IATA
IATA Expresses Concerns over Laptop Ban

Laptop on wood table

Rethinking the Laptop Ban

Back in March, The United States Government implemented a ban on carry on electronic devices on certain airlines from the Middle East and Africa to the U.S. due to security fears of a potential bomb threat. However, IATA recently called for the government to re-think this current policy as it has opened up an array of financial concerns for the affected airlines.

Financial Concerns

Since the ban on laptops in carry-on baggage was initiated in March, airlines are finding implementation of the ban has been a financial burden. In addition, governments did not consult with IATA, which gave airlines little time to implement the ban. As passengers are now forced to check their laptop computers, the affected airlines had to increase the training of the current staff as well deploy extra staff due to the increased handling of cargo hold baggage. In addition, the affected airlines fear that companies will cancel trips rather than risk losing confidential information in checked laptops, causing a potential decrease in business customers.

It is estimated that the ban affects more than 18,000 daily passengers, in particular Gulf carriers and airports have noted a drop in passenger traffic between their hubs and the United States. There is certainly a risk of affected airlines losing frustrated passengers to other carriers not affected by the ban. From a systematic point of view, the ban has caused slower moving security lines at the airports due to more thorough baggage screening measures, triggering a surge in departure delays. In the ban’s current scope, IATA has estimated that the ban could cost $180 million in lost productivity, which could increase to $1.2 billion if the ban is eventually expanded to Europe-US flights.

Airport security, laptop ban

Alternatives to Banning Devices

IATA is recommending various alternatives to potentially replace the current ban. These recommendations include the use of explosive trace detection at primary and secondary security checkpoints, visual inspection of electronic devices for signs of any alterations, questioning passengers about the purpose and origin of the device, the possibility of turning on the device to help determine its functionality, the deployment of “behavioral detection” officers and canines, recognition of trusted traveler programs and the identification of high or low-risk passengers, and increased training for screeners to detect potential threats from electronic devices and laptops.

It is unknown whether or not IATA’s recommendations will ever come to fruition. In the meantime, we will have to wait and see how long this ban will be in affect and how much it will cost the carriers in the long run.

Sources

http://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/air-transport/2017-05-17/iata-urges-restraint-possible-new-electronics-ban

https://www.businesstraveller.com/news/2017/06/07/iata-appeals-alternatives-laptop-ban/

http://www.news.com.au/world/breaking-news/us-mulls-banning-more-electronics-in-air/news-story/58f268e2ee31224979f67853efead8dc

https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/air-transport/2017-06-08/unanswered-questions-over-electronics-ban-irk-iata

Air – TDG Part 12 Pre-Amendment Consultation

Ground and air transport

Time Flies

Transport Canada, in what has become a series of proposed amendments, has issued a consultation White Paper on updates to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Regulations (TDGR) Part 12 Air.

This part references the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Technical Instructions (TI) along with TDG-specific supplemental requirements and exemptions. Some ICAO references date back to 2002 and changes to the TI have made some TDG provisions redundant or in need of updating. Also, there are some clarifications proposed to better align with the Canadian Aviation Regulations under the Aeronautics Act.

In the interest of clarification, Transport Canada hopes to increase the “one window” approach, wherein material is incorporated into the Part 12 TDGR rather than simply referencing an external document. This self-contained approach will still have to consider that changes to external documents might make references a more practical approach in some areas. The objective is also to harmonize this proposal with the “dynamic” (aka “ambulatory”) approach taken with the TDG International Harmonization Amendment.

Related Posts

TP14850 Update Consultation – May 2017 Draft
The Clock is Ticking – 3 Recent TDG Proposals
TDG Update: Proposed Harmonization/

Geography Counts – Limited Access Exemptions

A potential improvement to Part 12 includes adding a definition of “Limited Access”. The proposed definition reads:

“a location to or from which the transport of dangerous goods by means other than by aircraft is not reasonably possible, for at least three (3) consecutive months per year.”

The journey would not be restricted to a specific time of year. However, a journey from a non-limited access location, to a second non-limited access location, ending at a third limited access location, can only apply a Limited Access exemption provision between the second and third destination. The first to second flight must comply (an example is given in the White Paper, with further clarification in Annex B “Details…” to the White Paper).

Another clarification in the proposal is to reinforce the carrier’s “consignor” responsibilities when accepting shipments under Limited Access exemption.

Changes – Additions – Deletions

No section of the current TDG Part 12 is untouched by this proposal. In addition to clarifying Limited Access criteria and other modifications, new provisions are proposed for: “animal repellants” (e.g. bear spray), UN3012 “signal cartridges” (e.g. “bear bangers”), DG required to provide emergency services or aerial fire suppression, DG for operation of an aircraft, or DG transported by peace officer in the exercise of duties.

Some provisions considered redundant, or excessively exempted, under current IATA TI that may be removed include the current sections: 12.6 (toxic and infectious substances), 12.8 (Packing Instruction Y963), 12.9(12) (sodium chlorite and hypochlorite solutions), 12.11 (geological core samples), 12.13 (measuring instruments). Some existing “Equivalency Certificates” will be withdrawn as a result of changes formalizing the exemption in the proposed amendment.

Interested parties have until August 8, 2017 to provide input to this pre-Gazette I proposal. The Gazette I notice is expected to be published by early 2018.

Annex B to the White Paper provides a fairly readable map to the changes. The link below introduces the proposal, and contains further links to the White Paper, Annexes, background documents and feedback options:

http://www.letstalktransportation.ca/part12air

ICAO
ICAO Issues Updated State Variation Addendum for 2017

Cargo loading on aircraft

Updated State Variations

International shippers of dangerous goods by air have one advantage over shippers by other modes. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) includes in its Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air a list of “state variations”. These indicate which countries have additional restrictions and requirements placed upon dangerous goods traveling to, from, or through those countries. Being aware of such variations can save shippers significant time and money – if your goods must travel through, say, Norway, your shipment might be stopped or even seized if Norwegian regulations don’t allow it.

Of course, as regulations and related information develop over time, these variations will change, sometimes faster than the actual Technical Instructions themselves. On May 19th, ICAO published an addendum to the state variations that were published in the 2017-2018 edition of the Technical Instructions. While there have not been a lot of changes, some of these are significant for shippers who must obtain permits or exemptions from state authorities, and one eases the requirements for shipping engines by aircraft in the United States.

The changed variations in the Addendum include the following:

Belgium – Variations BE1 specifies the regulation in which to find the Belgian definition of “explosive.” BE2 gives new contact numbers for the government department responsible for prior authorization for shipments of explosives, while BE4 gives new contact numbers for authorization of radioactive substances. Finally, variation BE5, regarding approvals for dangerous goods carriers, has been deleted

Germany – DE4 gives new contact information for applications for exemptions.

Italy – IT5 updates requirements for obtaining authorization for shipping explosives, weapons, and ammunition to, from, or through Italy.

Saudi Arabia – SA4 gives new contact details when applying for prior permission for shipping explosives and munitions of war through that country.

United States – UN3258 (Engine, internal combustion, flammable liquid powered or Engine, fuel cell, flammable liquid powered or Machinery, internal combustion, flammable liquid powered or Machinery, fuel cell, flammable liquid powered) and UN3259 (Engine, internal combustion, flammable gas powered or Engine, fuel cell, flammable gas powered or Machinery, internal combustion, flammable gas powered or Machinery, fuel cell, flammable gas powered) are no longer considered subject to the loading restrictions in the variation US13(d). This will make load planning easier for airlines.

The full list of ICAO state variations (including the updates) can be found at:
https://www.icao.int/safety/DangerousGoods/Pages/StateVariationPage.aspx

If you have questions about the worldwide transport of dangerous goods by air, please contact our regulatory staff at ICC Compliance Center at 1.888.977.4834 (Canada) or 1.888.442.9628 (USA).

Airplane Icon
FAA Short Audit Answers

Cargo loading on aircraft

Common Errors When Shipping by Air

At a recent training, the group hosting invited someone from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to come and speak. Throughout the brief discussion, the speaker mentioned things she sees most often while doing site audits. Listed below are a few of the main items. See if you can guess what the officer sees during audits that is not accurate.

  1. Retention of Shipping Papers: In IATA, the retention of documentation is found in Section 8.0.2.2. According to this section the declaration of dangerous goods “must” be maintained for a minimum of 3 months. There are no state or operator variations attached to this section which may be why people get caught. In United States’ variation USG-01 it clearly tells shippers the document must be maintained by not less than 2 years.
    • Error Found: Only 3 months’ worth of documentation can be produced during an audit.
  2. Use of Technical Names: Entries in the blue pages listed with a star (*) symbol tells the shipper a technical name is needed.  Section 4.1.2.1(d) outlines how to determine the name, the number or names, and the type of names allowed. “The technical name must be a recognized chemical or biological name or other name currently used in scientific and technical handbooks, texts and journals. Trade names must not be used.
    • Error Found: The trade name or retail name is listed on the packages and shipping papers.
  3. Classification: The same 9 hazard classes are used in all transport regulations. The classification of materials into those hazard classes is also the same. However, there are some items that are country specific.
    • Error Found: The shipper tried to put an ORM-D package on an air shipment.
    • Error Found: A shipper packaged, marked and labeled a bulk package as Combustible under the DOT regulations and then attempted to send it via air where it is not regulated.
  4. Training Records: There is a very clear listing of what records of training should include. This information is in Section 1.5.5. It includes the employee’s name, the completion month, the name and address of the organization providing the training and some evidence that a test was completed satisfactorily.
    • Error Found: The certificate shown to the auditor had no indication of being tested.
    • Error Found: There was no address for the training organization.
  5. Emergency Response Phone Number: Another country specific requirement found in the state variations for the US is specifics for the emergency response telephone number. In USG-12 is the statement, “… the number must be monitored at all times… .”
    • Error Found: The emergency response number was disconnected and no longer in service.

These are just a few of the incidents noticed by the FAA inspector. The speaker mentioned her team does checks at all times of the day and night. This is not to “catch” you but to ensure hazardous materials/dangerous goods are being properly handled for transport. Interestingly enough, if your site completes a DOT Form 5800.1, a visit from the FAA is likely.

The point is, review your location and process. Just because you haven’t had a visit in a while or had a package refused doesn’t mean you are in the clear. ICC Compliance Centers offers a variety of auditing services. Contact us today to see how we can help you prepare for your next “visit” from the FAA.

Lithium
IATA Issues Guidance for “Smart Luggage”

luggage at an airport

The Problem with Smart Luggage

Some of you may remember the old credit card commercial that featured the epic journey of a self-propelled suitcase seeking its lost owner. Well, it turns out this wasn’t so entirely fantastic. There’s a new generation of “smart luggage” hitting the market that can tell airlines electronically who it belongs to and where it’s going, trail after you down airport hallways without a handle, and charge your cellphone if you can’t make it to one of those electrical outlets airports seem to hide on purpose. Some will even double as transport devices themselves, allowing travelers to zip around terminals on their own electric suitcase-scooters.

But these modern technologies come with a problem that’s often overlooked. The energy sources for all these seemingly-magical functions are usually lithium batteries. Lithium batteries are one of the main causes of fires related to dangerous goods on aircraft. So travelling with the newest piece of high tech luggage can bring headaches both for the traveller and the airline he or she flies on.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has for many years established rules for equipment containing lithium batteries carried by passengers or crew, but dangerous luggage is a new area. To help, they’ve published a guidance document that covers the dangers associated with such luggage, and instructions on how it can be carried safely.

The document lists various types of “smart luggage” that may include lithium batteries, including:

  • Lithium ion battery and motor allowing it to be used as a personal transportation device, either as a stand-up scooter, or sit on vehicle. These devices do not meet the criteria of a mobility device.
  • Lithium ion battery power bank that allows charging of other electronic devices such as mobile phones, tablets and laptops.
  • GPS tracking devices with or without GSM capability.
  • Bluetooth, RFID and Wi-Fi capability.
  • Electronic baggage tags.
  • Electronic locks.
  • Lithium ion battery, motor and tracking device (GPS) allowing the bag to self-propel and “follow” the owner.

Such items are classified by IATA as “portable electronic devices” (PEDs). While PEDs have been covered by the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations section 2.3 when carried by passengers or crew, the new devices present some extra problems.

The Guidance Document covers topics such as:

  • When do PEDs require pre-approval by airlines?
  • What special requirements apply for devices such as luggage trackers, which must be kept active during transport?
  • Can powered luggage be carried as “lithium batteries contained in equipment”
  • How should airline staff handle lithium battery-powered luggage at the gate and during loading?
  • How should flight crew handle on-board fires involving PEDs?

Owners of PED luggage should be aware that travelling with them may be more difficult than, say, carrying a cellphone on an airplane. IATA has declared that, “no lithium battery contained in a bag may be considered as ‘installed in equipment.'” This means that the battery would not be permitted as checked baggage. Instead, you would have to remove the battery and take it a carry-on item. (Spare batteries and power banks are only permitted as carry-on luggage.)

IATA says:

Any PED equipped with a power bank offered as checked baggage must have the power bank removed prior to being checked-in. The power bank must then be carried in the passenger’s carry-on baggage where permitted by security regulations… Where a bag intended to be carried in the cabin is surrendered at the boarding gate or on the aircraft to be loaded in the cargo compartment the passenger should be asked if the bag contains any spare lithium batteries, including power banks. Where it is identified that there are spare lithium batteries or power banks, the passenger must remove them from the bag before it can be loaded into the cargo compartment. The spare battery / power bank must then be carried in the cabin, where permitted by security regulations.

Expect to see airlines start to promote awareness of the hazards of battery-powered luggage, and to inquire at check-in if your luggage contains lithium batteries.

Despite their inherent dangers, we can’t help but think self-powered luggage is has an undeniable “cool factor”. IATA has included links to several manufacturers in the guidance document as examples of equipment the airlines may expect to see over the next few years, and you might want to check them out. Is it time to reinvent the suitcase?

If you have questions about shipping lithium batteries or battery-powered equipment, call us here at ICC Compliance Center 1.888.977.4834 (Canada) or 1.888.442.9628 (USA).

OSHA Safety
Compliance Language

Current Dangerous Goods Regulations

Terminology in Regulatory Manuals

Language, as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is the formal system of words or signs that people use to express thoughts and feelings. Learning a new language is often a complex undertaking. It is also a time that lends itself to funny stories. While living in Austria for a few years taking German lessons was part of our visa process. We were encouraged to practice often. On one of my first attempts was to buy a certain pretzel. Somehow my request came out as asking for the “slow one” rather than the “long one”. My husband told a co-worker he “believed” he was a pencil. While neither request caused harm, it was confusing to the German speakers who heard us. I mention this because the language of transport regulations can be confusing as well until you have a good handle on the language used in them.

Let’s take a look at two simple words. We will compare their “everyday” usage with how they are used for transporting hazardous materials or dangerous goods. The two words will be “should” and “may”.

Word #1: Should

In normal usage, this word indicates certain obligations or expectations. Take for example the statement, “John should be ready by now.” By using the word “should” in the sentence, the expectation is that John is ready or prepared for whatever situation he finds himself. In transport, this word takes on some slightly different meanings depending on the regulation.

  • 49 CFR – US Ground: Per 171.9, the word “should” is used in a recommendatory sense. Meaning the shipper is not required to do what is listed in the regulation. It is encouraged or recommended, but it is not enforceable.
  • International Air Transport Association (IATA): Per Section 1.3.1.3, the word “should” is a preferred requirement. This means the section is not binding for a shipper, but there is a suggestion to follow whatever is listed.
  • International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG): It is in the Forward that we find this definition. For “should” again the word is used in a recommendatory sense. Items in the Code with this word are not required, only recommended.
  • Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) – Canada Ground: Oddly enough, this term is not defined in Section 1.3 of the regulations.

Word #2: May

This word is used for possibilities or options even permission when used in daily language. An example here is the statement, “John may be ready by now.” In this case, the statement conveys the possibility that John might be ready, but again there is the option that he is not. Again, for transport, there are different meanings.

  • 49 CFR – US Ground: Per 171.9, the word “may” is used in a permissive sense. Meaning the shipper is not required to do what is listed in the regulation.  The item is simply allowed or permitted.
  • International Air Transport Association (IATA): Per Section 1.3.1.3, the word “may” is listed as a preferred requirement and not binding for a shipper. Again, as a preferred requirement there is the suggestion to follow whatever is listed but no requirement to do so.
  • International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG): Again it is in the Forward that we find “may”. Here “may” is used to indicate optional provisions. Items in the Code with this word have no preferred or recommended parts. The shipper can choose to either do what is listed or not.
  • Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) – Canada Ground: In Section 1.3, the word “may” is listed as permissive. This aligns with the US Ground requirements and indicates things that are allowed or permitted.

Be sure to know the language of the regulation you are following before attempting to make a shipment of a dangerous goods or hazardous materials using it. You may be “believing” something that is not actually true or required by the regulation. For all of your transport needs, contact ICC Compliance Center today.

Packaging Infectious Substances

Infectious Substances Packaging

What Are Infectious Substances?

Infectious Substances are defined as substances which are known or are reasonably expected to contain pathogens, or micro-organisms including bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungi which can cause disease in humans or animals. Section 1.4 TDG, IATA 3.6.2.1.1. They are split up into two separate categories. Category A which is capable of causing permanent disability, life-threating or fatal disease in otherwise healthy humans or animals. Category A infectious substances are either assigned UN2814 or UN2900 and are class 6.2. IATA 3.6.2.2. Category B substances are any other infectious substances that do not meet the criteria for inclusion of Category A. They are assigned the UN number 3373.

Packaging Infectious Substances

For Category A substances, Infectous Substances Affecting Humans or Animals Only, strict performance criteria should be met on the packaging including drop testing, puncture testing, a pressure testing, and a stacking test. The configuring is often referred to as the triple packaging system. When packaging Category A substances, you must start out with a leak-proof primary receptacle. If the substances are shipped at room temperature or higher, these receptacles must be made of glass, metal, or plastic. The primary receptacles must then be placed into a leak-proof secondary packaging, either wrapped individually or separated to prevent any contact.

Both the primary and secondary packaging must be able to withstand an internal pressure of at least 95 kPa. If the substance is a liquid it must have absorbent material placed between the primary and secondary packaging. If the substances are frozen or refrigerated, dry ice or Ice must be placed around the secondary packaging or in an over pack and a leak-proof container. The limit per container on a passenger aircraft is 50 ML or 50 G. A rigid Outer Packaging including drums, boxes or jerricans must then be used to surround the entire package. (See Image Below) 49 CFR (173.196), CAN/CGSB-43.125, IATA Packing Instruction P620.

Infectious Packaging Diagram
Diagram No. 1

When packaging Category B substances, Biological Substance, Category B (see figure below), the triple packaging system of primary, secondary, and outer packaging is also utilized. They must also be packaged in a way that under normal circumstances of transport cannot break, be puncture or leak. For liquid substances shipped by air, the primary receptacle must not contain more than 1 L, and the outer packaging must not contain more than 4 L or 4 KG for solids. 49 CFR 173.199, CAN/CGSB-43.125, IATA Packing Instruction P650.

Infectious Packaging Diagram
Diagram No. 2

And as always contact ICC Compliance Center for questions or to purchase Infectious Packaging.

Lithium
Lithium Batteries Section 1B & IATA Shipper’s Declaration

Lithium Batteries, Laptop battery

Lithium Batteries on IATA Shipper’s Declaration

One of my favorite cartoons growing up was “Scooby Doo”. Nothing made me laugh more than when Scooby would say, “Ruh roh, Raggy” when he was trying to say, “Uh oh, Shaggy”. This was usually in situations where things had gone terribly wrong. I had one of those moments recently and it was in regards to lithium batteries.

In one of my recent training classes, we were digging into the IATA Shipper’s Declaration and how to complete it. Anyone that handles these knows there are lots of things to include. As the discussion moved to the “Nature and Quantity of Goods” section, we were cruising. Everyone understood the process and how great IATA is about explaining what goes where. The examples in Chapter 8 are awesome!

The “Ruh roh” moment came as we were discussing the inclusion of the Packing Instruction number. Most of us are familiar with the first part of that step. It tells us that for all of our shipments, we add the number of the Packing Instruction we followed for said shipment. In Section 8.1.6.9.3 of IATA, it says the following:

Step 8. Number of Packing Instruction or Limited Quantity Packing Instruction (with its “Y” prefix) (Columns G, I or K). For lithium batteries prepared in accordance with Section IB of Packing Instruction 965 or Packing Instruction 968 the letters “IB” must be added following the packing instruction number.

And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for you meddling kids… (Not Really)

What I failed to read was the rest of the paragraph. It clearly states that for shipments of lithium batteries prepared under Section 1B, you have to include the letters “IB” after the Packing Instruction number. There is even an additional note in this section. It says if you can’t fit the letters “IB” in the column with the Packing Instruction number that it is ok to put it in the authorizations column.

This information is not found in the Packing Instructions themselves. Neither PI965 nor PI968 mention of this requirement to include the letters “IB” on the declarations.

Needless to say, after class that day I made a note to update all of our training materials on batteries to include this information.

For all of your lithium battery needs, contact ICC Compliance Center today. We have updated classes for both webinars and public courses, new handling marks, and new class 9 labels ready for you.

Lithium
What Does the Laptop Ban Mean for Travelers?

Cargo loading on aircraft

Recent Airline Laptop Ban

On March 25, 2017, the United States government implemented a ban on passengers bringing carry-on electronic devices such as laptops on board certain airlines. This ban will affect electronics that exceed the size of a cellphone—typical products that will be banned include laptop computers, tablets such as the iPad and Android versions, gaming devices larger than a cellphone, DVD players, and portable printers and scanners. These devices may still be carried by travelers, but must be stowed in checked luggage during the flight. Medical devices will be exempted from the restrictions.

The ban affects flights leaving from ten airports in eight Middle Eastern countries.

Airports Involved in the Ban:

  • Abu Dhabi International Airport, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
  • Ataturk International Airport, Istanbul, Turkey
  • Cairo International Airport, Cairo, Egypt
  • Dubai International Airport, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar
  • King Abdulaziz International Airport, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
  • King Khalid International Airport, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • Kuwait International Airport, Kuwait City, Kuwait
  • Mohammed V Airport, Casablanca, Morocco
  • Queen Alia International Airport, Amman, Jordan

The ban affects flights of the following airlines leaving from any airports listed above:

  • EgyptAir
  • Emirates
  • Etihad Airways
  • Kuwait Airways
  • Qatar Airways
  • Royal Air Maroc
  • Royal Jordanian Airlines
  • Saudia
  • Turkish Airlines

The ban is intended to only apply to direct flights from these locations to the U.S., which would total just about 50 flights a day. If a traveler were to make a connection, say, in Frankfurt or Paris, the ban would not apply. (One imagines some very jealous passengers watching others enjoying their electronic entertainment simply because they boarded at a different airport.)

Why a Ban?

The exact concerns that triggered the ban is not clear. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has cited a “sophisticated” laptop bomb involved in an incident on board a Daallo Airlines flight in 2016. This new development in explosive devices could, it’s feared, be smuggled past security in countries with laxer procedures for inspecting carry-on baggage. If a powerful bomb could be hidden in a relatively small device, it would make detection difficult.

But why permit these potentially lethal devices in checked baggage? It appears that intelligence believes that such devices would require direct triggering, rather than a timer or remote control. In the cargo compartment these devices would be electronically isolated from commands by Bluetooth or similar means, and they would probably be too small to include an effective timer. In addition, such devices would, due to their small size, have a relatively small explosive radius. By requiring them to be checked, terrorists may be prevented from positioning the bombs in an effective manner. Other experts claim that the ban would do little to prevent a bomb from being detonated in an aircraft hold.

To add to the confusion, the United Kingdom (UK) has created its own list of fourteen restricted airlines, only four of which are on the U.S. list. Canada is also contemplating implementing a similar ban. Canadian Minister of Transport Marc Garneau has discussed the ban with Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly, but no restrictions affecting Canada have yet been announced.

Does the Ban Introduce New Dangers to Aircraft?

Protecting air travel against terrorism and protecting against hazardous materials sometimes are clashing goals. After the “shoe bombing” incident, DHS started to ban matches and lighters in carry-on baggage. They advised travellers that they should put these goods in their checked luggage, apparently unaware that this would put the travellers in violation of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules banning such articles.

The problem with electronic devices is that they generally contain lithium batteries. Such batteries have caused multiple incidents on aircraft due to their tendency to overheat and catch fire if damaged or improperly handled. Travellers can consult the Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR), published by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) for guidance on carrying electronic devices that contain lithium batteries.

According to Table 2.3.A, Provisions for Dangerous Goods Carried by Passengers or Crew, “[p]ortable electronic devices containing lithium metal or lithium ion cells or batteries, including medical devices such as portable oxygen concentrators (POC) and consumer electronics such as cameras, mobile phones, laptops and tablets, when carried by passengers or crew for personal use (see 2.3.5.9)” are allowed as carry-on or as checked baggage. However, the provision goes on to note “[f]or lithium metal batteries the lithium metal content must not exceed 2 g and for lithium ion batteries the Watt-hour rating must not exceed 100 Wh.” These levels are usually met by consumer electronics, but it is a good idea to check the manufacturer’s specifications to be sure.

A further requirement is that when such devices are put in checked baggage passenger must take measures to prevent unintentional activation. While most such devices protect the on/off switch by their design, some (such as the iPad) could be turned on during flight by bumping the power button, and must therefore be cushioned in some manner to prevent this.

In the past, airlines have recommended that portable electronics be kept in the passenger compartment. Lithium battery fires can get out of control in the hold of an aircraft, while in the passenger compartment trained flight crews can quickly access the device and extinguish it. Placing more consumer electronics in inaccessible holds will, ironically, increase the risk from lithium fires.

Spending hours on overseas flights without our digital assistants for work and play would be much different from the experience most travellers have come to take for granted. The U.S. ban on portable electronics is currently temporary, due to expire in October, but much will depend on what happens over the next few months. If a legitimate threat is found, the ban could well become permanent or spread to other airlines and departure points. Additionally, the risk of terrorist attack must be balanced against the threat of lithium battery fires in aircraft holds.

As always, the airlines may have their own standards or ways of implementing these rules. If you have an electronic device that you wish to fly with, and you’re planning a trip that would be affected by the ban, consult with the airline in advance. They can confirm if, say, the new Nintendo Switch handheld console is an acceptable size.

Are you planning on travelling with portable electronic devices, and need to know how to do it safely? Our regulatory staff at ICC Compliance Center will be happy to help. Just contact us at 1.888.442-.628 (USA) or 1.888.977.4834 (Canada).

PHMSA Update
A Small Victory for Harmonization … For Now (HM-215N)

PHMSA Withdraws Final Rule

—PHMSA Update HM-215N

The Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) of the Department of Transportation (DOT) has withdrawn a Final Rule that was intended to be published in the Federal Register on January 26.

The Final Rule, HM-215N, would have updated the U.S. “Hazardous Materials Regulations” to reflect international standards. This was due to the new administration’s Regulatory Freeze executive memorandum, issued January 20, 2017.

Harmonization

HM-215N would have harmonized the 49 CFR regulations to the latest version of the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, the ICAO Technical Instruction’s on the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods, the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code.

New lithium battery label     New Lithium Battery Mark and Pictogram
New marks and labels introduced in the upcoming international regulations.

 

This delay has made it particularly confusing for shippers of lithium batteries, who have transitioned to the new handling mark, and hazard class 9 label, shown in these international regulations.

Usage

Last week, PHMSA issued a Notice that allows offerors and carriers to use the 2017-2018 versions of the international regulations without fear of enforcement. In addition, it is allowing users to mark and label packages in accordance with either the 2015-2016 or 2017-2018 IATA/ICAO and IMDG regulations.

This notice is limited to 49 CFR Parts 171.4(t) and (v). This notice is expected to be in place until HM-215N is release, or this notice is otherwise rescinded or otherwise modified.

For a full version of the notice, please click here.

ICC is your source for hazardous materials products, services, and training, all under one roof. Contact us today.