Don’t Turn Your Vacation into an Embarrassing Headline

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.

What Happened?

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…

Single Packaging
BX-24DU Change Notice

Dear Valued Customer,

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 (PK-MT-124).

  1. 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 888-977-4834.

Thank you,

Michael S. Zendano

Packaging Specialist

Government Shutdown- How Does This Affect PHMSA??

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…

New Dangerous Goods Fees to Go in Effect for Amazon

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.

Storage Month Standard Size Oversize
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.

Too see Continue Reading…

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Amazon Now Targeting Sellers That Ship Unsafe Packages to Warehouses

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.

Incidents

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…

Another PHMSA Penalty Increase

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.

For example:

  • 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:

https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-11-27/pdf/2018-24930.pdf

Why is this an issue? If you have the latest hardcopy of the 49 Continue Reading…

Single Packaging
Change Notice: BX-15SP

Dear Valued Customer,

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. 
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 and Regulatory Specialist

BX-15SP 4GV UN packaging
Securepacc Paint Cans packaging
Solving the Damaged Paint Can Riddle
Simulation of damaged paint cans during transport

As we all know, when shipping dangerous goods the shipper has the following responsibilities

  • Proper packaging.
  • 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.

Quart/Liter Shippers

Securepacc™ quart/liter shipper

During the testing Continue Reading…

Single Packaging
UN Packaging Need Forecasted to Grow!!!

Although the various regulations continue to change year by year, the need for UN packaging continues to be a necessity for dangerous goods shippers. In fact, a recent report predicts the need for UN packaging will continue to grow over the next decade. The growth of the UN packaging market is expected to be mainly driven by the need for safe and secure packaging for dangerous goods that need special handling. The report is based on a compilation of first-hand information, assessments by industry analysts, and input from industry experts and participants across the value chain. A request for a sample copy of the report can be made here.

Why is Growth Expected?

Customization of UN packaging for specific designs is expected to lead to new market avenues of growth for the global hazmat packaging market. For example, a wide variety of sizes of lithium batteries and other solid articles are out there on the market, and oftentimes stock items aren’t available that meet the specific dimensions that are needed. With reliance on items containing lithium batteries expecting to increase, so will the need to package them.

In addition, since non-compliance within the various regulations of hazardous materials can be costly due to fines and rejections, shippers and end users simply prefer UN packaging in order to comply with the regulations and maintain an element of safety within Continue Reading…

Single Packaging
Change Notice: BX-72 AND BX-12QT20PT

Dear Valued Customer,

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 the BX-72 (PK-RLGALC) and BX-12QT20PT (PK-MT12QT20PT).

  1. The clear tape required for closure of the BX-72 has changed from 3M #305 48 mm wide clear tape to 3M #375 48 mm wide clear tape. This change to a stronger tape caused the box to perform better in drop tests, resulting in a more secure packaging.
  2. The maximum gross weight allowance for The BX-12QT20PT has been increased from 22.0 kg to 23.7 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