Transport Canada Unveils Proposed Amendment to Safety Standards

On November 16, Transport Canada published proposed changes to certain safety standards in the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Regulations. These changes can be found in Canada Gazette I, and may be accessed online at

It may appear at first that these are merely technical changes and updates. Transport Canada says that the main reason for the amendment is that some of the standards need their references updated to the most current version, and some of them need to be introduced for the first time. However, if the amendment is finalized in Gazette II, some of the implications are significant for Canadian shippers and carriers.

The principle points behind this amendment are:

  1. Several new standards must be introduced in order to enhance compliance with the UN Recommendations in their current form. This means including standards for packagings such as cylinders (which currently have a TC (Transport Canada) specification), and UN-specification portable tanks. This will ensure that Canadians are using the most harmonized, as  well as the most modern, packaging standards.
  2. A number of the existing standards referenced in TDG are not referenced in the most current version. For example, the current regulation has a reference for CSA Standard B339-08, “Cylinders, spheres, and tubes for the transportation of dangerous goods”, last amended in February 2005. The amendment will update this reference to the version published in March 2008.
  3. Currently, there is a standard for Continue Reading…
Inspections – Cargo Tanks

The CACD (Canadian Association of Chemical Distributors) office in Oakville received a telephone call from a dangerous goods inspector regarding cargo tanks. Two of the member companies had been inspected and the inspector indicated that for loading and unloading cargo tanks, the weakest link is the transfer hose.

Under the TDG Regulations in Part 5 Means of Containment, specifically 5.14 Large Means of Containment (MoC), to transport dangerous goods by ground, the large MoC must be manufactured, selected and used in accordance with the CSA standard B621 Selection and Use of Highway Tanks, Portable Tanks, Cargo Compartments, and Containers for the Transportation of Dangerous Goods, Classes 3, 4, 5, 6.1, 8, and 9.

CSA standard B621 also references another standard, CSA B620 Highway Tanks and Portable Tanks for the Transportation of Dangerous Goods.

In B621, clause 7.1 is Pre-loading Requirements. A MoC shall not be loaded unless it has been selected in accordance with the following clauses of the standard:

  • 4 Selection of the Means of Containment,
  • 8 Tank Selection Requirements for Dangerous Goods of Classes 3, 4, 5, 6.1, 8 and 9,
  • 5 Highway Tanks, or
  • 6 Portable Tanks.

The remainder of this section requires the MoC to be inspected, tested, retested and marked. In addition, before attaching hoses, the hose and its coupling must be visually inspected for compatibility with the dangerous goods, mechanical Continue Reading…