dangerous goods forms, IATA, IMDG, 49 CFR, TDG documentation
Inner quantities on the IMO declaration…do you need to add it?

For many of us who have been preparing international ocean shipments for sometime now we know that the requirements of what needs to be included on the IMO declaration hasn’t changed all that much.   

One of the biggest frustrations is when carriers or agents of carriers reject the IMO declaration because the inner quantity information is not provided on the actual declaration. I know carriers need to enter information in their internal system for acceptance of shipments (DG or not), and perhaps the system requires the breakdown of inner packaging but why is the IMO declaration being rejected? This information can be provided on an alternate document (i.e., packing list).

As per section 5.4.1.5.1 of the IMDG Code “The number, type and capacity of each inner packaging within the outer packaging of a combination packaging is not required to be indicated.” The Code never asked for it; however, a few editions back, “they” clarified it by adding the above quoted note. And I for one am grateful for it because now when someone comes back stating the declaration is incorrect, I just scan, highlight this section from the Code, and email it to them. I am not trying to be a smart-ass, but for me it’s about educating others. They can read that specific section to avoid future hindrance with others. This goes for me as well. I appreciate it Continue Reading…

Lithium
Detained Battery Shipment – Fixed!

AA sized lithium battery cells

What Happens When Watt-Hour is not Marked on Each Battery?

Well a few things – beginning with the shipment being stopped until the error is corrected by trained personnel like us.

It is mandatory to have the watt-hour marked on a lithium ion battery (unless it’s manufactured before January 1, 2009), and batteries that don’t display this mark are considered non-compliant for transport. To bring it in to compliance each battery must be marked with the watt-hour.

Doesn’t seem too bad, right? Wrong.

Imagine individually marking 11,600 little batteries.

These batteries were the size of AA batteries. Each individual battery was packaged in its own little box. Like a lipstick box. Then these little boxes (20 in total) were placed in a larger box. Then the larger boxes were placed inside a bigger cardboard box. Never had I done a job this tedious. Add to this trying not to break the small flap on the little boxes when opening these boxes.

The first day was a disaster as we weren’t prepared with the right tools. Finger nails were hurting from opening the little boxes. That night ideas were rolling in everyone’s head on how to efficiently do this job as it took 7 hours, and 2 people to finish 800 batteries. At this rate it would take 2 weeks to do this job.

The next day a tool was brought to speed up 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: 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…
Regulatory Helpdesk: February 12

Lithium Batteries, Placards, and SDS in the Workplace

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.

Lithium Batteries (Air)

Q. For PI 967 in IATA is the weight limit the weight of the equipment and battery inside of it or just the battery.
A. For all battery packing instructions in IATA it is always the weight of the battery itself.

Lithium Batteries (IMDG)

Q. Do “excepted” batteries require segregation from limited quantity packages under IMDG?
A. Under IMDG §3.4.4.2 it tells you that segregation requirements in Chapters 7.2 – 7.7 plus any information on Stowage in column 16b of the table do not apply to goods in limited quantity packages. Lithium ion batteries do not yet need segregation under IMDG either. It is only IATA that has implemented segregation this year as part of the packing instructions for shippers. IATA has also added batteries to the segregation table for operators, but it isn’t mandatory until next year and only applies to those in Section 1A and 1B not Section II.

Placards (TDG)

Q. Customer asked if his Class 8 material (UN 1830) needed to have a UN number on the placard if shipping 1 liter per package and 7 per tote for a total of 17 Liters for the shipment in Canada. Continue Reading…
IMDG
How Do You Ship Bullets? (IMO)

shipping bullets by ocean

What to do when you are moving and need to ship a whole lot of bullets?

98% of our repackaging clientele are businesses, but there are 2% of our clientele that are regular people. At least, this is how I refer to them. These folks are a “Mr. or Mrs. Smith” who have absolutely no idea about the dangerous goods world, but what they wish to send is considered dangerous goods. These folks are referred to us from carriers, freight forwarders, and sometimes by internet search results.

Recently I had a Mr. Smith call us to ask about packaging cartridges as recommended by his freight forwarder. He is moving to Europe and is packing up his entire house, which includes his firearms and the cartridges that go with them. He already had all his ducks in a row meaning his export/import documentation and certification for the firearms and whatever else was needed to ship the firearms and cartridges, but he needed to get the cartridges packaged up for transport. That’s where ICC comes in.

What Are We Really Dealing With?

Mr. Smith didn’t have any transport information such as UN number or shipping name. So, I asked him to email me pictures of the cartridges, because he mentioned they were all in their original retail packages. I was able to call the manufacturer directly and ask for the shipping info. Continue Reading…

Regulatory Helpdesk: January 15, 2018

Here are the top 4 questions last week:

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.

Worded Label Requirements

Q. Are worded labels required for use in US transport?
A. Based on 172.405(a), except where prescribed, wording is optional on US hazard class labels.

Placement of UN Number, Shipping Name and Hazard Class Label

Q. Can you put the “ISH” information (shipping name, UN number and hazard label) on the top of a package (e.g. box)?
A. That depends. Different regulations express it differently, but the key message is that the information must be easily located and read; and with few exceptions in proximity to each other on the same surface of the package. All common regulations (49 CFR, Canadian TDGR, IATA DGR, IMDG Code) have a general requirement for legibility.

49 CFR requires the information to be clearly visible on a surface other than the bottom [172.304(f) and 172.304(a)(i)]- so the top could be allowed if the configuration resulted in it being clearly visible.

IATA DGR and the IMDG Code do not specify top/bottom but only require the information to be “readily visible” [IATA 7.2.6.1(a); IMDG 5.2.1.2.1, 5.2.2,1.6].

TDGR, however, is a little more prescriptive- requiring the information to be “on any side … other than the side on Continue Reading…