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Shipping by Air? Don’t Overlook the Latest IATA Addendum

As we start our new year, one of our resolutions should be to make sure our dangerous goods shipments get where they’re going. Which means, of course, that we need to update to the 2020 edition of the Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). But don’t rely on that completely, because as always, there will be a few corrections and additions that IATA needed to make after the book has gone to print.

In December, IATA published an addendum to the DGR which is available as a free download. These will take effect as of January 1, 2020, so they’re in effect now. The majority of the corrections and additions have to do with State and Operator variations (country variations and airline policies that apply in addition to the DGR), although some affect more general areas. To find the addendum, go to the bottom of their webpage at https://www.iata.org/en/publications/dgr/#tab-2, from where you can download the file as a .pdf in various languages.

First, let’s look at some of the significant changes that are not specific to countries or airlines.

  • In section 2.3.2.3, on shipping wheelchairs and mobility aids with spillable batteries, paragraph (c)(2) includes a corrected cross-reference.
  • A significant change has been made to several packing instructions for Class 3 liquids when shipped Cargo aircraft only. In the original versions of Packing Instructions 360 to Continue Reading…
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2020 Vision or Still Blurry for Lithium Battery Shippers?

The title says it all, can you see clearly when you ship lithium batteries, or are the waters still a little murky? If it is the former rather than the latter for you, that may change as Amazon has announced new global FBA requirements for all lithium batteries and products which contain lithium batteries. A Lithium Battery Test Summary will now need to be uploaded to Amazon, starting this past 1st of January 2020. This new rule will affect those who sell a variety of products, from watches to smartphones to toys. This type of change is not only exclusive to Amazon, as IATA and IMDG Code will now also be enforcing a new regulation that requires the test summary for the lithium battery/cells to be made available throughout the entire distribution network. 

What is the Test?

Lithium cells and batteries that are manufactured after June 30, 2003, and equipment powered by those cells and batteries have to be tested in accordance with the UN Manual of Test and Criteria Part III, Section 38.3. If the testing passes, the test facility provides a summary certificate to the manufacturer that confirms that the cells or batteries meet an international standard and can be shipped around the world in accordance with the appropriate regulations. The test standard includes eight tests total: Altitude Simulation; Thermal Test; Vibration; Shock; External Short Circuit; Continue Reading…

Complacency of Own Safety During Air Travel

As a former member of the Canadian Armed forces, I have always tried my best to keep keenly aware of any possible hazards/dangers that could affect me, my family, or others. I have never been one to stand by idly and say nothing or do nothing. I have noticed a trend developing lately in air travelers where it seems the majority are seemly unaware or oblivious of safety regulations and the reasons why some rules even exist.

I remember as a teenager embarking on my first flight in the mid-1980s being very attentive to all demonstrations; looking at every exit; observing every rule. It was easily noted that every traveler was watching the hand gestures of the flight attendant, knowing where our life jackets were, and again knowing the location of the nearest exit. But, as air travel safety has improved it seems complacency has increased. I have noticed hardly anyone listens to the flight safety briefing anymore as they are more preoccupied with taking their shoes off and looking at their phones.

Here are a couple of rules that exist and why:

NO lithium batteries in checked baggage
It is imperative to not check any lithium batteries in your luggage. If a lithium battery in your electronic device fails, thermal runaway occurs. The heat at which it will burn will melt aluminum which is what aircrafts are made of. Continue Reading…

ICC’s 2020 Regulatory Resolutions

Here it is – January 2020.  The time when all holiday decorations are put away and people make resolutions for the coming year.  Things we would like to change about ourselves, our workplace or our home.  We’ve all heard them.  I’m going to work out more.  There will be more family time.  We will eat healthier.  I’ll be kinder to my co-workers.  That one is mine in case you were wondering. 

Now at this point you are asking how does resolution making have anything to do with transportation of dangerous goods?  Well, I asked our Regulatory Team what their “regulatory resolutions” would be.  In other words, if they had the power, what changes or resolutions would they make to a regulation.  Oddly enough, with their responses, not a single regulation escaped a “resolution”!  Some of the items listed below were mentioned on more than one person’s list.

49 CFR:

  • Resolve to get rid of the combustible liquids.No one else in the world regulates these.
  • All lithium batteries should be transported as fully regulated with UN Specification Packaging and paperwork.No more exceptions. 
  • Resolve to adjust the packaging recertification requirements.Align them more with Canada’s.  As long as the components and specifications do not change there should be no need to re-test UN packaging every 2 years.  49 CFR should allow packaging manufacturer’s to simply send in an application for certification every 5 Continue Reading…
Recalled Macbook Pro Laptops – Prohibited on US Flights

If you were planning on watching your favorite movie or a TV show on your Macbook Pro on your next flight well instead you may need to take a book.

Following Apple’s recall in June 2019 for certain 15-inch Macbook Pro laptops sold between September 2015 to February 2017, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced that effectively immediately these laptops are prohibited on all US commercial fights.  This isn’t a new regulation but rather a reminder of already existing regulations which bans recalled lithium batteries and lithium battery powered devices for air carriers.  These Macbook pros contain lithium batteries which may overheat and pose a fire safety risk. This restriction applies to both carry-on and checked in luggage.

Ensure you check your Macbook Pro model to confirm you are not in the recall group.

For more information, visit ICC Compliance Center’s website or call one of our Regulatory Specialists today! USA: 888-442-9628 | Canada: 888-977-4834

IATA
IATA 61st Edition Significant Changes

The Labor Day Holiday generally symbolizes the end of summer for many people.  For many businesses it is the end of their fiscal year.  For parents in many areas it means back to school.  For the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) it means releasing notices of proposed rulemakings.  We also have OSHA publishing their Top Ten Violations.  Finally, it is time for IATA to publish the list of significant changes for their upcoming edition.

Keep in mind, these changes are in the 61st edition of the IATA.  It goes into force January 1, 2020.  The other thing to remember is these are just a list of “significant” changes.  Some of the changes always seem a bit cryptic to me.  Plus, I’m one of those folks that takes the old one and compares it to the new one to better understand exactly how it changed.  Guess it comes from being a visual learner.

If you should want to read the list of changes, it can be found here.  A brief overview of some of the changes are shown below for quick reference.  There is a little something for everyone in the industry.  As you read through, there are some times where I added some information to supplement the change as it is stated on the publication.

Brief Summary of Some Proposed Changes by Section:

TDG “INTERNATIONAL HARMONIZATION UPDATE” (IHU) CONSULTATION

IHU 2019 Proposed Amendment: Pre-Gazette I Consultation

In late March, Transport Canada posted a notice on their public website regarding a pre-Gazette I consultation on proposed amendments to the TDGR. The consultation was distributed to selected stakeholders by email on March 4.

This proposal is the latest in a series of international harmonization updates (“IHU”) to incorporate changes to reflect the current editions of the UN Model Regulations (UN Recommendations), ICAO Technical Instructions for air, and the IMDG Code for ocean shipment. In addition, the Canada-US Regulatory Cooperation Council work planning effort has suggested several items that would facilitate reciprocity in shipping dangerous goods between the two countries.

UN Recommendations

  • Updating to 20th edition and preparation for 21st edition.
  • Incorporate packaging updates by adopting 3rd edition TP14850 (pending repatriation to CGSB as standard CGSB-43.150-xx), normalize EC-allowed practices on batteries; allow UN3175 in FIBC 13H3 & 13H4.
  • Marking/Labeling: text on labels, banana labels on cylinders, require orientation arrows for liquids, marine pollutant, and Lithium Battery Mark on overpacks.
  • Language issues under review, include determining the options on the use of either or both English/French and circumstances when a different second language might appear (i.e. foreign sourced material).

Placarding

  • Consider adding provisions for optional hazard class text on placards – see also marking/labeling.
  • Allow US placards for re-shipping road/rail within Canada. In addition to text issues, this would allow re-shipping with US Continue Reading…
Skull and Cross Bones
National Poison Prevention Week

The main part of my job is to train companies, workers, handlers, and the like on how to manage hazardous materials or hazardous chemicals safely. This can be done under the umbrella of the transport regulations of 49CFR, IATA, and IMDG, or under the OSHA HazCom standard. However, not everyone is going to take one of my courses. Sad, but true.

Granted all of those folks do their jobs well and use marks, labels, placards, and safety data sheets to convey information about their products to other users. But it begs the question, how is the general public made aware of the “other” dangers or poisons out there? Think about the laundry pod scare recently to make my point.

Back in 1962, the first-ever National Poison Prevention Week was announced. In 2019, the week will be from March 17-23. Supported directly by the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC), the goal is to promote safety tips and the emergency services provided by the Poison Control Centers in the US.

To emphasize just how important Poison Control Centers are, take a look at some numbers from 2016 taken directly from the AAPCC website at www.aapcc.org.

  • There were 2,700,000 cases managed by the centers.
  • Someone called the centers every 14 minutes.
  • Over $1,800,000,000 saved in medicals costs.

For this year’s event, people are encouraged to use the hashtags #NPPW19, #PreventPoison, and #PoisonHelp. Continue Reading…

Small DG shipment via ground from Canada to USA

One of the most frustrating issues with shipping dangerous goods is finding a carrier that will transport the goods. When a client contacts us for repackaging services, besides the DG information, I always ask if they have arranged a carrier to transport their goods. Most of the time it’s a “no”. Then I get started with what their options are; ground or air.

For shipments going from Canada to the US, believe it or not, it is easier to ship by air than ground. Of course, it does depend on the quantity being shipped and whether the DG is allowed for air transport. It is definitely more cost-effective to send anything via ground than air; however, that is not always true especially for small DG shipments. I have been told that sending a small, e.g., 20 lbs, DG package by air will cost about the same as sending it via ground.

Carriers such as FedEx and Purolator do not haul DG packages from Canada to the US via ground service. They do offer air but not ground. UPS which offers both air and ground does transport certain dangerous goods (just check for limitations on the UN# being shipped on UPS’s website under “UPS Dangerous Goods Acceptance Tool” prior to shipping) from Canada to the US but you must have a DG account set up with them.

What I have Continue Reading…

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…