PHMSA Update
U.S. Final Rule HM-215N on International Harmonization Delayed

Regulatory Freeze Delays Final Rule 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The Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) of the Department of Transportation (DOT) has withdrawn a Final Rule that was intended to be published in the Federal Register on January 26.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, improving U.S. abilities to import and export hazardous materials as well as reflecting improved safety standards. However, due to the new administration’s Regulatory Freeze executive memorandum, regulatory changes that had been sent to the Federal Register but not already approved must be immediately withdrawn for “review and approval” before being reissued. While the text of the Final Rule had already been published on PHMSA’s website on January 18th, it had not yet appeared in the Federal Register. The Regulatory Freeze took effect as of January 20.

Since this update is relatively non-controversial for stakeholders in the transportation industry, and will improve the ability of the United States to compete internationally, it is hoped that the review and approval time will be short. However, until the Final Rule can be published, the hazmat community must wait for the anticipated harmonization of U.S. regulations with international standards. These include proposed changes such as:

  • the adoption of the latest versions 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 and Canadian “Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations”;
  • the extension of Transport Canada equivalency certificates to the U.S. portions of transborder shipments;
  • a set of new shipping descriptions for products such as polymerizable substances;
  • a new special provision for substances that require stabilization during transport, enabling the use of temperature controls when chemical stabilization becomes ineffective;
  • change in the classification and hazard communication for uranium hexafluoride; and
  • the harmonization of lithium battery transport provisions, including the new Class 9 label and Lithium Battery Handling Mark. Fortunately, these new marks have a transition period in the ICAO Technical Instructions until 2019.

Right now PHMSA is unable to confirm when they can resubmit the Final Rule. It will, it’s hoped, be soon, so U.S. companies can establish a unified set of procedures for national and international shipments.

If you have questions about these proposed changes and how they can affect your operations, please contact ICC Compliance Center at 1.888.442.9628 (USA) or 1.888.977.44834 (Canada).

GHS
GHS in North America and Europe – Where Are We Now?

Isn’t everyone using GHS for SDS’s and labels?

The answer to that is yes, and also no.

The European Union (EU)

In the EU, REACH [Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006 concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals] and GHS regulations [Regulation (EC) No. 1272/2008 on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures, or the ‘CLP’] have already been implemented for many years. Most phases of the EU’s implementation plan have already been completed. There is one last remaining date that has not yet passed, however, with respect to SDS’s and labels.

SDS’s and labels for pure substances are required to fully compliant with REACH and the CLP. The last transition date for pure substance SDS’s was completed on December 1, 2012. Any SDS and label for a pure substance after that date, had to be fully compliant with REACH and CLP regulations, and display only GHS information.

SDS’s and labels for mixtures, for products placed on the market in the EU for the first time after June 1, 2015, are also required to be fully compliant with REACH and the CLP, and display only GHS information.

Mixture SDS’s and labels, only for products already placed on the market in the EU for the first time before June 1, 2015, however, may still show old system EU information. These SDS’s and labels for mixtures, may still display the EU’s old system of regulations [Directive 1999/45/EC], which made use of Risk (R) and Safety (S) phrases, as well as square shaped, orange and black symbols. These SDS’s and Labels, have the last remaining compliance date, which is coming up fast, of June 1, 2017. Any SDS and label after that date, will have to be fully compliant with REACH and CLP regulations.

The United States

In the United States, GHS regulations have also already been implemented for a few years as well. All effective completion dates have passed in the United States. All SDS’s, labels, written Hazard Communication programs, and training must be fully compliant with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Hazcom 2012 GHS standard. The last transition date, for Employer workplace systems, was completed on June 1, 2016.

Canada

In Canada, the implementation of GHS into existing regulations is currently in only its first transition phase. Health Canada’s Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR) (ie. the ‘Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System 2015’, or ‘WHMIS 2015’), were only fairly recently published in February of 2015.

In its first transition phase, Manufacturers, Importers and Distributors, may comply with either the existing WHMIS regulation (‘WHMIS 1988’ or the ‘Controlled Products Regulations / CPR’), or the new WHMIS 2015 GHS regulation. SDS’s in this phase, may still be called ‘Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS’s)’, and labels may still show the characteristic WHMIS 1988 hatched border and circular symbols. Phase 1 comes to an end on May 31, 2017, after which, Manufacturers and Importers must comply fully with the WHMIS 2015 regulation. SDS’s and labels then after that date, which are produced by Manufacturers and Importers, must display GHS information.

In its second transition phase, which begins on June 1, 2017, Distributors may still comply with either the existing WHMIS 1988 regulation, or the new WHMIS 2015 GHS regulation. Employers now will also comply with either regulation. Phase 2 comes to an end on May 31, 2018, after which, Distributors must comply fully with the WHMIS 2015 regulation. Any SDS’s and labels in a distribution warehouse, then, after that date, must display GHS information.

In its third and final transition phase, which begins on June 1, 2018, Employers may still comply with either the existing WHMIS 1988 regulation, or the new WHMIS 2015 GHS regulation. Phase 3 comes to an end on November 30, 2018, after which, Employers must comply fully with the WHMIS 2015 regulation. With this third and final phase, individual Provinces may slightly extend certain aspects of employer WHMIS 1988 requirements, so the rules in place for each individual Province must be reviewed. For example, the Province of Ontario, will allow Federally-regulated Employers to use WHMIS 1988 for products already present in the workplace on December 1, 2018, until May 31, 2019.

Mexico

In Mexico, GHS was adopted even before it was adopted in the United States into OSHA regulations. In June of 2011, Mexico’s Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare published a new Mexican standard, NMX-R-019-SCFI-2011. The standard adopted all building blocks of the UN’s Purple Book, revision 3, including all Environmentally Hazardous categories. The standard, however, was completely optional. Mexico presented the new standard as an ‘alternative’ to its existing standard, NOM-018-STPS-2000.

Then, fairly recently, in October of 2015, the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare announced the adoption of a new GHS standard, which will eventually become mandatory. This is Mexican standard NOM-018-STPS-2015. This newer GHS standard adopted all building blocks of the UN’s Purple Book, revision 5, again, including all Environmentally Hazardous categories.

Similarly to Canada, Mexico is now also in a transition phase. Employers in Mexico may comply with the existing standard, NOM-018-STPS-2000, or standard NOM-018-STPS-2014 (this was a ‘proposed’ NOM that was officially adopted as NOM-018-STPS-2015), until October 8, 2018. SDS’s and labels then after that date, must display GHS information.

North America and Europe Reminders

Canada, the United States, Mexico, and Europe, will not be completely transitioned to GHS, across the board, until November 30, 2018, when Canada’s final transition phase for employers come to an end. In the meantime, keep in mind these differing transition and completion dates. And as always, remember that each country or region may throw in side-bar country specific requirements that veer away from the UN’s Purple Book. Review each regulation fully, and individually.

For further information and updates on European and North American regulations, please consult the following website links:

Europe:
ECHA

United States:
OSHA

Canada:
WHMIS

Mexico:
Diario Oficial de la Federación


If you have any questions regarding the GHS, please contact ICC Compliance Center Inc at 1-888-442-9628 (USA) or 1-888-977-4834 (Canada).

IMDG
Changes for IMDG Code 38th Edition

Next year signals the start of a new biennium for transportation of dangerous goods. Ocean shippers should take a look at what’s in store in the new International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG) which has been updated to reflect the most recent revisions of the UN Recommendation for the Transport of Dangerous Goods.

Compared to other regulations, the IMDG Code has a rather complex method of implementing changes. The IMDG Code 38th Edition was published in November of this year, so it will be referred to as the 2016 edition. However, the changes will not go into effect for 2016. Instead, shippers and carriers may start to use the new edition as of January 1, 2017. But a transition period of one year is given, so the changes are not mandatory until January 1, 2018. A new edition of the Code will be published near the end of 2018, but there will be another transition period of a year during which the 38th edition can still be used.

IMDG Transition Timeline
IMDG Transition Timeline

Think of it this way – during odd-numbered years you can use the current edition of the code, or the previous one. During even-numbered years, you must use the latest code published.

So, what changes can we expect for ocean shipment? It turns out that this biennium will not be one of massive changes, but will reflect adjustments and tweaks, as well as the introduction of a few new shipping descriptions. Here’s a list of the most significant changes for the 38th Edition.

  1. The classification sections for gases, flammable liquids, toxic substances and corrosives will now include definitions of materials prohibited from transport. These will be materials that can polymerize or decompose violently under the normal conditions of ocean transport.
  2. A new section 2.0.0.2, addresses when the shipper believes a named substance has hazards beyond those assigned by the regulations.
  3. In section 2.3.2.2, an alternate measurement of viscosity (using kinematic viscosity) can now be used in adjusting the packing group of viscous flammable liquids.
  4. A new type of flammable solid, called polymerizing substance, has been added to the classification criteria for Division 4.1.
  5. New shipping names have been added to the Dangerous Goods List in Volume 2. These include names for the new polymerizable substances (UN3531 to UN3534); new names for engines of various types, which have been split from vehicles (UN3528 to UN3550); and a new entry for polyester resin kits which have a solid, rather than liquid, base (UN3527).
  6. The new entries on the Dangerous Goods List have required the creation of new packing instructions for them.
  7. For UN1950, AEROSOLS, there is a new packing instruction, LP200, which will allow spray cans to be shipped in “large packagings” (combination packagings exceeding 450 Litres capacity per outer packaging.)
  8. New ISO standards have been incorporated into the packaging instructions for Class 2 gases.
  9. The “OVERPACK” marking has now been assigned a minimum letter height of 12 mm.
  10. Lithium batteries have changed in several ways to reflect new UN standards. First, the Code has introduced the new lithium battery handling mark, and the new lithium battery class 9 label. Both of these have a transition period of two years, and become mandatory in 2019. These are addressed in the revised Special Provision SP188 and the new SP384.
  11. Lithium batteries that are prototypes or low production samples have a new packing instruction, P910.

While shippers of dangerous goods by ocean have slightly longer to adapt to the new regulations than do air shippers, it’s important to remember that ocean shipments are usually longer as well. Don’t get caught out when your shipment suddenly becomes non-compliant mid-ocean.


If you have questions about the coming requirements for shipping dangerous goods by ocean, contact us here at ICC Compliance Center at 1-888-442-9628 (USA) or 1-888-977-44834 (Canada).

TDG
HO! HO! HO! TDG Under the Tree – Proposed Harmonization

The November 26th Canada Gazette I provides an early “gift” to the regulated community which may help relieve boredom over the holiday season.

Harmonization Transportation Style

Although the DG world (unlike WHMIS/OSHA) has been fairly well harmonized under the UN Recommendations for some years now, there have been issues from time to time with; the editions standards referenced in the TDG regulations (TDGR); differences between DOT/TDG requirements for pressure receptacles; and confusion in the status of cross-border shipments when special permits (DOT) or equivalency certificates (TDG) are applied to consignments (for brevity, we’ll refer to these both under the generic term “permit for equivalent level of safety”- PELS).

Ambling Along

An example of the former is the Table of Safety Standards in TDGR 1.3. The recognized edition of the UN Recommendations is the 17th Ed. (2011)- despite the fact that we’re currently looking at the 19th Ed. (2015) and are on the verge of the 20th (2017). This can lead to confusion since the modal regulations are usually consistent with the current edition of UN Recommendations.

To help resolve this issue, and presumably to reduce the amount of catch-up amending necessary, Transport Canada proposes to expand the listing of “ambulatory references” – refer to the latest edition (i.e. “as amended from time to time” rather than a specific date)- for equivalency of other regulations and some selected technical standards.

Canada-US Regulatory Cooperation

Issues reviewed at the joint Canada-US Regulatory Cooperation Council are also appearing in this harmonization proposal.

The US DOT is following a parallel track, with proposed amendment HM-215N published in September, to include similar provisions in 49 CFR. (see Barbara’s Blog of Oct. 13, 2016)

U.S. Publishes Proposed Rule HM-215N on International Harmonization

Key aspects of this initiative include expanding the reciprocity provision to fill and use US DOT pressure receptacles in Canada rather than only accepting those which had been filled within the US. Requalification, repair, marking, etc. must be in accordance with the country where it’s done.

TDGR Parts 9 and 10 also would extend recognition of US PELS regardless of the existence of a Transport Canada-issued corresponding permit, reducing the need to apply for, or determine the existence of, a similar provision. The PELS number would have to appear on the shipping document. Application of the reciprocity would continue to be disallowed for things that are forbidden in TDGR or are not regulated under 49CFR. Each country’s regulations would still have to be reviewed regarding general special case/special provision exemptions.

Additionally, “one-time movement approvals” (OTMA) for moving damaged tank cars, for example, would be recognised in each country to facilitate dealing with situations where the car must be moved to safely empty and repair the means of containment.

Safety Marks, Labels, and Placards

Lithium Battery Mark, Label and Placard

The adoption of the “new” lithium battery mark will replace the provision for marking equivalent wording on packages subject to SP 34. This includes indicating the UN number of the contents instead of just the battery type by name. All SP34 packages will require the mark, but a notation on documentation will no longer apply.

The TDGR also will adopt the new lithium battery Class 9 label for packages requiring this hazard label. As with the other modal/US regulations/proposals, the mandatory use will have a 2-year transition period.

Placarding May not be Harmonized

The TDGR amendment as proposed will require the use of a placard corresponding to the lithium battery Class 9 label instead of a standard Class 9 placard when means of containment require placards.
This is at odds with the 49CFR HM-215N proposal to maintain the use of a “regular” Class 9 placard despite the new lithium battery Class 9 label (“…Class 9 placards, when used, must conform to the existing requirements in …172.560”).
Ditto final (i.e. adopted) IMDG Code Amendment 38-16 -see 5.3.1.1.2: “For dangerous goods of class 9 the placard shall correspond to the label model No. 9 as in 5.2.2.2.2; label model No. 9A shall not be used for placarding purposes.” – i.e. must use the standard Class 9, not the lithium version.

Updating to Current International Regulations

Other proposals will “catch up” the TDGR with many of the changes in the UN Recommendations regarding classifications and listings in TDGR Schedule 1 with applicable editing of special provisions (e.g. specific entries for the various types of combustion engines, solid/liquid polyester resin kits, etc.).

Overpack Marking Clarified

Included in 2 dozen or so “typographical corrections and minor miscellaneous changes” is the removal of the need to mark “Overpack” when the DG marks are visible; but when it is required it must be in minimum 12 mm high characters.

Other Safety Marks (in addition to lithium batteries discussed above)

The proposed amendment will adopt the international standard Class 9 convention of underlining the “9” on both labels and placards.
Also the new “fumigation” label is included in the Appendix to Part 4, presumably to catch up with the information included in the amendment in SOR/2014-159.

Missing from this proposal however, is the requirement for a 2 mm thickness for the inner border line on labels, as currently specified in the UN Recommendations, 49 CFR, IATA DGR and the IMDG Code.

The amendment will not, of course, be finalized until published in Gazette II, with a proposed 6 month general transition period (but until Dec.31, 2018 for the lithium battery mark and lithium battery Class 9 label). There is a 60 day comment period on the proposal and the detailed version may be consulted at:

http://www.gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/2016/2016-11-26/html/reg3-eng.php


If you have any questions about these changes and how they can affect your operations, please contact us here at ICC Compliance Center at 1-888-442-9628 (USA) or 1-888-977-4834 (Canada).

IATA
IATA DGR 2017 FedEx Limitations Re-organized

FedEx Changes Style & Substance

The 2017 IATA DGR Limitations (Section 2) has a bit of a curve ball thrown to those who have become familiar with the common FedEx (FX) limitations found throughout the Section 5 packing instructions (PI).

In addition to the substantive changes in lithium battery shipment acceptance, the complete FX series has been re-arranged. The restrictions in the previous (57th) edition are still there but have been largely consolidated as sub-items; often within a different FX number. The change results in going from 18 FX numbers, 17 of which were active (FX-08 was “Not used”) to essentially the same topics covered in a list of 9 active FX numbers (FX-01 through FX-08 & FX-18)- i.e. FX-09 through FX-17 are currently not in use.

A quick reference guide for those who had memorised the common FedEx exemptions appears below:

FedEx-Changes in IATA DGR Limitations

TOPIC 57th Ed 2016 58th Ed 2017
Class 1 FX-01 FX-01 (a), (b)
Class 6.1, PIH, Class 2 with sub. FX-02 FX-02 (a), (b)
Class 7…+ excepted pkg FX-03 FX-03 (a)- (d) + (e)
Nitrating acids FX-04 FX-04 (a)
Haz waste FX-05 FX-04 (b)
PCBs FX-06 FX-02 (c)
Li Batteries FX-07 FX-05 (a) – (d)
not used FX-08
Class 6.2, WHO RG4 FX-09 FX-04 (c)
Class 4.3 FX-10 FX-02 (d)
Pkg must accommodate labels FX-11 FX-06
Typed ShDec FX-12 FX-07
Compressed oxygen FX-13 FX-02 (e)
Shipper’s Dec, 3 copies… FX-14 FX-08
Acetylene; DiMeDiClsilane; Zr suspension FX-15 FX-04 (d)
Sp A2, A183 not recognised FX-16 FX-04 (e)
IE/IEF require “V-pkg” FX-17 FX-02 (f)
Software for ShDec FX-18 FX-18

Note: Although there are several “FX-” limitations relating to, for example, marking and documentation; the majority of limitations are referenced in the PI. For details on FedEx’s current approach to lithium batteries, see Paula’s Blog of Nov. 3:

New Lithium Battery Rules for FedEx

OSHA & PHMSA Working Together

OSHA & PHMSA Issue Joint Guidance Memorandum

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a joint guidance memorandum that is intended to provide clarity on the applicability and relationship between, DOT’s labeling requirements under the HMR and OSHA’s labeling requirements for bulk shipments under the HCS 2012.

PHMSA’s hazardous materials regulations require labeling of hazardous materials in transportation, while OSHA requires labeling on containers in the workplace.

When OSHA released its Hazcom 2012 (29 CFR Part 1910.1200) revisions, Appendix C.2.3.3 stated that “If a label has a DOT transport pictogram, the corresponding HCS pictogram shall not appear.” The Hazardous Materials Regulations state “No person may offer for transportation and no carrier may transport a package bearing any marking or label which by its color, design, or shape could be confused with or conflict with a label prescribed by this part” (49 CFR Part 172.401(b)).

This raised many questions with stakeholders, and shortly thereafter, OSHA published a brief that stated that PHMSA does not view the pictograms as a conflict, and both may appear. OSHA continues on in the brief to state they intend on revising C.2.3.3, but in the meantime, they will allow both to appear. This new guidance document further confirms this position.

The Joint Guidance Memorandum can be found at https://www.osha.gov/dsg/hazcom/joint_phmsa_memo_09192016.html


ICC is your source for compliant DOT/OSHA or TDG/WHMIS labeling requirements. Contact us to find out how we can help.

Lithium
New Lithium Battery Rules for FedEx

Lithium by definition is an element on the periodic table. It has the symbol of Li and the atomic number 3. It appears as a soft metal and silvery white in color. Lithium compounds have various uses. They can be used in lubricants, special glasses/ceramics, and as a drug to treat the manic episodes of bipolar disorder. It is also used in rechargeable batteries. Interestingly enough, those folks involved with the shipping of Lithium Batteries could probably benefit from the drug form about now. I don’t mean to belittle those who suffer from a bipolar disorder and the manic episodes that can occur under this diagnosis. It is an awful disease. However, with all of the changes happening in the regulations for shipping Lithium batteries, many shippers can begin to feel a bit manic.

Not only are the regulations changing for all modes of transport, but so are the rules of certain Carriers. Federal Express or FedEx Express recently released their changes for air shipments. These changes will go into effect on January 1, 2017 along with the new IATA regulations, and will be included with the Operator Variations for FedEx. So what are the changes?

Change #1: Lithium batteries (UN3090 and UN3480) meeting Section II requirements under IATA will NO LONGER BE ACCEPTED by FedEx Express.

What does “no longer accepted” mean? Let’s clarify some terms and information. UN3090 is for Lithium Metal Batteries and UN3480 is for Lithium Ion Batteries.  Section II batteries are ones that were sort of “excepted” batteries. They were “not subject to other additional requirements”. A shipper can still send Section II batteries with FedEx Express. However, they must ship them as fully regulated under Section IA or Section IB requirements of the appropriate Packing Instruction in the air regulations.

Change #2: There are new marking and labeling requirements for UN3090 and UN3480.

New lithium battery label New Lithium Battery Mark and Pictogram

These UN numbers will require IATA-compliant marks and labels. They require the new Class 9 labels and the Cargo Aircraft Only label. The new Lithium Battery Handling mark with the UN number added to it will be needed for those batteries being shipped under Section IB and II.

Change #3: Training Requirements

The air regulations have the phrase, “Any person preparing or offering cells or batteries for transport must receive adequate instruction” as part of the Packing Instruction for Lithium batteries. What FedEx Express has added is a caveat. Their new policy says that those handling UN3090 or UN3480 “will need FULL dangerous goods training”.

Change #4: More fees and Approvals

There could be more fees for shipping batteries that qualify as UN3090 and UN3480. This is because they are considered Inaccessible Dangerous Goods (IDG) by FedEx Express. IDGs have a surcharge and rates should be checked using the FedEx Service Guide. As for approvals, all Sections of UN3090 have required pre-approval to be shipped using FedEx Express. According to this publication, if a company is currently on a pre-approved list for Section II, FedEx Express will automatically place them on the Section I UN3090 pre-approved list.

There is no need for drastic medications yet. The new information is out now and does not go into effect until January 1, 2017. Shippers can adjust to the new versions of the regulations published and the new changes presented here. As always, ICC Compliance Center is here for all of your hazard communication needs. We offer the new Class 9 labels, the new Lithium Battery Mark, and a full course on shipping Lithium batteries by all modes. Also, if you are a current customer of ours, you are able to utilize our Regulatory Helpline. This service has trained Regulatory Specialist available to answer your questions and get you the information you need to create shipments of dangerous goods/hazardous materials.

Lithium
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 BANNED

Don’t Bring Your Note 7 with You on a Plane

More bad news for Samsung Galaxy Note 7 owners. Not only do you have to worry about them catching on fire, but now, you can’t even bring them with you when you travel by air.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), announced it is issuing an emergency order to ban all Samsung Galaxy Note7 smartphone devices from air transportation in the United States.

This emergency order bans all Samsung Galaxy Note 7 devices from “being on their person, in carry-on baggage or in checked baggage on flights to, from or within the USA.

The emergency order can be found here:
https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2016-25322.pdf

In September, Samsung announced the recall of over 1.9 million Galaxy Note7 devices. The Consumer Product Safety  Commission says that Samsung received 96 reports of lithium batteries overheating, including 13 burns and 47 reports of property damage. The CPSC recall notice can be found here: https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2017/Samsung-Expands-Recall-of-Galaxy-Note7-Smartphones-Based-on-Additional-Incidents-with-Replacement-Phones


If you need to ship lithium ion or metal batteries by themselves, packed in equipment or  contained in equipment contact ICC for training and supplies to ensure that they are transported safely.

PHMSA Update
U.S. Publishes Proposed Rule HM-215N on International Harmonization

It’s autumn — we’re surrounded by orange leaves and orange pumpkins, and children are thinking about Halloween. Regulators, on the other hand, are thinking about something else orange. A new edition of the Orange Book (the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods) is out.

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), under the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), has made a commitment that U.S. transportation will stay well-harmonized with international regulations. So, now that the 19th Edition of the Orange Book is upon us, we must prepare for changes to the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (49 CFR).

DOT’s rules on international harmonization can be identified by their HM-215 docket numbers. On September 7, 2016, PHMSA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking, HM-215N. This rulemaking is intended to harmonize the HMR with the latest regulations on hazardous materials, including:

  • 2017-2018 Edition of the International Civil Aviation Organization Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (ICAO TI),
  • Amendment 38-16 to the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG),
  • Canada’s “Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations” (TDG) up to an amendment incorporated on May 20, 2015,
  • 6th Revised Edition of the UN Manual of Test and Criteria, and
  • 6th Revised Edition of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS).

What changes can we expect?

As always, PHMSA does not simply cut and paste from the latest Orange Book. Instead, it reviews how international changes will interact with current U.S. regulations, and attempts to balance harmonization with international requirements against specific U.S. safety concerns. Some of the major changes proposed will include:

Provisions for polymerizing substances – PHMSA will add to the Hazardous Materials Table (HMR), section 172.101, four entries for a new type of hazard called polymerizing substances in Division 4.1. They will also establish classification criteria defining what are polymerizing substances, specific packaging authorizations and safety requirements for these unstable materials. These requirements will include stabilization methods and operational controls.

Polymeric beads – PHMSA proposes to add a procedure for declassifying polymeric beads if they don’t give off dangerous amounts of flammable gas, based on the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria.

Modification of the marine pollutant list – The list of marine pollutants in Appendix B to the HMT is a remnant of an earlier system under which aquatic hazards were determined by environmental authorities such as MARPOL. The Orange Book has for some time used a system of classification criteria instead of the list. In other words, a marine pollutant in the Orange Book and the IMDG Code is any chemical that tests positive as an environmental hazard. PHMSA will maintain the old list as a starting point for classification, although it will allow the use of the IMDG criteria for chemicals not listed, and this amendment will update the list to reflect current knowledge of marine hazards.

Hazard communication for lithium batteries – Lithium batteries have remained a thorn in the side of hazmat shippers as well as regulators, as the international community still scrambles to establish a fool-proof method of transporting these items. Under the 19th Edition of the Orange Book and the ICAO TI for 2017-2018, a new Class 9 label specific for batteries has been introduced, as well as a new simplified Lithium Battery Handling mark for low-powered batteries. PHMSA plans to incorporate these to match. Also, the Lithium Battery Handling mark will made mandatory.

Engine, internal combustion/Machinery, internal combustion – Under this proposal, the entries existing for “Engine, internal combustion” would be assigned their own UN numbers and hazard class based on the type of fuel – for example, a gasoline engine would be put in Class 3, UN3528, while a propane-powered engine would be put in Division 2.1, UN3529. The entries for UN3166 will be eliminated.

Harmonization with Canadian regulations – PHMSA proposes to eliminate several costly and annoying areas of non-harmonization with Canadian TDG regulations that have been addressed by the U.S.-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC). PHMSA proposes to recognize cylinders approved under Transport Canada. Also, Canadian equivalency certificates (the Canadian term for permits for equivalent level of safety) may be used for shipments coming into the U.S., until the first destination. These changes will be made along with Transport Canada, who will amend TDG to give similar reciprocity for cylinders and permits regarding shipments coming into Canada.

PHMSA has already moved forward on some issues that the UN is only now addressing. For example, the proposal notes that while the Orange Book has created an exemption for ping-pong balls under the entry for UN 2000, Celluloid, PHMSA has already declared in a letter of interpretation that the U.S. does not consider such articles to “pose an unreasonable risk to health, safety or property during transportation.” This comes as a significant relief to those who enjoy a rousing game of table tennis.

You can view the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking at PHMSA’s rulemaking archive. Comments on the proposed changes may be received by November 7, 2016, by mail, fax, hand-delivery or the Federal Rulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov.


If you have any questions about these proposed changes and how they can affect your operations, please contact us here at ICC Compliance Center at 1-888-442-9628 (USA) or 1-888-977-4834 (Canada).

Environmental Update
EPA Aligns 40 CFR Part 370 with OSHA Hazcom 2012

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final technical amendment to 40 CFR Part 370, in June 2016 which aligns the hazardous chemical reporting regulations to the changes in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Hazcom 2012.

These changes have a compliance date of January 1, 2018, and affect reporting under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), sections 311 and 312.

Section 311 of EPCRA requires facilities to submit a SDS or a list of hazardous chemicals grouped by categories of physical and health hazards. Section 312 of EPCRA requires facilities to submit an emergency and hazardous chemical inventory form yearly by March 1.

Prior to the change in 2012, the hazard communication regulations (OSHA) were performance oriented, and did not specify the language/description or format that the company had to use. Once the hazard communication regulations were updated, stakeholders requested that EPA align the wording to be consistent with the new OSHA Hazcom 2012 regulations.

Some of the changes in 40 CFR Part 370 include:

  • Technical terms have been updated (i.e., Material Safety Data Sheet to Safety Data Sheet)
  • The definition of Hazard Category has been updated
  • The “Five categories” (Fire/Sudden release of pressure/Reactive/Immediate acute and Delayed-chronic) have been changed to match the physical and health hazards outlined the Hazcom 2012
  • The Tier I and Tier II inventory forms are modified
  • Tier 2 Submit, the software will be updated, and EPA is providing flexibility for states to modify their software by January 2018

Look for these changes to be found in Section 15 of your Safety Data Sheets in the near future.

Contact ICC Compliance Center for more information, or if you need help updating your SDSs.