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2018 United Nations Regulatory Updates
Palais des Nations in Geneva

What’s New at the UN for Transport?

At this time of year all the regulatory updates start. Every time a notation comes across my desk or email I can’t help but think about a famous line in the movie “Sixteen Candles”. That particular line is “What’s happening hot stuff?” Click here to see the actual movie clip. One of these days, I want a presentation to start with this. It would sure break the ice on some rather detailed subject matter.

Having prepared you for thinking about what’s happening or changing, we have to start at the UN level specifically. Much of this information comes from a presentation by Duane Pfund at the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. We need to focus on is what changed from the 2015 – 2016 biennium. That biennium gave us Revision 20 of the UN Model Recommendations for the Transport of Dangerous Goods. Revision 20 is what will drive the changes starting in January 2019.

What’s Happening or Changing for 2019?

  • Class 8 Corrosive Materials:
    • A new alternative method for classifying these mixtures is being introduced. It revolves around using the GHS Purple Book bridging principles and calculation methods. Note that flammable gases and explosives are on the list for this same concept in the current biennium.
  • Dangerous Goods in Articles:
    • This is a “hot” topic for many because it is so new. This is for those defined articles that contain dangerous goods or hazardous materials inside them. However, for these particular ones, they contain amounts over the limits established by the limited quantity exception.
  • Lithium Battery Test Summary Document:
    • The old adage, “the proof is in the pudding” comes into play. Manufacturers and distributors of lithium batteries must provide the results of the §38.3 tests when asked. Transporters no longer have to just “trust” the batteries are compliant. This document will likely have more than that though because of safety concerns at the consumer level. 
  • New Technologies Using Lithium Batteries:
    • This is why new versions of the regulations are so important.  There is now information and criteria for hybrid batteries and those in cargo transport units.

Just to pique your interest, here is a listing of the topics on the list for the 2017 – 2018 biennium. These should come into play in the 2021 versions of the transport regulations. It doesn’t hurt to starting planning in advance.

Those topics include the following:

  • Pyrophoric gases
  • Fireworks classification table
  • Dual UN specification packaging markings
  • UN standard for fiber reinforced plastic portable tanks

If you haven’t yet purchased your new versions of the IATA 60th edition or the 39-18 version of IMDG, give us a call today. We currently have a great pre-sale happening that will save you some money and free you up for one of our updated training courses that will be available in January of 2019.

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