CANUTEC - Canadian Transport Emergency Centre

RDIMS #11736831
June 2016

CANUTEC is Transport Canada’s Canadian Transport Emergency Centre. It deals with nearly 1 000 emergency situations and handles over 22,000 telephone calls, each year!

Established in 1979, this national advisory service helps emergency responders handle dangerous goods emergencies on a 24/7 basis. Staff includes bilingual scientists in chemistry or a related field and trained in emergency response. They can interpret technical information from various scientific sources, including safety data sheets (SDS)Footnote 1, to provide helpful, trustworthy, and rapid advice.

CANUTEC advisors do not go to the scene of an incident.

The centre also offers a free 24-hour emergency telephone service for registered Canadian consignors who use CANUTEC’s 24-hour number (1-888-CAN-UTEC (226-8832) or 613-996-6666) on their dangerous goods shipping documents. Online registration for this free service is available on CANUTEC’s website.

Emergency Response Services

CANUTEC’s emergency response advisors provide immediate advice over the phone about the actions to take and to avoid during a dangerous goods emergency. They can also send technical information to First Responders by e-mail or fax during an incident. Examples include:

  • The chemical, physical and toxicological properties of dangerous goods;
  • Possible product incompatibilities and stabilities; and
  • Isolation and evacuation distances.

CANUTEC advisors:

  • Provide
    • Access to over 2 million safety data sheets.
    • Quick access to a large resource network from industry, emergency response teams, private response contractors, mutual aid groups, federal and provincial response specialists and other emergency centres.
  • Explain
    • Health hazards and first aid measures.
    • How to prevent or address fires, explosions, spills or leaks.
    • How to protect life, property and the environment.
    • How to put on and decontaminate personal protective clothing and equipment.
  • Coordinate communications with consignor, government or medical specialists.


  • Participates with fire departments, public authorities and industry during their training exercises;
  • Provides information related to Emergency Response Assistance Plans (ERAPs);
  • Serves as point of contact for information sharing between railway companies and emergency planning officials; and
  • Participates in TDG safety awareness sessions.

Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG)

CANUTEC helps produce the Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG), an International effort between Canada, the United States, Mexico and Argentina. This project improves communication during dangerous goods incidents between the four countries by harmonizing emergency response recommendations for transportation incidents.

Published every 4 years, new editions reflect changes in emergency response procedures, dangerous goods UN numbers, and shipping names.

One free guidebook is available per emergency vehicle (for example: municipal fire department, police, and ambulance). The ERG is available free of charge in electronic formats on CANUTEC’s website and for sale from various companies. Visit to learn more.

Reporting Requirements

Part 8 of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations requires that CANUTEC be contacted in the case of:

  • a Release or Anticipated Release Report (Road, Rail, Marine);
  • a Dangerous Goods Accident or Incident Report (Air);
  • an Undeclared or Misdeclared Dangerous Goods Report (Air);
  • a Loss or Theft Report (Road, Rail, Marine, Air); or
  • an Unlawful Interference Report (Road, Rail, Marine, Air).

To learn more, please contact CANUTEC at:

Transportation of Dangerous Goods (CANUTEC)
330 Sparks Street
Place de Ville, Tower C
14th floor, Suite 1415
Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N5

General inquiries: (613) 992-4624

  • 1-888-CAN-UTEC (226-8832) (North America only) or
  • (613) 996-6666 (we accept collect calls) or *666 by cellular phone (Canada only)

Fax: (613) 954-5101