OTTAWA, Ont. – Transport Canada has begun testing the use of electronic documents for dangerous goods shipments, the federal agency announced on its website.
The Transportation of Dangerous Goods regulations currently requires a physical paper shipping document to follow most dangerous goods while they are in transport.
The documents include information on the goods being transported and give first responders the information they need to respond to incidents when they occur.
“Unfortunately, paper documents can be lost or destroyed, which can cause delays in emergency response,” Transport Canada said.
It said electronic documents offer a number of potential benefits, as they can be:
Easier to read;
Simpler to update;
Quicker to share with emergency responders;
Integrated with other digital business processes;
More flexible and able to give Canadian businesses a competitive edge; and
Aligned with international regulations.
The two-year project will look at using electronic documents across four modes of transportation: air, marine, rail, and road.
“No specific technology or system will be imposed by this project, because we are interested in evaluating a variety of platforms and technologies,” Transport Canada said.
The agency is looking for carriers, shippers, first responders, enforcement personnel and other stakeholders to participate in the project. They can do so by submitting feedback or completing questionnaires.