What Documents Do I Need to Prepare to Ship Dangerous Goods?


Dangerous goods, whether chemicals, hazardous materials, or other potentially harmful substances, require strict compliance with safety regulations and meticulous documentation. Failing to do so can result in accidents, injuries, and legal consequences. In Canada and the USA, the transportation of dangerous goods is governed by various laws and regulations, and it’s crucial to understand the required documentation for safe and legal shipping. Below is a detailed overview of the essential documents you need to ship dangerous goods in Canada and the USA.


Shipping Document A shipping document is a comprehensive document that lists all dangerous goods being transported. It includes the product’s name, UN number, quantity, and packaging type. The document is important for carriers and emergency responders to identify the cargo in case of an incident quickly.

Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Shipping Document – A TDG shipping document in Canada is mandatory for all dangerous goods shipments. It provides detailed information about the consignor, consignee, carrier, and the dangerous goods being transported. It also includes safety information and emergency response instructions.

Safety Data Sheets (SDS) – For every dangerous item being shipped, you must have a corresponding SDS. These provide essential information about the product’s properties, hazards, safe handling, and emergency response measures. SDSs should be readily accessible to all involved in the transportation process.

Placards and Labels – Proper placarding and labelling of vehicles and containers carrying dangerous goods is mandatory. These identify the type of hazardous material being transported and its associated risks. Adhering to these regulations ensures that everyone involved in the transportation chain knows the potential hazards.

Emergency Response Assistance Plan (ERAP) – For certain highly dangerous materials, an ERAP may be required. This plan outlines the procedures and resources necessary to respond to an emergency involving dangerous goods. It must be pre-approved by Transport Canada.



Hazardous Materials Shipping Papers – In the United States, hazardous materials shipping papers are required for all hazmat shipments. These papers include information about the shipper and consignee, a description of the hazardous materials, and emergency response contact details.

Safety Data Sheets (SDS) – As in Canada, SDSs are essential documents that provide information on hazardous materials hazards, handling, and emergency procedures. They should be readily available to all involved in the transportation process.

Placards and Labels – Proper placarding and labelling are mandatory when transporting hazardous materials in the USA. These labels communicate the nature of the hazard and help ensure that everyone involved in the transportation process is informed about the potential risks.

Emergency Response Information – In addition to the hazardous materials shipping papers, providing emergency response information to the carrier is crucial. This information ensures that the carrier is adequately prepared to respond to emergencies during transport.

Special Permits or Approvals – Some shipments may require special permits or approvals due to the nature of the hazardous materials. These permits are issued by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and must be obtained before shipping.


Shipping dangerous goods in Canada and the USA involves significant responsibilities, including meticulously preparing essential documents. Neglecting these requirements can lead to serious consequences. To ensure safe and compliant shipping, staying updated with the latest regulations and working with experts who specialize in hazardous materials management, such as Global Hazmat, is crucial.

Our guidance can help you navigate the complex regulations, prepare the necessary documents, and transport dangerous goods with the utmost safety and legal compliance. Remember that adhering to these guidelines not only protects your business but also the environment and the well-being of individuals involved in the transportation process.

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