USPS Proposed Changes for HazMat

On August 3rd, The Postal Service proposes to amend Publication 52, Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail (Pub 52), to incorporate requirements for mailers to separate all air-eligible hazardous material (hazmat) from surface only transportation hazmat shipments and other non-hazmat items when tendering mail to the Postal Service in the domestic mail.  Additionally, the Postal Service for consistency will incorporate the current standard operating procedures for separation as it pertains to acceptance and dispatch personnel. Comments are due on or before September 2, 2020. Read the full details of the proposed changes and comment procedures here.

On August 6th, The Postal Service proposed to amend the Publication 52, Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail (PUB 52) to provide unique electronic indicators and to standardize the Extra Services options for shipments of hazardous materials and perishable items. Comments are due on or before September 8, 2020. Read the full details of the proposed changes and comment procedures here.  

If you have any questions regarding hazardous materials transportation, please reach out to us!

Christine Holloway-Clare is the Vice President of Safety Specialists, Inc. She has been assisting customers comply with the hazardous materials regulations for over 20 years.

Safety Specialists, Inc. offers a wide range of hazardous materials transportation training and consulting options. Online training is available. Monthly online classes for DOT, IATA and IMDG available. Join one today.

PHMSA notice on shipping papers

On April 10, 2020, PHMSA issued the following on existing options for hazmat shipping papers.

“Notice Highlighting Existing Options Related to Hazardous Materials Shipping

Papers and Social Distancing during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has received inquiries regarding the requirements of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to the exchange of shipping

papers. Many of these inquiries have focused on the need to maintain social distancing between shippers and carriers.

Under the HMR, no physical contact between parties is required for the purposes of shipping papers. Shippers and carriers may therefore meet all requirements for hazardous materials

shipping papers and maintain necessary social distancing. Shippingpapersmaybe exchanged, for example, by physically attaching the document to a clipboard and placing it on a table and stepping away while the paper is signed, or sending the document via email or other means of electronic transmission.

Concerns have specifically been raised about the shipper’s certification statement. Section 172.204(d) states that the shipper’s certification on a shipping paper: ”…[m]ust be legibly

signed by a principal, officer, partner, or employee of the shipper or his agent; and … [m]ay be legibly signed manually, by typewriter; or by other mechanical means.” A shipper may ask a person to sign on its behalf, i.e., to entei’the shipper’s name as the signature for the shipper’s certification on the shipping paper. The request may be made verbally or in writing, and may be electronically transmitted (e.g., text message or email).

Using the methods outlined above, PHMSA believes carriers and shippers may satisfy the safety requirements of the HMR while maintaining appropriate social distancing during the COVID-19 public health emergency.”

A copy of the notice can be found here.