What is Required to Mark and Label Dangerous Goods Packages in Canada?


Labelling and marking dangerous goods shipments is essential to identify what the dangerous goods are, to avoid delays or fines and is also essential for preventing safety hazards. Before shipping, remember to check which laws and regulations apply and your carrier’s requirements.

Dangerous goods labels convey the primary threats posed by the dangerous goods. This is important for everyone handling, shipping, transporting and receiving dangerous goods and is extremely important for emergency personnel responding to an accident or an incident. Dangerous Goods labels must be clearly printed on or attached to the surface of the package in a position other than the bottom and close to the shipping marking, as they advise how to transport, handle and store hazardous goods.

Labels and Marks must meet specific requirements to communicate the substance’s hazards properly. They must be:

  • Durable, and visible and legible on or attached to the outside of the package
  • Shown on a background of a sharply contrasting colour
  • Unblocked by other labels and attachments
  • Made of stable, weather-resistant material that will withstand separation or deterioration in the conditions they will be exposed to; and
  • Featured in the appropriate colour (safety marks must not be faded)


To identify the hazards, a small means of containment will require the proper TDG label(s). Each primary class and every subsidiary (secondary) class must be shown.

You can find exceptions to this basic labelling rule in Section 4.10 of the TDG Regulations.


Placards provide to all parties and especially emergency responders a visual description of the hazards in a Means of Containment.  Placarding requirements are found in Part 4.15 of the TDG Regulations.

What Other Safety Marks Must be Displayed Besides Labels and Placards?

Other safety marks and signs may be needed when transporting certain dangerous goods, such as temperature, fumigation, and lithium battery mark. Refer to Transport Canada’s website for the list of other safety marks and signs.

Failing to comply with the TDG Act and TDG Regulations may lead to fines. We offer dangerous goods packaging services. Contact us to discuss how we can help you to ensure your staff is adequately trained and informed on handling dangerous goods.