7 More Years of Consumer Commodity, ORM-D

The transition period for Consumer Commodity, ORM-D has been extended until December 31, 2020. That’s right, 2020! Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) ushered in the New Year with resolutions of extended grace periods. Consumer Commodity, ORM-D was expected to disappear December 31, 2013.  This extension does not apply to Consumer Commodity, ORM-D-AIR that concluded with 2012.

Consumer Commodity, ORM-D was supposed to end December 31, 2013. Some companies have already transitioned to limited quantity and that is compliant as well. For the next 7+ years, companies can use Consumer Commodity, ORM-D or limited quantity rules for their ground, rail and vessel shipments.

If you have any questions on this or other hazmat issues, please let us know. 704-573-0955 or by email, 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.

Canada’s Proposed Dangerous Goods Regulations Amendments

On March 10. 2012, proposed amendments to Canada’s Transportation Dangerous Goods Regulations were published in the Canada Gazette.  The proposed changes include:

  • A change in the definition of “person” and the addition of a definition for “organization” which aligns the TDG Regulations with the TDG Act, 1992;
  •             A clarification of packaging requirements for outer packaging for aerosols in small quantities;
  •             A more precise indication of filling requirements for standardized and non-standardized means of containment;
  •             The option of affixing dangerous goods safety marks required by IMDG Code for the transport to or from a ship, harbor or sea terminal;
  •             Editorial changes.

The proposed Amendment can be found here.