Canada Mandates Testing for Crude Oil in Response to Lac Megantic Disaster

October 17, 2013

Transport Canada has issued Protective Direction No. 31 which requires anyone who is transporting crude oil to on the crude oil.

Effective immediately, any person who imports or offers for transport crude oil must:

1.    Conduct classification testing of any crude oil being classified as UN 1267 or UN 1993, which has not undergone classification testing since July 7, 2013;

2.    Make those tests results available to Transport Canada upon request;

3.    Update their Safety Data Sheets and immediately provide them to Transport Canada's Canadian Transport Emergency Centre; and

4.    Until such testing is completed, ship all such crude oil as Class 3 Flammable Liquid Packing Group I, when shipping by rail.


There are two separate tests required to establish the Packing Group:

1.    Flash point, closed-cup

2.    Initial boiling point


If you are affected by this notice, please note the following:


Actions required on your part:

1.    Determine if you have performed the testing noted above on all affected products since July 7, 2013


2.    Ensure the proper shipping classification is indicated on your and/or .


3.    Initiate testing for all products that have not been tested since July 7, 2013.


You must then forward the MSDS for the tested product to CANUTEC. You can do this via email at:

If no test results have been conducted since July 7, 2013, AND you are shipping the product via RAIL, you must immediately reclassify your product and ship as a Class 3 Flammable Liquid with Packing Group I. Your MSDS should be updated to reflect this updated packing group.

Obviously, this regulatory action has been initiated by the government in response to the Lac-Mégantic derailment in Quebec on July 6, 2013.


You can read the press release from the Harper government .


While not specifically called out in the Protective Direction, it would seem that UN 1268 (Petroleum distillates, N.O.S. or Petroleum products, N.O.S.) is a very closely related Transport classification. It is our advice that the same steps listed above should be performed for products classified as UN 1268 as well.


Please , if you are affected by this notice.


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