3D rendered IBC
New ASTM Standard for IBCs

Neatly stacked IBCs

ASTM IBC Standards

Recently I wrote a blog about our boxes meeting ASTM standards. For those that weren’t aware, I described ASTM International as an international standards organization that develops and publishes voluntary technical standards for a wide range of products including packaging. In addition to providing standards in the development of corrugated boxes, ASTM can provide guidance in testing hazardous materials packaging, specifically in this case hydrostatic testing of Intermediate Bulk Containers.

Hydrostatic Testing for IBCs is outlined in 49 CFR §178.803 and §178.814.

This states:

The hydrostatic pressure test must be conducted for the qualification of all metal, rigid plastic, and composite IBC design types intended to contain solids that are loaded or discharged under pressure or intended to contain liquids.

However, the current regulations have been described as “limited” on the specific details of how to perform the test. (See video below)

This guide provides the detail on how to conduct pressure testing on IBCs and will provide a more consistent process for container manufacturers, testing labs, and regulatory agencies. The new standard will thus help manufacturers pass performance tests and qualify their container designs to meet requirements of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations as well as the United Nations recommendations on the transport of dangerous goods. The new standard will be published as ASTM D8134 and the scope is listed below:

Scope

ICC's Regulatory Helpdesk
Regulatory Helpdesk: June 4

Variation packaging cushioning material, excepted quantity packaging, UN packaging testing, distributor deadlines for WHMIS 2015, Mexico GHS, and compatibility

Welcome back to the Regulatory Helpdesk where we answer your dangerous goods & hazmat questions. We’re here to help you become independent with – and understand the whys and hows – of the regulations.

Variation Packaging (4GV) Cushioning Material

Q. Can I substitute a different cushioning material in a variation box?
A. In general: “No.” When a UN-standardized package is specified. The various regulations (49 CFR, IATA DGR, IMDG Code, and TDGR), or the standards referenced within them, restrict the user to assembling the package according to the manufacturer’s instructions. These instructions are based on the components used in the submitted test/design reports on which the approval is based. 49 CFR §178.601(g)(4)(iv) even goes to the point of specifically requiring the same type of cushioning as was used in the submission.

Excepted Quantity Packaging

Q. Is it always necessary for the shipper to have performance test results on packaging used to ship “excepted quantities”?
A. This depends on the mode or jurisdiction of transport. 49 CFR [§173.4a(f)], IATA DGR (§2.6.6) and IMDG Code (§3.5.3) all require that the shipper ensure that testing has been done and documented. This doesn’t need to be externally certified or approved. TDGR [§1.17.1(3)] does not require specific testing, only that packaging is “… designed, constructed, filled, Continue Reading…
DOT 49 CFR USA
No Placards, No CDL Endorsement – USA Only

Truck Driving on highway at sunset

Hazmat Certification Under Placarding Exemption

The US DOT recently issued a “Letter of Interpretation” (LoI) regarding the lack of a need for a driver to have a hazmat (hazardous materials) endorsement on the CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) when transporting Class 9 hazmat within the US, despite the presence of Class 9 placards.

Changing Modes without Removing Placards

This situation is likely to occur when foreign shipments arrive which did not have the equivalent to the US 49 CFR §172.504(f)(9) conditional exception for Class 9 placarding, and are to be transported to their US destination.

An example would be if a Class 9 consignment arrives by vessel, which has placarding in conformance with the IMDG Code, and is picked up for road transport without removing the placards.

Even if the placards are not removed, there is not a requirement for the hazmat-endorsed CDL (equivalent to a TDG training certificate- for readers North of the 49th, metonymically speaking).

Note that, despite the exception for an actual Class 9 placard, §172.504(f)(9) does require bulk packages to be marked with at least the UN number.

Key to the Endorsement Exemption

49 CFR §383.93(b)(4) invokes the need for a hazmat CDL when the definition of hazmat in 383.5 is met. For substances defined as hazardous in 49 U.S. Code §5103(a) and (other than infectious substances/ biotoxins in 42 CFR §73) requiring placards, the CDL endorsement is required.

Thus, for most Continue Reading…

Lithium
How to Ship Damaged or Defective Lithium Batteries

Swollen lithium polymer batteries. Dangerous and harmful electronic waste

Regular Damaged or Defective or Dangerous Damaged or Defective?

There is a fair amount of interest in the topic of preparing Damaged or Defective (DoD) lithium batteries for transport and how to make a determination of the degree of hazard they present.

The current (20th) 2017 Edition of the Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (UN Model) Regulations have addressed the former (packaging for transport) aspect, but the documents currently posted have not yet established firm protocols for the latter.

The situations involving recalls of defective, unsafe batteries and incidents during transportation has sustained the efforts to find better ways of dealing with them. The topic has been under discussion at the United Nations Sub-Committee of Experts on the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) in most sessions over the last several years.

For this discussion we’ll refer to cells/batteries that do not meet the UN Manual of Test criteria due to damage or defect, without specific safety hazards, as “regular” DoD; and those that “are liable to disassemble rapidly, react dangerously, produce a flame or a dangerous evolution of heat, or produce a dangerous emission of toxic, corrosive or flammable gases or vapours” as “dangerous” DoD.

This distinction is proposed for clarification in the next version (21st Edition) of the UN Model. See, for example, working document ST/SG/AC.10C.3/2018/51:
http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/trans/doc/2018/dgac10c3/ST-SG-AC.10-C.3-2018-51e.pdf

Batteries or Reactive Substances?

As a technicality, we should pause to consider the basic Continue Reading…

ICC's Regulatory Helpdesk
Regulatory Helpdesk: May 21

Limited quantities, manufacture expiry dates, regulated or not regulated, and reclassifying flammables to combustibles.

Welcome back to the Regulatory Helpdesk where we answer your dangerous goods & hazmat questions. We’re here to help you become independent with – and understand the whys and hows – of the regulations.

Limited Quantity Limits (TDG)

Q. Customer called and asked if he can ship a box with 16 liters of UN1219 in inner containers as a limited quantity through ground in Canada.
A. The max according to the TDG is 1 L for limited quantity, so they can’t ship limited quantity.

Manufacture Expiry Dates

Q. Can you tell me if both the manufacturer and expiration dates are required to be on each label? Or if we have the option of just stating the manufacture date and verbiage that states the product is good for two years after the manufacture date? Also, would you happen to know which regulatory agency monitors these types of things?
A. The expiration date or manufactured date are not requirements of a GHS label. OSHA and The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals considers this supplementary Information, which is permissible as long as it doesn’t contradict any other information on the label, but they are not required components of the label.

Combustible materials (49 CFR)

Q. We have some drums of a material classified as NA1993 Combustible Liquid and only ever Continue Reading…

ICC's Regulatory Helpdesk
Regulatory Helpdesk: May 14

Classification, Personal Electronic Devices, Consumer Commodities, and Preparing Hazardous Materials for Transport

Welcome back to the Regulatory Helpdesk where we answer your dangerous goods & hazmat questions. We’re here to help you become independent with – and understand the whys and hows – of the regulations.

Classification Question

Q. I’m trying to verify how to ship a drum that has a flashpoint of 170° F and is a marine pollutant to Japan. My company has to get it to the port and then it will go on a boat. The SDS says it is a combustible liquid NA1993 but Japan doesn’t have that designation.

Do I ship this product as UN1993?

A. No. The flashpoint of 170° F puts you well beyond the limits of any packing group for a Class 3 flammable liquid, n.o.s. under UN1993. The flashpoint does qualify as a combustible liquid but it would only be regulated in a bulk packaging.

Your drum is not bulk. Technically the “flammability” aspect of this is now a moot point. Since you know the material is a marine pollutant, shipping it as UN3082 would be the best bet.

Personal Electronic Devices

Q. I have an employee flying from the US to Greece with a satellite phone so he can have access to the office and home while he is on vacation. Does he need to do anything different or follow any regulations?
A. No. Continue Reading…
ICC's Regulatory Helpdesk
Regulatory Helpdesk: May 7

IATA declaration, limited quantity labels, training requirements, and placarding

Welcome back to the Regulatory Helpdesk where we answer your dangerous goods & hazmat questions. We’re here to help you become independent with – and understand the whys and hows – of the regulations.

Listing Overpack on a Declaration (IATA)

Q. Caller needed to clarify what should be listed on an IATA declaration for an overpack.  I have 2 overpacks of the exact same thing. The overpack is 2 drums inside an outer overpack box. Each drum holds 18.9 L. I have it listed as “Overpack Used x 2”. For the alphanumeric identifier for each it is “Box 1” and “Box 2”. How do I list the “total quantity per overpack”?
A. Take a look at Figure 8.1.L. It shows multiple identical overpacks. The example shows 200 boxes each with a weight of 0.2 kg in each overpack. It then lists the total quantity per overpack as 40 kg, which is the result of the 200 boxes multiplied by the 0.2 kg.

For her question then it would be 2 drums multiplied by the volume of 18.9 L. The total quantity per overpack is then 37.8 L.

Limited Quantity Labels

Q. Caller was on our website and had a question about LQ marks/labels. He has a distributor in Canada that will be shipping fire extinguishers to a location in the US from Canada. They use the LQ label in Canada Continue Reading…
PHMSA/DOT Update: Label Border Line Thickness

HM-215N Update: Clarification on 2mm label border line thickness

2mm Label Border Requirement Changed

As most hazardous goods professionals know, HM-215N was intended to harmonize the 49 CFR regulations with the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods—Model Regulations (UN Model Regulations), International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code), and the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (ICAO Technical Instructions).

Among many other mandates, the final ruling ultimately revised §172.407 (c)(1)(iii), which changed the required width of the solid line forming the inner border of hazard class labels to a minimum of 2mm thick allowing for a transition period for domestic transportation to be in effect until December 31, 2018 in a final rule published in March of 2017.

“Approximately” vs “At Least”

Although this ruling intended to improve consistency in labeling specifications worldwide, the language has caused confusion at the international level, and The United Nations Subcommittee of Experts recently adopted new language to clarify the width of the line may be “approximately” 2 mm instead of “at least” 2mm.

As a result, earlier this year in response to the industry’s request for clarification, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) rescinded the requirement for label borders to be at least 2mm in thickness.

This action will officially take effect on January 1, 2019. However, US enforcement inspectors currently still have been referring to the Continue Reading…

ICC's Regulatory Helpdesk
Regulatory Helpdesk: April 23

Using absorbents with variation packaging, UN marking height, limited quantity, and de minimis quantities

Welcome back to the Regulatory Helpdesk where we answer your dangerous goods & hazmat questions. We’re here to help you become independent with – and understand the whys and hows – of the regulations.

Absorbent Materials in Variation Packaging

Q. Can I use absorbent padding instead of the vermiculite as the absorbent in a 4GV package that was tested with vermiculite?
A. Per the 49 CFR §178.601, the packaging must meet the standard to which it is certified and the material must be of the same type or design as used in the tested design type, in this case vermiculite. Therefore vermiculite would have to be used to comply with the regulations.

UN Number Height

Q. Is there a minimum size requirement for the UN number on a lithium battery mark?
A. The only place that a specific size requirement is referenced regarding the UN number on a lithium battery mark is in the IATA DGR – §7.1.5.5.2(b)- which states that the UN number “should be” at least 12 mm high.

None of the other common (49 CFR §173.185(c)(3)(i); IMDG §5.2.1.10; TDG §4.24; or UN Model §5.2.1.9) regulations quote a minimum UN number size specifically for the lithium battery mark. All of the regulations referenced allow for proportional reduction, of features without specified dimensions, when the authorized Continue Reading…

ICC's Regulatory Helpdesk
Regulatory Helpdesk: April 16

WHMIS 2015 concentration ranges, training, overpacks, segregation and non-DG in DG packaging

Welcome back to the Regulatory Helpdesk where we answer your dangerous goods & hazmat questions. We’re here to help you become independent with – and understand the whys and hows – of the regulations.

New WHMIS 2015 Concentration Ranges

Q. There is a very specific list of approved concentration ranges listed in the CA regulations.  We had previously set up our ranges to be .1-10%, 10-20%, 20-30%, etc. (groupings of 10) and always included the “trade secret” caveat after our concentration list. Would this still be considered “compliant” for Canada, meaning using our ranges vs. their list of ranges?
A. There is a Regulatory Impact Assessment file that was sent out to stakeholders by Health Canada a couple days before the new amendment appeared in the Gazette II.

Under the comments received section of that file was the following:

Use of the prescribed ranges

One stakeholder agreed with the proposed amendment as it read in the context of the CGI publications, but asked for the following clarification: can smaller ranges be used if they (1) fall within an existing range, e.g. using 3.8-4.5% rather than 3-5% (as listed), or (2) when combining up to three prescribed ranges, e.g. combining ranges (e), (f), and (g) would be 5-30% but using 6-28% instead. Health Canada clarified that the prescribed concentration ranges are Continue Reading…