The US Postal Service is taking a positive step to improve the safety of liquid packaging shipments. This step is significant, as the industry will begin to incorporate some components of UN 4GV combination packaging requirements among a wide variety of changes soon to be implemented. Here at ICC, we help you understand what these changes are and provide the solutions that ensure you meet these new stringent requirements.
The Postal Service has observed that a significant percentage of liquid spills results from mailers misinterpreting the existing packaging requirements for liquids, thinking their non-metal containers are not breakable. However, non-metal containers (i.e., plastic, glass, earthenware, etc.) are often the source of liquid spills in Postal Service networks. As a result, on July 9th of 2018, the US Postal Service proposed a new rulemaking on standards for mail pieces containing liquids. There was a comment period requesting public feedback on the proposed rules until September 18, 2018.
The proposed rule addressed two components:
Clarification of existing language that specified packaging and markings for mail pieces that contain liquids in containers greater than 4 fluid ounces; and
Extending the triple-packaging requirement for breakable primary containers with 4 ounces or less.
What are the Changes and the Compliance Solutions?
Effective on March 28, 2019, the adopted changes published in the final rule include:
Much like Sheryl Crow sang, “A change, could do you good”, at least one would hope. When it comes to PHMSA, change is aimed at improving an already existing process, or adding a new process we can all benefit from. So in this case, I believe Sheryl Crow is right.
With that being said, The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), recently issued a final rule that requires railroads to create and submit Comprehensive Oil Spill Response Plans for route segments traveled by High Hazard Flammable Trains also called HHFTs. The rule applies to these trains that are transporting petroleum oil in a block of 20 or more loaded tank cars and trains that have a total of 35 loaded petroleum oil tank cars.
Why the Change?
Incidents involving crude oil can have devastating consequences to local communities and the environment. Countering these effects on the environment can take between a few weeks to many years, depending on the damage caused. For this reason, fast and effective response is essential to rail accidents containing oil. The 174-page final rule is designed to improve the response readiness and decrease the effects of rail accidents and incidents involving petroleum oil and a flammable train. The agency said the rule also is needed due to expansion in U.S. energy production having led to “significant challenges for the Continue Reading…
Sometimes no matter how many precautions you take, there is no way to stop the inevitable. Football players with helmets designed to protect their brains still get concussions. You cross every “t” and dot every “i” on your federal income tax return and you still get audited. And sometimes even if you follow all of the safety tips for lithium ion batteries in my previous blog, they still can explode. http://blog.thecompliancecenter.com/safety-tips-for-lithium-ion-batteries/
However, by not taking the proper preventative measures in all of the cases listed above, the chances of a negative outcome can be greatly increased. With the travel season looking to pick-up in the coming months and many of us looking to hop on a plane and head out to our idea of paradise, I think it is safe to say that none of us want to end up in a situation like the story below.
Just like any other domestic flight, passengers on a Delta flight in New York City were stowing their carry on items in the overhead storage bins and preparing for take-off for a scheduled departure to Houston, Texas. Suddenly, passengers started to smell something burning, similar to the smell of a camp-fire. It was at that point that passengers started to see smoke in the cabin and begin panicking. The panic was caused by a vape pen that started smoldering Continue Reading…
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-24DU
The clear tape required for closure of this packaging has changed from 2 strips of 3M #305 48mm wide clear tape to 1 strip of 3M #375 48mm wide clear tape. This change to a stronger tape caused the box to perform better in drop tests, resulting in a more secure packaging.
If you have any questions or concerns, please
contact our customer relations center in the US at 888-442-9628 or in Canada at
With another government shutdown possibly looming again in the United States in mid-February, many are wondering how this affects the hazardous materials world, specifically those looking to ship domestically or shipments that are entering the U.S. Whether or not you agree or disagree with the shutdown, I think it is safe to say we can all agree on the importance of the continuing enforcement of the hazardous materials regulations. So the million dollar question here is, will the government shutdown have an effect on PHMSA? The short answer here, for the time being, is yes, but not in all cases. While activities like program developments, research, and HMR permits have generally been suspended, enforcement of the regulations and investigations have continued. Below is a list of continuing operations and suspended activities while this government shutdown continues to take place.
Summary of Continuing Operations
• Investigations of pipeline accidents to determine the causes and circumstances of failure, the need for corrective action, and any non-compliance that might have contributed to the accident.
• Inspections of pipeline operators and systems to detect and remediate safety concerns and determine compliance with the pipeline safety regulations.
• Enforcement of the pipeline safety regulations through corrective action orders, notices of probable violations, letters of warning and other authorized enforcement activities.
• Investigations of hazardous materials accidents to determine the causes and circumstances of failure, the need Continue Reading…
Last month I wrote a blog regarding penalty fees Amazon was looking to implement for packages that fail to comply with safety requirements when shipping dangerous goods. Amazon ultimately decided to take this a step further adding storage, and fulfillment fees for products they deem asdangerous goods.
Who does this affect?
For sellers that utilize Amazon’s FBA program (Fulfillment By Amazon) in which third-party sellers send their goods to be stored, picked, packed, and shipped in Amazon warehouses before they are sold on Amazon, some of the new fees will go into effect on February 19, 2019, according to a note on Amazon’s forum for sellers.
Specifically, Amazon announced that it will be introducing a new fee for “dangerous” items like aerosol cans, and lithium-ion batteries that sellers send to Amazon warehouses. The fees will be higher than the regular fees Amazon charges for using Fulfillment By Amazon.
What are the fees?
The table below shows the new monthly inventory storage fees for dangerous goods containing flammable or pressurized aerosol substances. This change will first be reflected in April 2019 charges for storage that occurs in March 2019.
January – September
$0.99 per cubic foot
$0.78 per cubic foot
October – December
$3.63 per cubic foot
$2.43 per cubic foot
Other fees include an introduction of separate fulfillment fees for dangerous goods that contain flammable or pressurized aerosol substances, and items that contain lithium-ion batteries.
With the holiday season many of us are opting out of the busy malls and stores, and simply shopping from the comfort of our own homes. To make this option even more enticing some retailers are even offering free 2-day shipping during the holiday season. While this seems like a win-win situation for all there are some obstacles that have been coming to the surface, and unfortunately we are not just talking about late deliveries. According to the Office of Hazardous Materials Safety, the world’s largest internet retailer, Amazon, has seen a sharp increase in reports of shipments allegedly violating the U.S. Department of Transportation regulations. In 2009, Amazon only had two incident reports, but that number jumped to 32 in 2016 before reaching 42 so far this year. This has caused Amazon to ultimately respond as they soon plan on adding new penalty fees for packages that fail to comply with its safety requirements.
The main issue here is many third-party sellers on Amazon aren’t trained to ship dangerous goods, and simply don’t understand that what they are shipping is indeed hazardous. These third-party sellers often don’t realize what actions need to be taken per the Hazardous Material Regulations that exist to safeguard those who may come in contact with the dangerous goods. For that reason, often times the correct labeling, packaging, and paperwork required to Continue Reading…
In the dangerous goods world things can change fast, so it is very important to be aware of the most up-to-the-minute changes. Much like in the video below, this can feel like an endless chase, but nevertheless we have to keep up the pace to stay within compliance of the changing regulations.
This not only goes for the regulations themselves, but also the penalties involved with being out of compliance. In Subpart D of Part 107 Hazardous Materials Program Procedures, there is a section entitled Enforcement, which outlines the civil and criminal penalties in the event you are non-compliant with the regulations. Being a federal agency, PHMSA must adjust their penalty rates each year to account for inflation. As of Tuesday, November 27, 2018, the new penalty rates officially go into effect. For this year it is a simple calculation, multiply the existing penalty by 1.02041, round up, and this will give you the new penalty.
A violation of hazardous materials transportation law under 49 U.S.C. 5123(a)(1) is going from $78,376 to $79,976.
A violation of hazardous materials transportation law resulting in death, serious illness, severe injury, or substantial property destruction under 49 U.S.C. 5123(a)(2) is going from $182,877 to $186,610.
A complete list of the penalty rate changes can be found at the link below:
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-15SP (PK-15SP).
The maximum gross weight allowance for this design has been increased from 19.6Kg to 31 kg. The specification marking that is printed on the boxes has been updated to reflect this change.
As we all know, when shipping dangerous goods the shipper has the following responsibilities
Proper markings on the packaging.
Proper description on the shipping papers.
All 3 require training in hazardous materials. However, what if the proper packaging isn’t available? After all, it is also our responsibility to prevent loss and damage during normal transportation and handling according to FedEx. In the last several years here at ICC, the need for paint can shippers that don’t leak and dent has gone through the roof. I have been contacted by several different large paint distributors all looking to solve the same riddle; how do I get my paint cans from point A to point B without damage and leaking? Challenge accepted! The first step is to decide what metric to use to determine if the packaging will damage or leak during normal transit. Well a while back I wrote a blog on ISTA 6-FEDEX-A testing, http://blog.thecompliancecenter.com/ista-series-6-6-fedex-a-testing-vs-standard-un-testing/, which helps determine how well a package will perform out in the field. So I figured that would be a good starting point. Basically, our goal was to create paint can shippers that not only would survive the 10 drops from 30 inches up that the FedEx testing requires, but also have minimal to no damage on the paint cans at all.