Transporting Dangerous Goods

Safety is our top priority.

At Marine Atlantic, we aim to move all our customers’ goods safely, in the most efficient way possible. We understand that the transportation of dangerous goods deserves special attention and continually work to ensure we use the utmost care in this process.

Through federal and international legislation, thousands of products and substances are regulated as dangerous goods. As such, transportation of these commodities on our service is subject to multiple regulations, in full or in part, including:

When transporting dangerous goods and cargo, all shipping customers are responsible to know the regulations for the commodities they are carrying and must declare them when arriving at our terminal. It’s important to note that regulations can differ for transportation by road and by ship.

Customers without their own documentation should download and complete the dangerous goods declaration form in advance of arrival at our terminals.

Download Shipping Document

Policies and Procedures

  • Marine Atlantic will reserve dangerous goods travelling in bulk and requiring open deck space, units carrying explosives, and units carrying livestock with hay. 
  • Dangerous goods must be reserved at least 36 hours prior to requested departure.
  • Dangerous goods are to be checked in at least 6 hours prior to departure. Exception: Livestock with hay and live units carrying fish with oxygen must check in 2 hours prior to departure.
  • Dangerous units are only permitted to travel on the Port aux Basques - North Sydney route.
  • Amendments and cancellations are permitted up to 36 hours prior to departure at no cost.
  • Amendments and cancellations less than 36 hours before scheduled departure time are subject to a $100.00 amendment fee.
Man inspecting his truck trailer.

Dangerous Goods Shipping Documents

All customers must submit shipping documents that meet the requirements listed in the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDG) under Section 3.5.

This includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Name and address of the consignor;
  • Date of the document;
  • UN number and shipping name;
  • Primary, and any subsidiary, class;
  • Packing group;
  • Quantity;
  • Emergency contact information;
  • Consignor’s certification.

Specific shipments may require additional information, such as flash point, marine pollutant, means of containment, NEQ, etc.

Click here for further information from the TDG on shipping documents.

Customers without their own documentation should download and complete the dangerous goods declaration form in advance of arrival at our terminals.

Download Shipping Document

Purged Documentation

Shippers must submit purged documentation for any units previously containing dangerous goods that have been cleaned and travelling as non-dangerous.

Effective April 1, 2021, the documentation must include, at minimum:

  • Name and address of the consignor;
  • A description of the specific unit or means of containment, including unit number if applicable;
  • A description of the commodity last contained including the UN number;
  • Date the purging took place;
  • Name of the person who performed the purging;
  • Method used to purge; and
  • Certification statement.

Please note, placards must be removed from or covered on any unit that has been purged.

Purged documentation that does not fulfill the above minimum requirements will be subject to additional review before travel with Marine Atlantic.

Collection of canisters with hazard warning stickers.


Marine Atlantic requires shippers to confirm loads of silage are between 40% and 70% moisture content and do not contain any part of hay, straw or bhusa as regulated under UN 1327. Shippers must include this declaration on their manifest or fill out and sign a blank shipping document provided by Marine Atlantic with the declaration.

Loads that are not declared as above will be considered hay, straw, or bhusa and transported as dangerous goods. Shipments of hay must follow the relevant provisions of the TDG and IMDG regulations. No declaration of moisture content is required, but shipments will be refused for carriage if loaded in loose packaging, if they are damp, wet or contaminated with oil. Marine Atlantic will visually check the shipment for signs of water dripping from the commodity or signs of oil contamination.

Silage being added to a farming trailer. L'ensilage est ajouté à une remorque agricole.

Restricted Sailings

Some dangerous goods are required to travel on sailings with restricted passenger limits. We provide restricted sailings multiple times per week. For further information, view our commercial schedule or contact us.

R - Single Restricted Departure
Passenger and Commercial Driver Limit 51 - Leif Ericson
Passenger and Commercial Driver Limit 66 - Highlanders and Blue Puttees
Passenger and Commercial Driver Limit 67 - Ala'suinu

RC - Restricted Commercial-Only Departure
Passenger limits as above, for commercial drivers only

RR - Double Restricted Departure
Commercial Driver Limit 12 - All Vessels

R12 - 12 Commercial Drivers Only
Commercial Driver Limit 12 - All Vessels

There are 10-12 spaces on the Ala’suinu for dangerous goods units requiring open spaces.

Marine Atlantic Ship Entrance