The Island of Newfoundland requires many goods on a daily basis to help build the local economy and protect the health of citizens. Many of these products are considered “restricted” which means special precautions must be taken to transport them across the Cabot Strait. Marine Atlantic is one of the only modes of transportation that has the capability and capacity to ship products such as medical oxygen, explosives for road construction, fireworks, propane, hair spray, paint and other similar products between mainland Canada and the Island of Newfoundland.

To ensure these products are available, Marine Atlantic designates two special crossings for restricted goods every week from each port.  One crossing is considered “RR” which means items require greater segregation and controls; the other crossing is considered “R” and can carry a wider variety of restricted products.

The differences between restricted crossings and regular passenger crossings are the segregation activities that take place with the respective commercial vehicles and the significantly reduced number of passengers that travel on these sailings. These regulations are outlined and governed by Transport Canada.

Customers moving “RR” product may reserve space up to seven days in advance of the scheduled departure. In the event no such “RR” product is reserved at the 36 hour point, Marine Atlantic can re-designate the sailing as either an “R” or regular passenger sailing.To make a reservation, please call Marine Atlantic’s Reservations Department at 1-800-341-7981.

Customers moving “R” product have the option of reserving to an “R” designated sailing or may opt to arrive on the dock six hours prior to the scheduled sailing time and comply with the first come, first served option. When possible, it is recommended that customers make a reservation 36 hours in advance of the crossing by calling Marine Atlantic’s Reservations Department at 1-800-341-7981.

It is important to note that due to the lower numbers of passengers travelling between October and May, there is more flexibility to increase the number of “R” crossings. If you require additional information, please contact Marine Atlantic’s Reservations Department at 1-800-341-7981.

Marine Atlantic is proud to help transport the vital supplies required for the provinces and people we serve and looks forward to continuing to meet the needs of our customers.

Questions and Answers – Transportation of Restricted Goods

 

What are Restricted Goods?

Restricted goods are products that require special precautions to transport them across the Cabot Strait. Essential products such as medical oxygen, explosives for road construction, fireworks, propane, hair spray, paint and other similar products are all designated as restricted goods when being transported.


Does Marine Atlantic transport restricted goods?

Yes, items classified as a restricted item under the Government of Canada’s Transportation of Dangerous Goods legislation are an important part of our daily lives. Marine Atlantic is one of the only modes of transportation that has the capability and capacity to ship restricted products between mainland Canada and the Island of Newfoundland. Items such as medical oxygen and propane to hairspray and paint and considered restricted items. Marine Atlantic is proud to help transport the vital supplies required for the provinces and people we serve and looks forward to continuing to meet the needs of our customers.

 

Are there different types of restricted crossings?

Yes, Transport Canada legislation (http://tc.gc.ca/eng/tdg/safety-menu.htm) has a full breakdown of items that are classified as restricted and require special precautions for transport. To transport these items, Marine Atlantic offers two types of restricted crossings. One crossing is considered “RR” which means items require greater segregation and controls; the other crossing is considered “R” and can carry a wider variety of restricted products.


What’s the difference between “RR” and “R” designated crossings?

The “RR” designated crossings carry restricted products that require greater segregation and controls than an “R” crossing. While both types of crossings limit the number of passengers that can be on any given sailing, fewer passengers can travel on “RR” designated crossings.

 

How often do restricted goods crossings take place?

To ensure restricted products are available within the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Marine Atlantic designates two special crossings for restricted goods every week from each port.

 

Can passengers travel on the vessel when restricted cargo is being transported? How many people can be transported on a restricted goods crossing?

Yes, federal regulations clearly outline what activities must take place to carry restricted goods. On each of these crossings, the safety of passengers is paramount and very detailed activities take place to ensure the proper handling of restricted items. A maximum of 12 passengers can travel on an “RR” designated crossing, while “R” designated crossings can carry up to 67 passengers depending on the size of the vessel.

Is the current schedule for restricted crossings adequate? Why aren’t there more restricted crossings each week?

Yes, the current schedule for restricted crossings is adequate based on overall demand. While we recognize that a different schedule or additional crossings would be more convenient for some businesses, the impact of offering additional restricted crossings would have a negative impact on our other customers, our costs and the ability to transport traffic in a timely and efficient manner.


What do I do if I need to travel on a restricted crossing? Do customers have to book to restricted crossings?

Customers moving “RR” product may reserve space up to seven days in advance of the scheduled departure. In the event no such “RR” product is reserved at the 36 hour point, Marine Atlantic can re-designate the sailing as either an “R” or regular passenger sailing.

Customers moving “R” product have the option of reserving to an “R” designated sailing or may opt to arrive on the dock six hours prior to the scheduled sailing time and comply with the first come, first served option.

 

What are the regulations governing restricted items, who makes them and where can I find a copy?

The regulations governing restricted crossings are mandated by Transport Canada and can be found on their website, http://tc.gc.ca/eng/tdg/safety-menu.htm .


Is my empty propane carrier a restricted item? Are restricted goods shipped from Newfoundland?

Yes, unless the carrier has been purged of all the gas or related restricted material, the trailer is still considered restricted. Purging activities are dependent upon the restricted product being shipped. Once appropriate documentation has been received showing that purging activities have taken place, the trailer may be transported on a regular crossing.

The amount of restricted product being shipped from Newfoundland is relatively limited. In a significant number of cases we find that most trucks are carrying residue only. As such, we encourage carriers to purge any such units which would lift any travel restrictions (i.e., could go on any vessel).

 

What happens if a restricted crossing needs to be rescheduled?

Weather will limit some restricted sailing opportunities and can cause cancellations and delays, and can also lead to restrictions on the movement of dangerous goods where the nature of the product and the weather conditions create a safety concern.  In these circumstances we work to transport the restricted product in the most timely and efficient manner possible.