OSHA Labeling
Shipping Dangerous Goods with non-DG

Can you ship DG and non-DG Together in One Package?

Surprisingly this is pretty common. Normally the answer is, “Sure.”

However, that’s not always the case. Sometimes a dangerous goods commodity can react with a non-dangerous goods commodity. I do come across this type of situation occasionally.

Shipping from Canada to USA via Air

Earlier this week a client dropped off 2 different product samples going to USA via air transport. He provided the SDS for both products, one was DG and the other not. He asked if both samples can go together in one package. I told him, “Maybe.” Without consulting the SDSs and gathering more information I couldn’t be sure. If they are compatible, then I can package them together.

I used to work in the carrier industry so I know it’s better to consolidate then to have a multiple piece shipment. Most times all the pieces will arrive together, but there is a chance they may not. So for me, personally, I prefer to minimize the number of packages, which means using a bigger box if I need to.

Determining Compatibility

So back to this. I checked the SDS for both and the one that was DG was a corrosive material.

The non-DG product requires a more thorough read-through to see which material this material was incompatible with and in Section 10: Stability and Reactivity it said incompatible with oxidizing materials Continue Reading…

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…
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 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…
IATA
IATA 800 Series of Special Provisions

Learning New Regulations

Learning a new transport regulation is tough. Even if you are familiar with other modes, learning the intricacies of a new one is difficult. In our courses, we spend a good deal of time going over a basic shipping description (ISHP) and breaking down each part of it.

Time is also spent on UN versus ID numbers, proper shipping names, hazard classes, and packing groups. We also bring in the Dangerous Goods List (DGL) and talk about where to find the ISHP. This leads to a discussion on technical names, aircraft types, and other symbols shown in the DGL. Eventually we land on the topic of Special Provisions in Column M.

We explain these are additional requirements for any given entry or as I like to call it – the curve balls. Some are helpful and relieve parts of the regulation while others complicate it.

Note – If you ship dangerous goods and are having some trouble with the terms used above, you may need training.

New Special Provisions

IATA added some new Special Provisions a few years ago that cause additional stress for new shippers. I am referring to the A800 series. There are 5 special provisions there starting with A801 and going up to A805. So, what is the big deal with these and new shippers? If we take a moment to look at each one, you’ll see why Continue Reading…

Lithium Battery
Passengers Traveling with Lithium Batteries

Inside passenger airplane

Thinking About Lithium Batteries as a Passenger

Recently in my travels, I found myself stuck in a long security line at our local airport. Being that it was during Spring Break, there was a wide variety of travelers from college students to retirees looking to re-connect with family. Although there were people of all ages and travel experience they all seemed to have one thing in common, they were confused how to travel with their laptop computers and other types of portable electronics containing lithium batteries. Let’s discuss some general guidance on how to travel with specific portable electronics that contain lithium batteries referencing some recently issued documents by IATA.

Portable Electronic Devices (PED) Containing Batteries

close up of man holding cellphone in front of laptop

Portable Electronic Devices including electronics such as cameras, mobile phones, laptops, and tablets containing batteries carried by passengers for personal use should be carried in carry-on baggage.

For devices that can be packed in checked baggage:

  • The device must be protected from damage and to prevent unintentional activation;
  • The device must be completely turned off (not in sleep or hibernation mode). 

Spare lithium batteries

Lithium Battery

Each spare battery must be individually protected to prevent short circuits by placing them in the original retail packaging or by otherwise insulating terminals by taping over exposed terminals or simply placing each battery in a separate plastic bag or protective pouch and carried in carry-on baggage only. Items that contain Continue Reading…

ICC's Regulatory Helpdesk
Regulatory Helpdesk: April 2

How to determine if a product is regulated, SAPT on a SDS, Shipping a drone, and using a UN package

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.

Is my product regulated?

Q. I have 2 products I distribute to various stores to sell. The SDS files say my product is not regulated under DOT and TDG in Section 14. Since this is sold as a consumer product, doesn’t that mean it is regulated for IATA should I ship it via air? (the SDS were emailed to me)
A. Nothing in your SDS files leads me to believe either one would meet any of the 9 hazard classes in IATA. This is further confirmed by neither SDS classifying the products for DOT and TDG. Basically, what you have are containers of non-regulated liquids.  There is no need for UN Specification packaging or paperwork for IATA or any other transport regulation.

SAPT on my SDS

A. Since the addition of UN numbers for polymerizing substances, we’ve been told we must include the Self-Accelerated Polymerization Temperature (SAPT) on our SDS documents in Section 9. Is this a new requirement?
Q. There is no requirement in OSHA HazCom 2012 to include that particular data point in Section 9. All of the Continue Reading…
dangerous goods forms, IATA, IMDG, 49 CFR, TDG documentation
How to Document Weights on DG/HazMat Transport Paperwork

Dangerous goods and hazmat forms

IATA, IMO, 49 CFR, & TDG Documentation

No one wants to talk about their weight. Ever. In the world of transport though, you have no choice. You are required to list on your transport paperwork some sort of weight, mass, or volume. The trick is to know which regulation requires what. Should be the net weight or gross weight? Is it per package or per packaging? Sadly, depending on the regulation, the answers to those questions may differ.

Before getting started, be sure you understand what all of those terms mean. I tend to default to the IATA regulations when it comes to definitions. These are found in Appendix A. Take note that these terms are also defined in the other regulations, too. In 49 CFR check in §171.9. For IMDG they are in 2 places – Volume 1, Chapter 1.2 and Volume 2, Appendix B. TDG defines them Part 1.4.

Definitions:

Package
The complete product of the packing operation consisting of the packaging and the contents prepared for transport.
Packaging
A receptacle and any other components or materials necessary for the receptacle to perform its containment function in conformance with the minimum packing requirements.
Means of containment
(in TDG) a container or packaging or any part of a means of transport that is or may be used to contain goods.
Means of transport
(in TDG) a road or railway vehicle, aircraft, vessel, pipeline or any other contrivance that is or may be used Continue Reading…
Square on point with x marked out
Symbols in Transportation Regulations

Symbols in the IATA, IMDG, and 49 CFR

Solving the Mystery of the Regulation Symbols

As an avid reader and science nerd, the author Dan Brown is a different type of read. His lead character, Dr. Robert Langdon, is a professor of symbology. This means he studies and understands various symbols found in history and codes. Sometimes in transportation, we must be our own Dr. Langdon to decipher what the regulations are trying to tell us.

Here are some of the common symbols you could see with their meanings. Also included is where in each regulation you can find further information. By the way, have you purchased the March 2018 version of 49 CFR?

Symbols in IATA and IMDG:

  1. ■ The square: This symbol tells us new material has been added to the regulation or edition.
  2. ▲ The triangle: Here it indicates some part of that section of the regulation changed in some way.  It could be as simple as one word, sentence, or entire section that was reworked or clarified.
  3. ∅ The crossed-out circle: This one is a space holder showing some part or section has been removed, deleted or cancelled from the current edition. A very useful symbol, because it will keep you from looking for something that you knew was there but now can’t find.
  4. ☛ The pointing finger: Here is a symbol found only in IATA. It signifies this section or statement is more Continue Reading…
ICC's Regulatory Helpdesk
Regulatory Helpdesk: March 19

Proper Shipping Name, Hydrostatic Pressure Tests, Other Information on the Lithium Battery Mark, and an Interesting Lithium Battery Story

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.

Proper Shipping Name for Lithium Batteries (IATA)

Q. Is it acceptable to print “Lithium Ion batteries packed in equipment” on a Class 9 Miscellaneous lithium battery label for UN3481 instead of Lithium Ion Batteries Contained in Equipment?
A. Yes. In the blue pages (Section 4) of IATA, you will notice there are 2 spots for UN number “3481”, one for lithium batteries containing equipment, and one for lithium batteries packed in equipment, so either of those printed on the label is acceptable.

Hydrostatic Pressure Test by Air (IATA)

Q. I plan on shipping an F-style container as an inner container in a combination package. Per IATA  §6.3.5.1, it says the internal pressure test is not required for combination packages. Does this mean the inner container doesn’t have to meet the 95 kPa pressure rating if shipping liquids by air?
A. Although IATA §6.3.5.1 does state the internal pressure test is not a required test for inner packagings of combination packages, it also references §5.0.2.9 for further instructions, which states that packaging for retention of liquid must be capable Continue Reading…