Transport Canada on the extent to which this new registration requirement is applicable to Federation members and will provide further information as soon as possible.

TDG Regulations Part 6 – Training Requirements

In 2023 Transport Canada had proposed amendments to Part 6 of the TDG Regulations in Canada Gazette I, however after conducting a cost-benefit analysis and consultation with industry, they determined that the increase in cost to the regulated community would be much higher than originally anticipated. In addition, the proposed amendments did not make any reference to training needing to be in line with the IMDG Code, which the Federation brought up to Transport Canada on multiple occasions as a major issue for international transportation. In response to this, Transport Canada has decided to rescind the previously proposed amendments and to issue a white paper within the upcoming months after a re-examination the requirements. We are awaiting the publication of this paper and will provide feedback to Transport Canada once received.

Amendments to the TDG Regulations

Transport Canada published a set of proposed amendments to the TDG Regulations on December 9th, 2023. Of particular note to ocean carriers is the “International Harmonization” portion, which seeks to further align the TDG Regulations with international codes such as the UN Recommendations for the safe transportation of dangerous goods. The specific goods in question in these amendments include refrigerated machines, alkali metals, pesticides, light bulbs, medical waste, and unpackaged articles other than Class 1 Explosives. Although the amendments are primarily of interest to shippers, we nevertheless see them as a positive development, helping to promote clarity and reduce confusion for the international movement of dangerous goods. We will be submitting comments to Transport Canada before their February 22nd deadline to this effect, and invite any members who have any feedback on these proposed amendments to please submit it to Nathan Phillips (nphillips@shipfed.ca) prior to this date.

Amendments to the Contraventions Regulations

Transport Canada has published a new tariff structure under the Contraventions Regulations, which increases the fine amounts associated with designated offences under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act.  According to the Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement accompanying the new tariff, the current fines have not been increased in over 15 years, raising questions as to their ongoing effectiveness as a means of deterring potential offenders. The new fine levels are effective as of December 8th, 2023, and range from $1000 to $4000 depending on the offence. (For a description of offence items 1 through 12 of the new tariff, please see the previous tariff at the following LINK.)

Misdeclared and Undeclared Dangerous Goods

In addition to the new contravention tariff, the Federation has heard from members that they wish to see Transport Canada issue more punitive penalties to shippers for misdeclared and undeclared dangerous goods, in order to relieve ocean carriers from having to issue their own penalties to customers (which comes with commercial considerations). Although Transport Canada launched an investigation into this issue several years ago, it was subsequently deprioritized in favour of other initiatives. We will be submitting a request to Transport Canada to have this issue re-examined ahead of their upcoming General Policy Advisory Council (GPAC) meeting in May 2024 and will keep members informed about further developments.

DG Permits – Port of Vancouver

Several members have advised that the process of acquiring DG permits at the Port of Vancouver and its terminals is quite time consuming and inefficient for carriers, since separate permit applications with similar information must be submitted at both the port and terminal levels. We have brought this up with the Port of Vancouver and will continue to be in discussion with them this year in an effort to streamline this process.

TDG Training Course – Spring 2024

The next training course on the transportation of dangerous goods will be offered through Orion DG Management Consultants this Spring. Anyone interested in registering for the training course is invited to please notify Nathan Phillips at nphillips@shipfed.ca.

Members with questions or comments on any of the above are welcome to contact me at any time.

Sincerely,

Nathan Phillips
Policy Analyst