How to use the TDG Regulations


RDIMS # 10070063
March 2018

This bulletin outlines how to use the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Regulations. It does not change, create, amend or suggest deviations from them. For specific details, consult the TDG Regulations.

Table of Contents

What is the Difference Between the TDG Act and TDG Regulations?

The legal name of the TDG Act is the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992. Its purpose is to promote public safety during the import, handling, offering for transport and transport of dangerous goods. It sets out the general requirements that must be met. It also gives the government the power to:

  • write regulations that elaborate on those requirements
  • grant exemptions from requirements
  • designate federal inspectors to verify compliance through inspections, etc.

The TDG Regulations is where you will find specific details on how to ship and transport dangerous goods on your day to day operations.

How do I Know if my Product is Regulated by the TDG Regulations?

It is the consignor's (i.e. shipper) responsibility to determine if a product is regulated as a dangerous good.

The consignor will find the information related to the classification of dangerous goods in Part 2 of the TDG Regulations. Part 2 sets out the classification requirements in order to determine if a product is classified as a dangerous good and, as such, regulated.

Training is the key to complying with the TDG Regulations.


The TDG Regulations require any person who handles, offers for transport or transports dangerous goods to be adequately trained or to work under the direct supervision of someone who is. It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that their employees are properly trained and are issued a training certificate.

Training must focus on the duties the employer expects his employees to perform and the dangerous goods that they will likely handle, offer for transport or transport. For example, a person who completes shipping documents must be trained on the requirements of Part 3 (Documentation).

For more information, please consult:

  • Part 6 (Training) of the TDG Regulations; and
  • TDG Bulletin - TDG Training.

Finding Information in the TDG Regulations

The TDG Regulations are comprised of 16 Parts and three Schedules.

The 16 Parts provide the regulatory requirements for the transportation of dangerous goods:

  • Part 1: Coming into Force, Repeal, Interpretation, General Provisions and Special Cases
  • Part 2: Classification
  • Part 3: Documentation
  • Part 4: Dangerous Goods Safety Marks
  • Part 5: Means of Containment
  • Part 6: Training
  • Part 7: Emergency Response Assistance Plan
  • Part 8: Reporting Requirements
  • Part 9: Road
  • Part 10: Rail
  • Part 11: Marine
  • Part 12: Air
  • Part 13: Protective Direction
  • Part 14: Permit for Equivalent Level of Safety
  • Part 15: Court Order
  • Part 16: Inspectors

The three Schedules provide information that complements the 16 Parts:

  • Schedule 1: List of Dangerous Goods by UN Number
  • Schedule 2: Special Provisions
  • Schedule 3: Alphabetical Index of Dangerous Goods

Determining if a Substance is a Dangerous Good

It is the consignor's responsibility to classify a substance, product or organism to determine if it is a dangerous good. Part 2 of the TDG Regulations prescribes the criteria for inclusion for each of the nine classes of dangerous goods. Once a substance has been tested against all criteria of the nine classes, three different scenarios may occur:

  1. The dangerous good is a known substance and the shipping name can be found in Column 2 of Schedule 1

    Schedule 1 lists the dangerous goods by UN number and provides 9 columns with information on all dangerous goods, such as: shipping name, class, packing group, special provision, explosive limit and excepted or limited quantity index, emergency response assistance plan (ERAP) index, passenger carrying vessel index, passenger carrying road vehicle index, and passenger carrying railway vehicle index.

    If you do not know the UN number, refer to the alphabetical list of shipping names in Schedule 3. You will find the UN number in Column 3. Once you found the UN number in Schedule 3, return to Schedule 1 to find the associated information. For example, UN1203, GASOLINE

  2. The substance meets the criteria of only one class and one packing group

    Typically, classification is done by, or in consultation with, someone able to understand the nature of the dangerous goods, such as a manufacturer or a person who formulates, blends or otherwise prepares mixtures or solutions of goods.

    When a substance is a mixture (not a pure substance) and meets the criteria for inclusion in only one class and one packing group, a more generic shipping name must be used. As a result, the shipping name in Column 2 of Schedule 1 will be the one that most precisely describes the dangerous good. For example, a mixture of diesel and gasoline would be transported under UN1993, FLAMMABLE LIQUID, N.O.S.

  3. The substance meets the criteria of more than one class or more than one packing group

    When the substance is a mixture (not a pure substance) and meets the criteria for inclusion in more than one class or more than one packing class, the classification can be determined using a process described in Section 2.5 of the TDG Regulations. This process will include the precedence of classes, the priority of the packing group and the selection of the most appropriate shipping name.

Forbidden Dangerous Goods

When you find the word "Forbidden" in Schedule 1, Column 3 or in Schedule 3, Column 2, you must not transport the dangerous goods. However, you may apply for an equivalency certificate to transport these dangerous goods.

When you find the word "Forbidden" in Schedule 1, Column 8 & 9, it doesn't necessarily mean that you cannot transport the dangerous goods. This means that the dangerous goods cannot be transported in a vessel or vehicle carrying passengers. For more information on passenger carrying vessels or vehicles, please refer to the appropriate definitions found in Section 1.4 of the TDG Regulations.

Special Provisions

Check if any special provision numbers are listed under Schedule 1, Column 5. If there are, be sure to read them in Schedule 2. Special Provisions may:

  • provide an exemption from certain parts or sections of the TDG Regulations or
  • prescribe additional requirements.

Special Cases

If no special provisions apply to the dangerous goods, you may review the Special Cases in Part 1, Sections 1.15 to 1.50 to see if there is an exemption that can be used. Special Cases will either exempt you from:

  • all the requirements of the TDG Regulations;
  • some parts of the TDG Regulations;
  • some sections of the TDG Regulations; or
  • give alternative ways of complying with the TDG Regulations.

For example, Section 1.25 states: "These Regulations do not apply to dangerous goods that are transported solely within a manufacturing or processing facility to which public access is controlled."

If the conditions for using a special case are not strictly met, the entire TDG Regulations apply.

Note 1: Dangerous goods with no exemptions given either in Schedule 2 or applicable special cases must meet all applicable requirements of the TDG Regulations.

Note 2: Using a special case in Part 1 is optional.

Using the Regulations

The TDG Regulations apply to all dangerous goods unless those dangerous goods are exempted in Schedule 2 (Special Provisions) or Part 1 (Special Cases). In addition to training, classification, special provisions and special cases, the following requirements of the TDG Regulations also apply:

  • Determining if an emergency response assistance plan (ERAP) is required for the dangerous goods and preparing an ERAP for submission to the TDG Directorate. You can find the ERAP requirements in Part 7.
  • Determining the additional requirements for a particular mode of transport. Refer to TDG Regulations Parts 9, 10, 11 and 12 for requirements specific to transport by road, rail, marine and air.
  • Determining if a report is required and to whom it should be made to. You can find the reporting requirements in Part 8.
  • Determining the maximum allowable quantity of dangerous goods per means of transport for a vessel, road or railway vehicle carrying passengers. Refer to Schedule 1, columns 8 and 9.
  • Selecting the appropriate means of containment for dangerous goods in accordance with Part 5 (Means of Containment). You can find more information in the Bulletin on "Means of Containment".
  • Displaying the dangerous goods safety marks in accordance with Part 4 (i.e. labels, proper shipping name, UN number). You can find more information in the Bulletin on "Dangerous Goods Safety Marks".
  • Completing the shipping document in accordance with Part 3. You can find more information in the Bulletin on "Shipping Document."

Equivalency Certificates

Equivalency Certificates (also known as Permits for Equivalent Level of Safety) may provide relief from certain requirements of the TDG Act and/or Regulations. However, their conditions must be strictly met. Transport Canada issues an Equivalency Certificate to authorize an activity that does not comply with the TDG Act or Regulations, but which will provide a level of safety at least equivalent to compliance with the TDG Act and Regulations.

If you wish to carry on an activity related to transporting dangerous goods in a way that is not in compliance with the TDG Act and Regulations, you may submit an application for an Equivalency Certificate. To learn how to apply, please consult the following web page:

Compliance with the TDG Act and Regulations

Failure to comply with the TDG Act and TDG Regulations may lead to fines and/or imprisonment. For more information, you can visit the TDG website at: If you have any questions about the TDG Regulations, contact a Transport Canada dangerous goods inspector in your region.

Atlantic Region
Quebec Region
Ontario Region
Prairie & Northern Region
Pacific Region