Are your shipping papers correct?

Basic Description

On shipping papers, the basic description identifies the shipment as hazardous and conveys specific information, which is gathered from tables in the hazardous materials regulations.

The order of the basic description must be:

  • Identification number,
  • Proper shipping name and if required, technical name,
  • Hazard class, and
  • Packing group, if applicable.

International shipments changed to this order several years ago and it has been permissive in the United States.  The old order, beginning with the proper shipping name cannot be used after December 31, 2012.

If you have questions about hazardous materials shipping papers, please let us know 704-573-0955 or christine@hazmathelp.com.

Cargo Aircraft Only Label

Just wanted to remind everyone that as of January 1st, 2013, the new Cargo Aircraft Only (CAO) label must be the only one used. Be sure to use the new CAO label with the words “Cargo Aircraft Only” at the top instead of the word “Danger”.

Toss those old labels!  If you have any questions or need help with a dangerous goods shipment, please let us know at 704-573-0955 or christine@hazmathelp.com.

 

More Global Harmonization Regs

On August 15, 2012, PHMSA proposes to amend the Hazardous Materials Regulations to maintain alignment with international standards, such as International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG), the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (ICAO), and the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods—Model Regulations.

The proposed changes will include revision to the following:

  • proper shipping names,
  • hazard classes,
  • packing groups,
  • special provisions,
  • packaging authorizations,
  • air transport quantity limitations, and
  • vessel stowage requirements.

DATES: Comments must be received by October 15, 2012.

SEND COMMENTS: You may submit comments online:
Federal Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.

DATES: Get a copy of the proposed HM-215L  rulemaking here.

Safety Specialists will publish our summary of the changes soon.

Reverse Logistics

Are different rules really needed?
by Ken Holloway

Last month, USDOT PHMSA issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. We blogged about this on July 5th and you can read that post here.

This notice asks for comments. This is your chance to make your opinion known. Comment or accept what others think is best for you and your company.

The stated purpose is to “identify possible ways to reduce the regulatory burden on retail outlets that ship consumer products containing hazardous materials in the reverse logistics supply chain”. Remember, what DOT or any other government agency thinks is better or easier may not always be better or easier. The IRS 1040EZ Form is 2 pages but comes with a 42 page instruction booklet.

This rulemaking deals NOT only with retail companies but consumers. Most consumers do not have any idea that what they want to return might be hazardous in transportation. Many consumers would not think twice about the little bit of fuel in the broken chainsaw they want to return.

Speak up before October 3, 2012 or someone in your company, probably a customer service person, may be required to do additional work. Think about if we really need a new set of rules applicable only to “reverse logistics”. Our feeling is that we already have all the regulations in place but just need to tell consumers what to do when they ship hazardous materials back to where they got them from.

The Hazardous Materials Regulations already require all offerors of hazardous materials to follow the regulations which includes training of hazmat employees. Shouldn’t the seller be responsible for providing instructions and necessary shipping materials to safely return the product they sold or otherwise transported to consumers? Who is more knowledgeable – the consumer or the company who shipped the product to the consumer? If the consumer wants a refund or replacement, they normally contact whomever they bought the product from. Normally, customer service provides a return authorization and instructions on how to return the product. Our company believes that the product customer service group should provide the necessary instructions to return the product safely makes the most sense.

Here is a link if you want to comment on this rulemaking.  Safety Specialists will be submitting comments based on discussions with our customers.  If you like to discuss this with us, please let us know and we will be happy to discuss this with you.

Changes to Packages Shipped by Air

PHMSA issued a final rule regarding the packaging, closure, liners and absorbents when shipping by air. The changes in this rulemaking will align with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Technical Instructions.  A summary of the changes is:

  • Class/Division 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 5.1 or 8 Packing Group III materials must be in packaging, which is a Packing Group II performance level.
  • The packaging must be constructed to resist the effects of temperature and vibration changes which normally occur during air transportation.
  • Liquid Packing Group I materials will require:
    • Secondary means of closure and
    • Absorbent materials of liquid in Classes/Divisions 3, 4, 5.1, 6.1, or 8 in glass, earthenware, plastic or metal inner packagings
      • Sufficient absorbent material to absorb the entire contents of the inner packaging
      • Absorbent must not react with the liquid
      • Liquid Packing Group II and III materials will require:
        • Secondary means of closure
          • If cannot be applied or impractical, then inner packaging can be placed in a leakproof liner or bag

Secondary means of closure could be tape, child resistant closures, friction seleeves, locking rings, heat seals, etc.

These requirements are for air shipments.

Compliance Dates
Voluntary compliance date: May 16, 2012
Effective date: July 1, 2012

Rule
PHMSA HM-231A rule can be found here.

 

Lithium Battery Changes Proposed for the 49CFR

Today, PHMSA issues a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on lithium batteries transported by air. This notice details the regulatory changes to the 49 CFR that would allow for the lithium battery air requirements to harmonize with the ICAO Technical Instructions. If the proposed rules are incorporated into the 49 CFR, the rules would be effective Jan.1, 2013. This is also the effective date for the ICAO Technical Instructions lithium battery changes. Comments on this proposed rule can be submitted by following the instructions in the NPRM by May 11, 2012. The proposed rules of Lithium Batteries can be downloaded here.

Also check out our previous post concerning the ICAO lithium battery changes.

If you have questions or need assistance with transportation of lithium battery or other hazardous materials, please let us  know at (704) 573-0955.