TDG
The Clock is Ticking – 3 Recent TDG Proposals

Red semi truck on highway

An Easter Parade!

(Marine Amendment-Part 11, Rail Car Standard TP14877 Revision, ERAP- Part 7 Consultation)

Transport Canada is heading into what seems to be an ambitious spring/summer period with a variety of projects related to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) regulations. The latest notices are open for comment until the end of April and cover aspects of Parts 5, 7 and 11 (with implications for other parts) of the TDG regulations (TDGR).

SHIP- NO!- “VESSEL” AHOY! – MARINE PROVISIONS

Significant changes are proposed to TDGR Part 11 and Part 1 Special Cases to reflect the current Canada Shipping Act (CSA) and associated regulations, as well as commercial considerations. These affect definitions, terminology and the ability to efficiently transport fuels or medical/diving gases on passenger vessels.

In addition to the changes highlighted in the notice, there are several other noteworthy changes in the proposal.

“Near coastal” versus “Home-Trade” Voyages

The current Part 11 has been the subject of confusion regarding what constitutes the use of the IMDG Code versus the TDGR, particularly with voyages between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Retailers in particular have had difficulty in determining when consumer commodities can continue on to NL under TDGR Special Case 1.17. The wording in the current TDGR implies that the voyage would fall under a Home-Trade Voyage Class 1 from the Home-Trade Voyage Regulations. At certain times, the Marine Safety branch of Transport Canada has indicated that, this voyage could be considered a Home-Trade Voyage (HTV) Class II (not referenced directly in the TDGR/old Canada Shipping Act wording) – i.e. within 120 nautical miles from shore and within 200 nautical miles of a port of refuge- and be considered a “domestic voyage” as described in §.11.2.

Thus, the voyage could fall under TDGR Special Case 1.17, Limited Quantity (LQ) exemption, which references a “domestic voyage” as eligible for the exemption, use TDGR placarding, etc.

However, the proposal- instead of maintaining this distinction- adopts the Vessel Certificates Regulations (VCR) terminology without providing an “equivalent” to a HTV Class II. The proposed version of 11.2 defines, in effect, a domestic voyage subject to TDGR (without any proposed amendment to 1.17).

The VCR terminology reference in the proposed 11.2 is for a “near coastal voyage, Class 2” to be the longest voyage to be considered “domestic”. This reduces the allowable voyage to one where the vessel is not more than 20 nautical miles from shore and within 100 nautical miles from a place of refuge.

Perhaps retailers might want to consider commenting to Transport Canada on this aspect- or start preparing to submit equivalency certificate requests (under TDGR Part 14).

Ferries

In addition to expanding some exemptions and increasing the distance from 3 to 5 km, exemptions in the current TDGR 1.6, 3.9 and 8.4(4)(d) are proposed to be dropped. These affect adherence to Schedule 1 Column 6 limits for passenger vessels, on-board access to shipping documents and reporting releases.

Flash Point Marking

The TDGR 4.13 to mark the flash point on packages is to be repealed, presumably since it’s not required in the IMDG Code.

Ammonium Nitrate-Explosives Notification

Notification of loading/unloading these commodities will no longer be required under the TDGR. Presumably this is considered a duplication of requirements under the CSA Cargo, Fumigation and Tackle Regulations.

A six-month transition period is proposed to follow publication date of the final amendment in Canada Gazette II.
The Canada Gazette I notice provides for comments until May 1, 2017 and may be obtained at:
http://www.gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/2017/2017-04-01/html/reg3-eng.php

Rail Car Standard TP14877

The first revision to this 2013 standard has reached a final (at 2016 12) draft stage and is available, on request, for review and comment by April 30, 2017:
http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/tdg/clear-modifications-menu-261.htm#public

The major changes, as highlighted in the above reference, will incorporate the improvements in tank car design; and various other safety aspects covered in Protective Directions following the Lac Mégantic disaster in 2013. The draft also includes changes to further harmonize with the 19th Ed. of the UN model regulations and 49CFR.

Before Offering versus After Loading

One significant item in section 10 (Selection and Use of Containers…) is a change in the obligation for ensuring loaded containers are in safe condition for transport.

Section 10.8 has been changed from “Before Offering for Transport” to “After Loading”. This may be to reflect the desirability of discovering errors when they’re most likely to occur; but perhaps the former aspect should be maintained for situations where there is a delay between loading and offering. In section 10.9 (“Before Transporting”), the carrier is no longer specifically responsible for remediating deficiencies that could impact public safety.

ERAP Review

The TDGR Part 7 ERAP (registered “Emergency Response Assistance Plan”) requirements have been under a Task Force review for several years. Proposals for amending Part 7 include clarification on circumstances and parties’ rights/obligations with respect to accessing (for information) or activating an ERAP.

Also, the proposal would allow an ERAP holder to extend the right to third party to return “residue last contain” shipments under the holder’s ERAP without notifying Transport Canada, update the infectious substance ERAP list, and outline ERAP termination protocols when a holder no longer consigns the substances covered by the plan.

Transport Canada has established a comprehensive website to review and provide feedback on these and other aspects of ERAP requirements, by May 1, 2017, at:
http://www.letstalktransportation.ca/part7eraps

Considering that we’ve already seen consultations on an Harmonization amendment (expected to be finalized in Canada Gazette II in June/July); a review on possible changes to Part 6 “Training” requirements; and a pre-gazette “Canadian Update” amendment proposal- not to mention ongoing committee work to update standard TP14850 for small packaging and possible development of a large packaging standard- the balance of this year will be busy for both regulators and the regulated community.

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