Shipping by Road
TDGR US Import Cross-Docking – All We Want are the FAQs…*

Cross-Docking is Reshipping

On February 8 Transport Canada issued an addition to FAQ regarding the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDGR) Part 9, s. 9.4. This section deals with the re-shipping of dangerous goods (DG) received by road from the US when safety marks differ from those specified in the TDGR. In general, (more on this later**), TDGR 9.1 allows receipt of US shipments to first destination with the safety marks that were legally applied under 49 CFR at the US shipping point.

Cross-Docking

The FAQ defines “cross-docking” as “the process of transferring dangerous goods from one vehicle to another before reaching their final destination”. Changing drivers or tractor units does not trigger the term. When DG are cross-docked, Transport Canada considers this to be “re-shipping” and the provisions of TDGR 9.4 apply (note: although the FAQ refers to “reshipping” in quotes, the term is not specifically defined in the TDGR other than as described by s. 9.4).

Reshipping

Basically, the requirements in s. 9.4 are to remove placards which do not meet TDGR requirements and replace them with TDGR-compliant versions. Examples of these could be US “DANGEROUS” placards; or those with the midline adjusted (e.g. Class 7, 8, 9); or worded and “combustible” placards.
In addition, if means of containment (soon to become “packaging” we hope!) have labels or other safety marks differing from TDGR requirements, then the shipping paper must be annotated accordingly as indicated in s. 9.4 (2).

Part 10 is not referenced in the FAQ, but presumably similar logic will apply to cross-docking rail car shipments (TDG s. 10.4) – or to transfers between rail/road vehicles.

Just the FAQs

Although the author hasn’t seen anything in official consultation documents, statements in casual conversations on two occasions indicate that the current practise of including interpretative guidance as italicised text within the body of the regulations will likely be discontinued. Apparently, this very useful (in my humble opinion) practise is at odds with regulatory convention that expects only the mandatory legal requirements to appear in the regulation. FAQ are the preferred vehicle for the type of information we currently see italicised within the TDGR.

The FAQ referred to in this Blog is available at:
http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/tdg/awareness-materials-and-faq-1159.html#a99_0

* with apologies to Sgt. Joe Friday/Jack Webb’s often misquoted statement:
http://www.snopes.com/radiotv/tv/dragnet.asp

** Reciprocity has its limits
Although we often hear of “reciprocity” for shipments inbound from the US, we must remember that it has limits. As referenced in the above-mentioned FAQ, the “inhalation hazard” version of Class 2.3 and 6.1 labels or placards are not acceptable even to first destination. The “regular” versions, applied with qualifying marks as required by TDGR SP 23 also need to be present. Similarly things done by US special permit- although potentially to be accepted to first destination under the CG I International Harmonization proposal- will not necessarily be approved for reshipping. Perhaps once the CG II is finalised we’ll have another Blog on this aspect…

Lithium
Lithium Battery Labels as of Feb 1, 2017

Both 49 CFR and TDG are expecting to harmonize lithium battery labels into the regulations; however, both regulations are pending. HM-215N (49 CFR) was recalled, and will not be reissued for at least 60 days.

Transport Canada has not provided an ETA on the harmonization.

Find out the correct labels to use below:

 

Electric Tractor Trailer
Electromobility Becomes a Reality!

The Rise of Electromobility

Not long ago, no one believed in the arrival of electric or hybrid road tractors. No one also believed that a fully electric car offering performance and autonomy would arrive on the market as fast as the Tesla vehicle did. The Tesla, a car which proves that electromobility is progressing in a dazzling way.

Last December, Nikola Motors realized what was unthinkable just three years ago, by unveiling a class 8 road tractor with an all-electric 320-kilowatt powertrain powered by high-density lithium batteries. (https://nikolamotor.com/).

It’s an all-electric class 8 road tractor with a sleeping compartment, capable of traveling up to 1,900 kilometers with a single filling of the hydrogen fuel cell system. It has no conventional transmission: each of the six wheel positions has its own electric traction motor which are controlled independently.

Will we soon see electric trucks on the roads to transport our freight?

More broadly, Navigant Research forecasts suggest that sales of electric trucks could reach 332,000 units globally by 2026. Sales were 31,000 in 2016. These are sales of trucks Medium and Heavy hybrid, hybrid rechargeable, electric battery and hydrogen fuel cells.

Electromobility seems to be a solution when National and regional governments keep imposing increasingly stringent emissions standards on commercial vehicles but are also looking for ways to encourage fleets to invest in energy-efficient technologies and cleaner fuels.

Lithium
Lithium Battery Worlds Collide

One of my favorite episodes of the show Seinfeld is the one where worlds collide. In the episode Elaine asks George’s girlfriend Susan to a show. On the surface this seems harmless. According to Kramer, this is a bad thing because when George’s “sanctuary world” and his “girlfriend world” collide there will be an explosion.

I had a case of my worlds colliding over the holidays. Let’s see what the results were. The attached pictures are from a leaf blower my husband received as a Christmas gift. It is a nice gift that will help us with yard work in the future. The description on the box says it comes with a charger for the included 40 volt, 2.0 ampere-hour rechargeable lithium-ion battery. On the back was the Lithium battery handling information. I didn’t pay much attention to it due to being in a cookie coma from the holidays.

Lithium battery label on box

Upon arrival home and while unloading the car, my husband noticed the information on the box and pointed it out to me. He then asks, “Should this be on here?” Needless to say, once we were fully unpacked I grabbed my regulations just to see.

Using the information on the box let’s review some points for shipping Lithium-ion batteries. Bear in mind this was purchased at a store where it was on the shelf. I have no way of knowing if it was shipped in this box.

  • Step 1: Is this lithium-ion battery is “contained in equipment” or “packed with equipment”?
    • Answer: The battery was not inserted into the blower but in a separate box beside it. This means it would have been “packed with equipment”.
  • Step 2: What is the watt-hour rating?
    • Answer: This was easy enough since the box said the battery had a 2 ampere-hour capacity and a voltage of 40 volts.  Using the following formula:

Watt-hours = Ah (ampere-hours) x V (voltage)
Watt-hours = 2 Ah.  X 40 volts
Watt=hours = 80 watt-hours

  • Step 3: What would be the proper identification number, shipping name, hazard class, and packing group (ISHP) if this had been shipped?
    • Answer: Since the manufacturer is within the US, I looked at the US ground regulations, 49 CFR. It is a Lithium-ion battery that was packed with equipment. Using the Hazardous Materials Table (HMT) that tells me the proper ISHP would be UN3481 // Lithium-ion batteries packed with equipment // Class 9 // no packing group.
  • Step 4: What sort of packaging requirements are there?
    • Answer: Again the HMT gave me that information in column 8. Luckily for UN3481 the packaging information is all found in Section 173.185. The only Special Provisions listed in the table are for air shipments. Much of this section didn’t apply to my query because I wasn’t shipping this. However, this section is also where all of the marking, labelling, exceptions/exemptions and hazard communication information is found.
  • Step 5: Where does the leaf blower fit and why was that particular safety information used?
    • Answer: This goes back to the information from Step 2. The watt-hour rating of 80 put me into Section 173.185(c) for exceptions. In that section is where the hazard communication information is found. In that was the proof I needed to say, “It is ok for this information to be on this box.” The box only has 1 lithium battery and the box is using the “handling marking” shown in paragraph (c)(3)(ii). The regulation says the following:

(3) Hazard communication. Except for a package containing button cell batteries installed in equipment (including circuit boards), or no more than four lithium cells or two lithium batteries installed in the equipment:

(i) For transportation by highway, rail and vessel, the outer package must be marked with the information in the following paragraphs (c)(3)(i)(A) to (D), or the handling marking in paragraph (c)(3)(ii) of this section:

(A) An indication that the package contains “Lithium metal” and/or “Lithium ion” cells or batteries, as appropriate, or alternatively, the word “batteries” may be used for packages containing cells;

(B) An indication that the package is to be handled with care and that a flammable hazard exists if the package is damaged;

(C) An indication that special procedures must be followed in the event the package is damaged, to include inspection and repacking if necessary;

(D) A telephone number for additional information.

(ii) For transportation by air, the outer package must be marked with the following handling marking, which is durable, legible, and displayed on a background of contrasting color:

Old lithium battery label

So there it is the results of my worlds colliding. There were no explosions, tidal waves, or earthquakes. There were no deaths from licking cheap envelopes, which is a reference to Susan’s fate. It was just an exercise of taking ICC Compliance Center’s “7 Steps to Compliance” idea and making them work for me. Of course, my head may explode when HM215-N is finalized and the information in this section of 49 CFR changes.

As always, ICC Compliance Center is here for all of your hazard communication and lithium battery needs. Call us today for lithium battery training, new class 9 labels or new handling marks, and new lithium battery shipping materials. We have it all.

Lithium
Safety Tips for Items with Lithium-Ion Batteries

Lithium-Ion Batteries in Our Lives

If there is one thing most of us have in common, it is how often we come in contact with items that use lithium-ion batteries. Whether it’s a laptop computer, cellphone, camera, or even an electronic cigarette, we rely on lithium ion batteries for many different purposes. Unfortunately for some consumers, when lithium-ion batteries fail, they do in devastating fashion. When a lithium battery explodes, it can cause a fire that generates temperatures up to 1000° F and can cause severe 3rd degree burns as the video below demonstrates.

What can we do to prevent such a catastrophic event from occurring while we utilize these everyday items that use lithium-ion batteries? Below is a list of safety tips when using items with lithium-ion batteries.

Lithium Battery Safety Tips

  • Only use the charger that came with your device. If you need to buy a new one, make sure the replacement is recommended for the use of your device by the manufacturer. Just because a charger fits in your device doesn’t mean that it is safe to use.

 

  • Do not overcharge your device. It is recommended that once your device is fully charged that you should unplug it.
  • Keep your device out of extremely high or low temperature locations. Do not place the battery in direct sunshine, or store the battery inside cars in significant hot or cold weather.
  • Do not expose the battery to water or allow the battery to get wet.
  • Do not use your device if you notice any damage to the battery after dropping it. If you suspect damage to the battery, take your device to the service center for inspection.
  • Do not carry or store the batteries together with necklaces, hairpins, or other metal objects.
  • Do not disassemble or modify the battery in any way. Modifying your electronic significantly increases the risk of explosion
  • Only transport your items with lithium-ion batteries in a containers that are specially designed and follow D.O.T guidelines.

As always, should you have any questions regarding lithium-ion batteries, please contact ICC Compliance Center at 1.888.442.9628 (USA) or 1.888.977.4834 (Canada).


Sources
http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/archive/lithium_ion_safety_concerns

http://www.genuinecells.com/blogs/safety-precautions-for-the-lithium-ion-batteries/

Lithium
Another Lithium Battery Recall

New Recall of Laptop Computer Battery Packs

An expanded recall of laptop computer battery packs for Panasonic battery packs used in Toshiba laptop computers was made on Wednesday January 4th, 2017.

The lithium-ion battery packs can overheat and cause burns and fire hazards.

This expanded recall involves Panasonic lithium-ion battery packs installed in 41 models of Toshiba Satellite laptops, including the Satellite models affected by the March 2016 recall. Toshiba has expanded the number of battery packs to include those sold between June 2011 and November 2016. The battery packs also were sold separately and installed by Toshiba as part of a repair. Battery packs included in this recall have part numbers that begin with G71C (G71C*******). Part numbers are printed on the battery pack.

If your battery pack is part of the recall, power off the laptop, remove the battery and follow the instructions to obtain a free replacement battery pack. Until a replacement battery pack is received, you should use the laptop by plugging into AC power only. Battery packs previously identified as not affected by the March 30, 2016 recall are included in this expanded announcement.

To see if your device is eligible for exchange, go to http://go.toshiba.com/battery or call Toshiba America Information Systems toll-free at 866-224-1346 any day between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m. PT.

As always, ICC is here for all of your safety needs. Contact us today for our Lithium Battery Multi-Modal transport course, packaging and marks and labels needed.

Source: http://www.recallowl.com/Consumer+Recalls/Recreational+Products/Toshiba+Expands+Recall+of+Laptop+Computer+Battery+Packs+Due+to+Burn+and+Fire+Hazards

Services
Inspector Issue

Gaining Regulatory Knowledge

Many of us have heard the phrase, “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing” at some point in conversation with people. What’s interesting is the phrase was originally “A little learning is a dangerous thing“. It comes from Alexander Pope’s poem called “An Essay on Criticism“. This phase can be applicable when you work in an area with ever-changing regulations. The key is to get more knowledge.

A prime example can be found in a September 2016 newsletter from Responsible Distribution Canada (RDC). This group was formerly called the Canadian Association of Chemical Distributors. In Volume 6 Issue 37 is the headline “Issue being reported with some WHMIS 2015 Inspectors RE: MSDS vs SDS“. In the article, RDC was contacted by a paint manufacturer. The manufacturer indicated that a Health Canada inspector was on the job site causing problems. At issue is the following:

“The HC inspector apparently said the paint manufacturer’s MSDS sheet was not acceptable because a “Safety Data Sheet” should now be supplied instead of a “Material Safety Data Sheet”. The inspector added that this change became effective in 2015 and said that the word “Material” should not be mentioned on the technical sheets.”

According to the manufacturer they have yet to convert to WHMIS 2015. In this case it is the inspector in error and a classic case of a little knowledge being dangerous.

Why?

Let’s discuss why. Canada aligned the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) in February 2015. This is why it is called WHMIS 2015. A part of the new regulation is to move from using the term “material safety data sheets” to just “safety data sheets”. There is a multi-year transition plan or phase in period in place before the new regulation goes into full effect. Here is where the inspector gets in trouble. It is during Phase 1 of the phase in plan that the terminology shifts. The dates for Phase 1 are February 11, 2015 to May 31, 2017. Since the paint manufacturer has yet to convert to WHMIS 2015, they still have time as allowed under Phase 1. They are in the right.

The inspector is aware of the changes in WHMIS 2015 which is great but also qualifies as a “little bit of learning”. Where he is “dangerous” is the fact that he was not aware of the time periods involved with the phase in of the new regulations. He was trying to force a regulatory change that is not yet mandatory. Had the inspector been more familiar with the new regulations this issue would not have happened.

Another part of Pope’s poem is the phrase, “To err is human, to forgive divine“. While this is a lovely sentiment, in the world of business and compliance it just isn’t possible. For a link to the complete RDC newsletter, click here.

Don’t be a “danger” to your business. Get trained beyond “a little bit of learning”. ICC Compliance Center offers a full range of courses including WHMIS 2015. Call us today for compliance audits and the multiple courses and learning platforms we offer.

Environmental Update
Chemical Spill Cooperation

Atchison, Kansas Chemical Spill

A little less than a month ago a small town near Kansas City, Kansas got a nasty surprise. According to local news reports a chemical spill at MGP Ingredients in Atchison caused quite stir around 8:00 in the morning.

The Kansas City Star reported the spill resulted in a mixing of Sodium Hypochlorite and Sulfuric Acid. The reaction of the two chemicals created a thick fog that covered much of downtown and areas north and west of there. Several areas were told to evacuate while others were told to “shelter in place” with doors and windows shut. Click here to view a video taken by drone of the chemical plume. By 11:00 am officials reported the spill under control and people were allowed back into their homes and business. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sent personnel to assist in the investigation.

Thanks to a good communication between MPG Ingredients, the City of Atchison and the local Fire/Emergency crews there were no serious injuries reported. Those caught in the fog, roughly 34 townspeople, had respiratory issues including coughing and difficulty breathing. At the time the article was written, there was no word on the number of affected MGP employees.

The key take away from this story is the communication element. It took less than 3 hours for this spill to be handled and for folks to be safely back at home, school or work. If MGP Ingredients had not reported the spill promptly, then the number of injuries would be higher. If local officials had not responded as quickly as they did by using the radio and social media, then the number of injuries would be much higher. If the local fire crew had not known what was needed to help the fog dissipate, then the number of injuries would be much higher.

There are always those that complain about updating hazard communication plans, workplace labels, safety data sheets, and evacuation plans. For those my response is simple. Here is the reason we do this. Here is why they are needed. Given the scope of the cloud and the area it covered, consider how many people were at risk. Had things been handled differently a much worse outcome is a definite.

As always, ICC Compliance Center is here to help you with all of your regulatory needs. For more information on our supplies and services visit our website: http://www.thecompliancecenter.com.

Danger Placard
FBI Promoting “Suspicious Sales” Video

Availability of Dangerous Chemicals

Ever since the Oklahoma City bombing, industry has been aware of how criminals may try to obtain hazardous chemicals to create their own improvised weapons. Nowadays, U.S. and Canadian transportation regulations address how to protect chemicals in transport and prevent theft or tampering. Most industrial manufacturing and storage facilities have already implemented security systems and verification procedures for large customers.

But there’s a gaping hole in the system through which criminals can still get their hands on the ingredients they need. Many consumer products openly available in retail stores can be used as easily as industrial supplies to create bombs and poisons, or to be used in the dangerous production of illicit drugs. These purchases are often hard to track, because of the relative anonymity of consumer purchases.

The Chemical Countermeasures Unit (CCU) of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is promoting a video on how to recognize suspicious sales of chemicals. The video, titled Suspicious Sales, dramatizes an explosion in an apartment building and the subsequent investigation, done in Law and Order style. Two detectives track down the purchases used to create the bomb based on standard commercial receipts found at the scene of the explosion (our criminal, in this case, having blown himself up by accident in his own apartment).

The chemicals were purchased at a number of stores – a beauty supply store, a hardware store selling pool chemicals, and a gardening depot. In all of them, the staff noticed strange things about the customer, but were unsure what to do about the situation.

The video’s goal is to give retail employees the tools to identify suspicious customers. The creators realize that these purchases are not specifically illegal, but alert employees can help authorities prevent incidents or provide assistance in identifying criminals after an incident.

Employees should be alert to signs of a suspicious sale. These include:

  • The customer is unable to answer simple questions about the product’s intended use (or gives vague answers)
  • The customer shows unusual preoccupation with the product’s chemical composition (in the video, a sales associate describes the perpetrator’s hunt for pool chemicals containing one specific ingredient)
  • The customer is new or unknown
  • The customer is reluctant or refuses to show valid identification
  • The customer makes large cash purchases, or uses someone else’s credit card
  • There is an unusual ordering pattern, such as buying strange quantities (more hair chemicals than a salon would need, for example), out-of-season purchases (such as pool chemicals when most pools are closed) or using a P.O. Box shipping address rather than a home address

So, if you’re a retail employee confronted with a suspicious purchase, what should you do?

  • After a suspicious encounter, make notes. Write down as much information as you have been able to gather, such as the person’s name, physical description, license plate number, and the details of the transaction
  • Notify your store manager, loss prevention officer or security manager
  • If the purchase raises serious concerns, report it to local or federal authorities so it can be investigated further

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have also published a series of flash cards for identifying suspicious customers and providing resources to retail staff. These three cards cover “Suspicious Behavior Awareness,” “Hazardous Chemical Awareness”, and “Peroxide Product Awareness.” They’re available as a free download for printing at The Department of Homeland Security’s TRIPwire website.

It’s an unavoidable fact of modern life that we must, in the words of the Harry Potter character Mad-Eye Moody, practice “constant vigilance” against those who plan to use chemicals to hurt others. Salespersons, cashiers, sales assistants, and other employees of retail outlets can help just as people in industrial settings to ensure that hazardous chemicals are kept out of the hands of criminals. Employers must also do their part by establishing internal procedures for reporting suspicious activities, and encouraging staff to “trust their gut” about suspicious customers, as the video advises

To obtain a free DVD of this video, you can e-mail the FBI at chemteam@fbi.gov, with complete contact information (name, title, store name or organization, street address, and phone number.) Or you can view it on YouTube:


If you have questions about hazardous chemical security regulations and how they can affect your operations, please contact us here at ICC The Compliance Center at 1-888-442-9628 (USA) or 1-888-977-44834 (Canada).

Lithium
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Recall & Exchange

IATA Training & Lithium Batteries

I recently taught an IATA refresher training in New York. In the class we touched on transporting lithium batteries by air, as there has been so many changes this year to the regulations. To make it relevant to today’s world, I mentioned the newest warning for passengers to “shut off completely all Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones” before boarding any flights. According to several news reports these phones are overheating and even exploding. Having made the point, the class moved on to marks, labels, and the dangerous goods declaration. After class as I was preparing to head to the airport, one of the participants came and asked what my itinerary was. It was on Delta Airlines through Atlanta, GA. Come to find out just that morning a flight from Norfolk, VA to Atlanta had a fire on board due to a spare Lithium battery wedged between two seats.

Now, picture my arrival to the Buffalo/Niagara Falls airport that afternoon. As we are preparing to board the warning to turn off all Galaxy Note 7 phones was again broadcasted. Once on board, several of us asked the cabin stewards if they had heard about that morning’s plane. At one point during the discussion, a fellow passenger called out, “Danger, Will Robinson, Danger” from the 1960’s TV show Lost in Space. For those of you who are too young or not science fiction nerds like me, listen to Robot’s warning:

What is Wrong with the Galaxy Note 7’s Battery?

Once home I wondered why are these phones so at risk for overheating and exploding. This put me into research mode. The advertising campaign for these phones includes such claims as “bigger battery”, “powered for up to nine hours”, and “water resistant”. What is happening instead is overheating. This overheating can be caused by the environment like hot cars or from within the battery itself. It is the latter that is causing the problem for the Galaxy Note 7. Samsung is calling it a “battery cell issue”. For those of us in the dangerous goods business we know that phrase isn’t exactly correct but it gets the point across. As a reminder batteries are a series or group of cells connected together.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Recall & Exchange

There is currently a recall on these phones as well as an exchange program in place for the United States. The recall is for devices sold before September 15, 2016. The recall stresses “it is extremely important to stop using your device, power it down and immediately exchange it …” The Exchange Program allows the owner to do the following:

  1. Exchange your current Galaxy Note 7 device with a new Galaxy Note7 as approved by the CPSC available no later than September 21, 2016; or
  2. Exchange your current Galaxy Note 7 for a Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge and replacement of any Note 7 specific accessories with a refund of the price difference between devices; or
  3. Contact your point of purchase to obtain a refund.

To see if your device is eligible for exchange, go to http://www.samsung.com/us/note7recall/ and scroll to the Eligibility section. This same link will also provide owners with the websites and contact numbers for the retailers that sell the phones and provides a Frequently Asked Questions section.


As always, ICC is here for all of your safety needs. Contact us today for our Lithium Battery Multi-Modal transport course.