The Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Program develops safety standards and regulations, provides risk-based oversight and gives expert advice on dangerous goods to promote public safety in the transportation of dangerous goods by all modes of transport regulated by Transport Canada. The Program is also responsible for TDG research and data analysis, and international collaboration to ensure a safe and secure transportation of dangerous goods worldwide.
Transport Canada's TDG Program has over 100 inspectors (including engineers and remedial measures specialists), who conduct close to 6,000 planned and reactive inspections every year. Take a look at the TDG newsletter for recent Program updates on some of the most important TDG-related topics.
In the event of an emergency
In the event of an emergency involving dangerous goods, call CANUTEC at 1-888-CAN-UTEC (226-8832), 613-996-6666 or *666 on a cellular phone.
- Issuing and expiration of temporary certificates pursuant to subsection 31(2.1) of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992 due to COVID-19
- COVID-19: Requirements for safe transportation of infectious substances (Class 6.2)
- Alternative oversight activities: Remote oversight
- Packaging of Category A and Category B infectious substances (Class 6, Division 6.2) and clinical, (bio) medical or regulated medical waste (CAN/CGSB-43.125)
- Some things were never meant to fly! poster
- Limited quantities exemption – accepted marks from January 1, 2021
TDG Act and its regulations
In Canada, the transportation of dangerous goods is strictly regulated under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992. The Act and and the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations were designed to promote public safety (people, property and the environment) and security during the transportation of dangerous goods.
On February 19, 2020, Transport Canada published the Regulations Amending the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (Formatting Changes) in the Canada Gazette, Part II.
CANUTEC is the Canadian Transport Emergency Centre operated by the TDG Directorate. Its overall mandate is to promote the safe movement of people and goods throughout Canada. Canadian consignors can register online to use CANUTEC's free, 24-hour emergency telephone number on their dangerous goods shipping documents.
CANUTEC is involved in the production of the Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG), which is the result of an International collaborative effort between Canada, the United States, Mexico and Argentina. This guidebook is for emergency responders who are often the first to arrive at the scene of a transportation incident involving dangerous goods.
Emergency response assistance plans (ERAPs)
One of the TDG Program's key responsibilities is the oversight of emergency response assistance plans (ERAPs). Used to assist emergency responders, an ERAP describes what to do in the event of a release or anticipated release of certain higher-risk dangerous goods while they are in transport.
Following the Lac-Mégantic tragedy in July 2013, Budget 2016 provided temporary funding of $143 million over three years to improve rail safety and transportation of dangerous goods oversight, enforcement, prevention and response capabilities.
In Budget 2019, $264 million was provided over up to four more years to:
- continue reinforcing regulatory and oversight activities that enhance community safety
- improve evidence-based analysis
- promote open government, transparency and community engagement; and
- strengthen collaboration with the United States
These actions have helped reduce risk to Canadian communities and those who live in them.
Improvements to the TDG Program
Highlights of recent efforts to improve the TDG Program to increase the safety of Canadians and of the environment.
Electronic shipping documents
The regulatory sandbox on electronic shipping document evaluates whether electronic shipping documents can help us reach a level of safety that is equivalent or better than paper documents, and if so, under what conditions.
National Oversight Plan
For more information on TDG's oversight program description and delivery, go to the Open TC Platform.
The key areas of focus for the TDG program in 2018-19 were:
- air transport of lithium batteries
- crude oil trans-loading activities from highway tanks to rail tank cars
- emergency shut off systems
- marine transport: recurring non-compliances
For regulatory questions, contact the TDG regional office in your region:
Prairie & Northern
Frequently requested information
- Safety Awareness Materials and FAQ
- Enhancing the security of the transportation of dangerous goods by rail
- Application for an Equivalency or Temporary Certificate
- Safety Marks
- Permits (Equivalency Certificates)
- Shipping documents