What is CANUTEC?

March 18, 2022

What is Canutec? – Chemscape

CANUTEC stands for the Canadian Transport Emergency Centre. CANUTEC assists emergency response personnel in handling dangerous goods emergencies on a 24/7 basis. 

It provides support for incidents involving dangerous goods in English and French. CANUTEC is operated by the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Directorate of Transport Canada. Their mandate is to promote public safety in the transportation of dangerous goods by all modes of transport: road, rail, and marine.  

The emergency centre is staffed by bilingual scientists specializing in chemistry or a related field and trained in emergency response. CANUTEC is part of Transport Canada, it's a free service for Canadian companies.  

Canadian consignors should register with CANUTEC  

Any Canadian consignor (a person who ships or imports dangerous goods) can register with CANUTEC and place a 24-hour emergency telephone number on their shipping documents for dangerous goods. Manufacturers may also register with CANUTEC as a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) Provider.  

Registration with CANUTEC gives you the right to use their free, 24-hour emergency telephone number on your dangerous goods shipping documents. CANUTEC services are free of charge to Canadian companies. Maintaining a registration requires an annual account review and update.

What information is required for CANUTEC registration?  

  • Your company’s name and address and the names and addresses of your sites that ship dangerous goods.  
  • An administrative contact responsible for updating the information related to your company.  
  • Three emergency contacts or one dedicated 24-hour emergency number with a live-person answering or a dedicated duty roster cell phone number.  
  • Technical information on the dangerous goods to be shipped (such as a Safety Data Sheet (SDS).  

Emergency response services for incidents involving dangerous goods

CANUTEC advisors can provide immediate advice over the phone and recommend actions to be taken, and those to avoid, in dangerous goods emergencies. CANUTEC offers emergency response services including:  

  • Chemical, physical and toxicological properties of dangerous goods  
  • Possible product incompatibilities and stabilities  
  • Health hazards and first aid measures  
  • Fire, explosion, spill or leak mitigation techniques  
  • Remedial actions for the protection of life, property, and the environment  
  • Isolation and evacuation distances  
  • Donning of personal protective clothing and equipment and their decontamination procedures  
  • Coordination of communications with consignor, government, or medical specialists  
  • Quick access to a vast national and international resource network which includes the industrial sector, emergency response teams, private response contractors, mutual aid groups, federal and provincial response specialists and other emergency centres  
  • A library of over two million safety data sheets (sds)  

Other services CANUTEC offers  

  • Transportation of dangerous goods regulatory information  
  • Participation with fire departments, public authorities, and industry during their training exercises  
  • Awareness of the emergency response assistance plans (ERAPs)  

Emergency Response Guide for Hazardous Incidents 

CANUTEC is also 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.  

Initiated under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), this project improves communication during hazardous incidents between the four countries by harmonizing emergency response recommendations for transportation incidents. A new guidebook is published every 4 years to reflect any changes in emergency response procedures and to update material names and ID Numbers (UN numbers). Latest edition of the ERG is 2020 and can be found online.  

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