Explosives
Explosives Consultation – Ports & Other Proposals

Recognizing Technological Evolution while Maintaining Safety & Security

Explosives Regulations (ER) – Ports & Wharves

The Explosives Safety & Security Branch (ESSB) of Natural Resources Canada, and Transport Canada, have issued a Gazette I (CG I) proposal to amend their respective Explosives Regulations (ER, under the Explosives Act), and the Cargo Fumigation and Tackle Regulations (CFTR, under the Canada Shipping Act).

The initial reason for the proposed amendment is to remove reference to the express requirement to use quantity/distance principle (QDP) restrictions and ESSB Inspectors from the CFTR. A more modern approach of quantitative risk assessments (QRA), based on actual probable hazards following, methodology authorized by the ESSB (Chief Inspector of Explosives), would replace the more rigid QDP.

QDP, currently covered in CAN/BNQ 2910-510/2015, were established mainly for fixed manufacturing/storage facilities and specifically exclude transportation activities from the scope of the standard.

The proposal also provides for having qualified individuals, not just ESSB Inspectors, determine the risk following an approved QRA methodology. The requirements will appear in a new ER section 203.1 instead of the current CFTR section 155(2) & (3).

It is expected that international trade and commerce will be improved without sacrificing safety or security under this proposal.

Explosives – Other Amendments

The CG I amendment proposes to also include ER changes under the topics of:

  1. Eliminating or relaxing license requirements for certain “low risk” explosives (7 components);
  2. Clarification of wording (13 components); and
  3. Increasing Continue Reading…
Regulatory Helpdesk: December 4, 2017

Top 4 Questions from the Regulatory Helpdesk

Welcome back to the Regulatory Helpdesk where we answer your dangerous goods & hazmat questions. Here are some highlights from our helpdesk last week. Check back weekly, the helpdesk rarely hears the same question twice.

IMDG Editions

Q. What edition of the IMDG should I be using?

A. The customer would still need the 38th edition to get him through all of next year. The new 39th edition will be published at the end of 2018 but it can’t be used at all until Jan 1, 2019. Even then the 38th is still a viable option.

IMDG Transition Timeline
IMDG Transition Timeline

Placement of the Consignor’s Certification Statement

Q. Can the Consignor’s certification appear on a second page or on the back of the shipping document?

A. Yes, if there is no other non-DG information intervening when using the phrase in TDGR 3.6.1(1)(a). This phrase requires that the certification appear below the information specified in 3.5. The Transport Canada FAQ page indicates that the “consignor’s certification may appear on the back of the shipping document as long as it is after the information required under Section 3.5“.

Limited Quantities Under IMDG

Q. Can limited quantity provisions be used to ship under the IMDG Code?

A. Yes, but you should have IMDG Code training or consider a re-packing service if you are not trained, since the requirements are not the Continue Reading…

Single Packaging
Change Notice: BX-8SP

In an effort to continuously improve the quality and performance of our UN packaging, we occasionally must make changes to the specifications and usage instructions. This notice is to inform you that the following changes have been made to BX-8SP.

  1. The maximum gross weight allowance for this design has been increased from 4.2 kg to 5.4 kg. The specification marking that is printed on the boxes has been updated to reflect this change.

Click here to view our packing instructions and certificate downloads »

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our customer relations center in the US at 888‐442‐9628 or in Canada at 888‐977‐4834.

Thank you,
Michael S. Zendano
Packaging Specialist

Repacking Dangerous Goods
Everyone’s Favorite … Shipping Lithium Batteries!

Lithium Batteries, Laptop battery

Complying with the Regulations

Sometimes we try to find an economical solution to comply with regulations. If it works, great, but sometimes – actually most times – it comes back to bite us in the behind.

Last week a customer of ICC’s came in panicking to get help. He has previously used us a few times for our repackaging service. Let’s call him Bob. Bob told me he and his team took an online training course which certified them to ship lithium batteries via air. Bob’s shipper packaged up a lithium battery shipment and had sent it out. Bob just found out that it was rejected by the carrier. I asked Bob which UN# they used and he said UN3481. Asked him which (packing instruction) section and he said “what?”. I said, “In Packing Instruction 967, which section do you fall under?” He said, “What’s a packing instruction?”. I grabbed my IATA regulation and told him, “You guys used this book to do the course, yeah?” and he inferred that the course didn’t require use of a book and no, they didn’t use any books. I asked Bob if they took training with ICC and he said, “no”. Bob said they took training with another company and paid $50 as it was the cheapest training they could find. I told him that was his first mistake.

Carrier Conundrum

Bob said Continue Reading…

Hazmat Personal Protection Equipment
What if Chicken Little Had INFOTRAC?

Little chicken in a dandelion field

INFOTRAC 24-Hour Emergency Response System

My family has always been made up of people who like to read. It starts with the little ones being read to by others and generally leads to a love of independent reading later in life. I saw the process start with the next generation during the recent United States’ holiday of Thanksgiving. In order to get the 18-month old to settle down for a nap his father read to him. Funny enough, the story was that of Chicken Little. For those that don’t remember the story it is about Chicken Little getting hit on the head by an acorn and thinks the sky is falling. To protect friends and family the character decides to go tell the king. On the way, Chicken Little meets various friends and proceeds to tell each of them that the sky is falling.  Hearing the refrain of “the sky is falling” said throughout the telling of the story it got me thinking …

The Sky is… Not Falling?

What if rather than panicking about the event Chicken Little followed proper procedure? When handling hazardous materials there must be plans in place to handle accidents. This includes spills and injuries at your location and more importantly during transport. One such procedure is set in 49 CFR for US ground transportation. In Section 172.604 it states that an emergency response telephone number must be Continue Reading…

PHMSA Change Notice

Man preparing shipment

PHMSA Issues Notice of Change on Termination of M-Number and R-Number Approvals with no Expiration Date

PHMSA has made a proposal to terminate previously approved M-numbers and R-numbers that were issued without an expiration date. Unless approval holders can either show why their approvals should not be terminated as provided in 49 CFR 107.713(c)(1) or apply for a modification of their approval in accordance with 49 CFR 107.705 prior to the effective date, their M-number may be considered expired. Modified approvals will conform to the Approvals and Permits Division’s standardized format in which all approvals have a 5-year expiration date.

M Number on UN packaging

What is an M-Number?

An “M-Number” or manufacturer number is issued by the D.O.T. to a manufacturer of packaging related to hazardous goods as a means of identification. This number is used in place of the manufacturer’s name and address as authorized in 49 CFR 178.503. In addition, an “R” number was a number previously given to companies that recondition their hazardous goods packaging, but PHMSA now uses M-numbers in their place. Often times the M-number is displayed on the outside of a package (like in the above picture). Manufacturer’s symbols can come in two formats. The first format lists the manufacturers sequentially by Identification Number (M#). The second format lists each state’s manufacturers alphabetically by city and company name. The identification number, the name and address, the status, and Continue Reading…

Regulatory Helpdesk: November 27, 2017

Top 4 Questions from the Regulatory Helpdesk

Welcome back to the Regulatory Helpdesk where we answer your dangerous goods & hazmat questions. Here are some highlights from our helpdesk last week. Check back weekly, the helpdesk rarely hears the same question twice.

Lithium Battery Special Provision

Q. Why is only a reference to Packing Instruction Section IB required on a lithium battery Shipper’s Declaration – what about shipments made under Section I or IA?

A. Sections I and IA refer to fully regulated shipments so it’s redundant to indicate an authorization unless there’s a special provision deviation involved.

Although Section II shipments don’t require a Shipper’s Declaration document, if an airwaybill is used a notation must be made indicating the Section II status like ‘’Lithium ion batteries in compliance with Section II of PI— CAO’’.

This is particularly true for UN3090 or UN3480 where the document is required to indicate the CAO status.

Shippers also need to verify any listed state or operator variations that may require information over that mandate by IATA DGR.

Determining the Size of the Package

Q. I have a customer who wants a “portable tank” of product instead of our usual smaller sized containers, can I oblige?

A:

  • Characterize your product,
  • read the container supplier’s specification,
  • read the relevant regulation,
  • read the cited container standard; review 1. & 2. in the context of 3. & 4; decide on any required modifications.

Shipping Continue Reading…

Lithium Battery
Lithium Button Cell Air Exemptions

Cargo loading on aircraft

IATA DGR PI 967 & PI 970 Confusion

The wording in recent, current and upcoming editions of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) has some potential to confuse the regulated community, especially regarding shipping lithium batteries.

Exemptions Restricted or Not?

The paragraph providing an exemption from the lithium battery mark (pka “Handling Label”) is found in the last sentence of the second paragraph in Section II “Additional Requirements”, for the packing instructions (PI) for both UN3091 and UN3481 “contained in…” lithium battery entries:

This requirement does not apply to:

  • packages containing only button cell batteries installed in equipment (including circuit boards); XXX
  • consignments of two packages or less where each package contains no more than four cells or two batteries installed in equipment.

The “XXX” is the key that led to this discussion.

2016 as the Baseline:

In the IATA DGR 57th (2016) Edition, both PI 967 and PI 970 (“contained in equipment”, ion and metal respectively), the “XXX” in each case read “or”.

In other words, whereas cells/batteries other than button cells were limited to 2 packages per consignment, the number of packages per consignment were not limited when there were only button cells (of course, the maximum net battery weight per package restrictions in Table II of each PI must also be met).

Looking Forward to 2017?

Things then look as though they’re changing when reading the Appendix H (Intended Changes for Continue Reading…

Regulatory Helpdesk: November 20, 2017

Top 5 Questions from the Regulatory Helpdesk

Welcome back to the Regulatory Helpdesk where we answer your dangerous goods & hazmat questions. Here are some highlights from our helpdesk last week. Check back weekly, the helpdesk rarely hears the same question twice.

Overpacks

Q. My shipment was refused even though I followed what the regulations and my training said for shipping an overpack. My drums were on a pallet and shrink wrapped. All of the information on the drums could be seen. I placed a sticker with the words “Overpack Used” on the shrink wrap and listed it that way on my paperwork. Can you tell me why my carrier refused it?

A. Per Section 7.1.7 the actual wording that must be used on your pallet is just the word “overpack”. It seems confusing to have different terminology used but that is how the regulations work and why you should be trained every 2 years for IATA.

Using Combustible Liquid, N.O.S. (USA)

Q. Since this product meets the combustible definition, can we use ‘NA1993 Combustible Liquids, n.o.s.’ to ship to Canada or does Canada only recognize the ‘UN1993 Flammable Liquids, n.o.s.’?

A. Basically, to me, she is asking what is the difference between NA1993 and UN1993 and how it impacts transporting into Canada. NA1993 is a US only identification number. It is used for transporting combustible liquids in the US.  Technically, a combustible liquid is NOT Continue Reading…

Single Packaging
UN Specification Packaging Mystery

UN Specification Packaging Mystery

We Got a Mystery to Solve

One of my favorite childhood shows was “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?”. How he and his group of friends could solve all those crazy hauntings and monsters always amazed me. Nothing made me happier than when the culprit was discovered and he uttered the words, “If it weren’t for you pesky kids, I would have gotten away with it.” After all I was only a kid and catching the bad guys was a big deal.

Occasionally during a training class odd questions or little mysteries arise. In those times I can feel like Thelma from my childhood show tracking down the clues and getting an answer. Here is one from one mystery from a recent training. It came about after our discussion on United Nations (UN) Specification Packaging. We had just finished reviewing all the parts of the packaging codes and discussing the manufacturer’s packing instructions as they apply to 49 CFR – US ground regulations. This lead to talking about their actual facility. Below is a picture of a box they have on site for use. They wanted to know if it was in compliance.

Ah, a mystery I can solve.

UN Specification Packaging Mystery 2

In case you didn’t catch why they asked about this particular box and compliance, take a look at the FOUR package specification codes on the box. For most boxes, there is only one code derived from the Continue Reading…