WHMIS Logo
WHMIS 2015 – June 2017 Deadline Extended

Warehouse with chemicals

Extra, Extra Read All About It!

Health Canada has announced that the deadline for manufacturers and importers to comply with the HPR (a.k.a. WHMIS 2015) has been EXTENDED.

The deadline of June 1, 2017 has been delayed by one (1) year to June 1, 2018. The second deadline of June 1, 2018 has been delayed by three (3) months to September 1, 2018.

The orders and a regulatory impact analysis statement (RIAS) will be published in Canada Gazette Part II shortly. We will provide details as they become available. Stay tuned.

Finally, thank you to everyone that worked with Health Canada to make this extension a reality.

TDG
It’s The Standard – TP14850 Update Consultation – May 2017 Draft

Red semi truck on highway

Transport Canada’s Standard TP14850, “Small Containers for Transport of Dangerous Goods, Classes 3, 4, 5, 6.1, 8, and 9”

Transport Canada is well into the process of producing the 3rd Edition of TP14850. The current 2nd Edition (2010) has been in effect since it replaced the CGSB 43.150-97 standard in 2014. Changes to TP14850 are required to reflect current harmonization with the UN Recommendations, changes in the TDG regulations, improvements to ensure the integrity of standardized packaging, addition/clarification of Part 14 special cases, and simplify use of the standard.

Comments are welcomed until May 31, 2017.

An initial draft update was prepared for discussion in January 2016 and a committee of 30-40 stakeholders has been reviewing, discussing and proposing modifications between the initial draft and the May 2017 draft version of the 3rd Edition (by way of disclosure, the author of this Blog is one of the stakeholder representatives). The May 2017 draft follows these reviews and feedback from an initial 2016 public consultation.

Manufacturer’s Periodic Re-Test Obligation

A new requirement (Clause 7.1.7) requires the registered manufacturer to periodically, at least every 5 years, repeat performance tests on a representative sample. Typically, registration certificates are issued for 5 year periods.

One thing to note is that although TP14850 as currently written/proposed does not define “manufacturer” with respect to obligations under the standard, the application form for registration clarifies, in section 4 and Appendix C, that “…the manufacturer is considered to be the person or corporate entity applying for the Certificate of Registration, even if they do not actually manufacture the containers.

Currently registered manufacturers would have a 2-year transition period from the adoption of the 3rd Edition to comply with the periodic re-test requirement.

Organisation of Packing Instructions

As well as additions/deletions/modifications of packing instructions (PI) to include new or changed UN numbers, Appendix A has been simplified to make it easier for users to find information. Outer (Combination packaging) and single packaging limits, currently in Part B, Table A of Appendix A, will be incorporated into each PI. Also, the Substance Specific Provisions (SSP-currently in a separate Part C of Appendix A) will be listed at the end of each PI.

This follows the convention in both the UN Recommendations and IMDG Code publications.

Although Transport Canada does not currently include PI references in Schedule I, the SSP are listed in order of UN number (or the first UN number in a series when more than one UN number uses the same SSP) at the end of each PI.

Conditional Extension of Life for Plastic Containers

Current standards limit the period that a standardized plastic drum or jerrican can be used for DG, even if it has never been used, to 60 months post-manufacture. Clause 12.2(c) is proposed to be modified by special case (Clause 14.4) that would allow conditional use of fleets of drums or jerricans by a single operator up to 120 months post-manufacture- i.e. an extension from 5 years to 10 years.

The fleet operator would have to be registered with Transport Canada under a requirement in the new Clause 10.12.

Additional Additions – Clarification

The Part 1 proposed modifications include ambulatory references to certain standards (e.g. CSA standards), and additional definitions. Part 5 changes terminology from “markings” to “marks”, adds a requirement to identify salvage containers; Part 6 adds construction requirements for boxes made of metals other than steel or aluminum; new Clause 12.6 adds a reference to TDGR Part 11 regarding containers for marine transport; Clause 13.4 clarifies that salvage container absorbent must only be sufficient to eliminate free liquid present when the container is being closed; Part 14 re-defines special cases regarding waste, and adds Clause 14.3 regarding Mobile Process Units used under the Explosives Act/Regulations.

Next Steps

The committee will review a “final” draft following this consultation. Transport Canada then expects to do the final edit and publication of the 3rd Edition in Q4/2017 or Q1/2018.

Existing Manufacturer registrations issued under the current 2nd Edition would continue to be valid to their current expiry date, unless otherwise revoked.

Those interested can request a copy of the May 2017 draft, and/or submit comments by May 31 at:
http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/tdg/clear-modifications-menu-261.htm#standard

WHMIS 2015
WHMIS 2015 Labelling: Imports – Direct Shipments

Warehouse with chemicals

Uniquely Canadian

A key difference that distributors of imported hazardous products are struggling with is the treatment of products that require re-labelling with Canadian-compliant labels.

WHMIS 1988 and WHMIS 2015 both require a “supplier” (seller) to ensure that products have compliant labels- i.e. as outlined in the respective “controlled” or “hazardous” products regulations. Manufacturers and Distributors, as suppliers are usually comfortable in complying when they are preparing/consolidating shipments of products initially labelled in compliance with the Canadian regulations for GHS-based required wording, pictograms, etc.

However, when receiving imports other mandatory features such as bilingual English/French text, a Canadian Supplier name/address and “non-GHS” classifications may not always be present.

Do It Here or Do It There?

Ideally the foreign supplier will have the instruction and capability to address Canadian label requirements when fulfilling the order from a Canadian customer- be it the end user or a distributor.

If the foreign supplier is unable to reliably provide WHMIS-compliant labels, the Canadian importer may supply the labels for application before shipment.

Practically this may not always be possible depending on the sophistication of the foreign supplier, the volume ordered or the uniqueness of the product. The Canadian distributor may bring non-compliant product to their facility/agent and re-label the product before delivery to the final customer who will have employees handling and/or using the product.

The above options are possible under both the WHMIS 1988 and WHMIS 2015 regulations.

The Plot Thickens

A third option was available under WHMIS 1988 which most suppliers found most expedient, particularly for skid-load packages, and the only practical option when delivery requirements necessitated direct delivery to the user location- bypassing the distributor/importer’s facility.

The section in the WHMIS 1988 version of the Hazardous Product Act (HPA) dealing with labels required them to be applied to each container upon sale or import unless (HPA 14. (2)(a)(ii)) “the person to whom the controlled product is sold undertakes in writing to apply a label to the inner container“.

This provision is no longer contained in the equivalent sections (HPA 13.(1)(b) re “sell” & 14.(b) re “import”) of the current WHMIS 2015 legislation.

Lack of support for the customer labelling option of WHMIS 1988 is also reinforced in Health Canada’s 2016-12 “WHMIS 2015 Supplier Requirements Guide” (“Technical Guidance on the Requirements of the Hazardous Products Act and the Hazardous Products Regulations” – e.g. page 204 & 207).

A copy of the Guide may be ordered from Health Canada’s website.

It would appear that relying on the customer to label each container could be considered non-compliant. Importers may wish to review the situation with their legal counsel or petition Health Canada.

For re-instatement of the previous HPA 14.2(a)(ii) option before customers encounter issues with Labour Inspectors as the transition period begins at the “employer” (user) level.

TDG
The Clock is Ticking – 3 Recent TDG Proposals

Red semi truck on highway

An Easter Parade!

(Marine Amendment-Part 11, Rail Car Standard TP14877 Revision, ERAP- Part 7 Consultation)

Transport Canada is heading into what seems to be an ambitious spring/summer period with a variety of projects related to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) regulations. The latest notices are open for comment until the end of April and cover aspects of Parts 5, 7 and 11 (with implications for other parts) of the TDG regulations (TDGR).

SHIP- NO!- “VESSEL” AHOY! – MARINE PROVISIONS

Significant changes are proposed to TDGR Part 11 and Part 1 Special Cases to reflect the current Canada Shipping Act (CSA) and associated regulations, as well as commercial considerations. These affect definitions, terminology and the ability to efficiently transport fuels or medical/diving gases on passenger vessels.

In addition to the changes highlighted in the notice, there are several other noteworthy changes in the proposal.

“Near coastal” versus “Home-Trade” Voyages

The current Part 11 has been the subject of confusion regarding what constitutes the use of the IMDG Code versus the TDGR, particularly with voyages between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Retailers in particular have had difficulty in determining when consumer commodities can continue on to NL under TDGR Special Case 1.17. The wording in the current TDGR implies that the voyage would fall under a Home-Trade Voyage Class 1 from the Home-Trade Voyage Regulations. At certain times, the Marine Safety branch of Transport Canada has indicated that, this voyage could be considered a Home-Trade Voyage (HTV) Class II (not referenced directly in the TDGR/old Canada Shipping Act wording) – i.e. within 120 nautical miles from shore and within 200 nautical miles of a port of refuge- and be considered a “domestic voyage” as described in §.11.2.

Thus, the voyage could fall under TDGR Special Case 1.17, Limited Quantity (LQ) exemption, which references a “domestic voyage” as eligible for the exemption, use TDGR placarding, etc.

However, the proposal- instead of maintaining this distinction- adopts the Vessel Certificates Regulations (VCR) terminology without providing an “equivalent” to a HTV Class II. The proposed version of 11.2 defines, in effect, a domestic voyage subject to TDGR (without any proposed amendment to 1.17).

The VCR terminology reference in the proposed 11.2 is for a “near coastal voyage, Class 2” to be the longest voyage to be considered “domestic”. This reduces the allowable voyage to one where the vessel is not more than 20 nautical miles from shore and within 100 nautical miles from a place of refuge.

Perhaps retailers might want to consider commenting to Transport Canada on this aspect- or start preparing to submit equivalency certificate requests (under TDGR Part 14).

Ferries

In addition to expanding some exemptions and increasing the distance from 3 to 5 km, exemptions in the current TDGR 1.6, 3.9 and 8.4(4)(d) are proposed to be dropped. These affect adherence to Schedule 1 Column 6 limits for passenger vessels, on-board access to shipping documents and reporting releases.

Flash Point Marking

The TDGR 4.13 to mark the flash point on packages is to be repealed, presumably since it’s not required in the IMDG Code.

Ammonium Nitrate-Explosives Notification

Notification of loading/unloading these commodities will no longer be required under the TDGR. Presumably this is considered a duplication of requirements under the CSA Cargo, Fumigation and Tackle Regulations.

A six-month transition period is proposed to follow publication date of the final amendment in Canada Gazette II.
The Canada Gazette I notice provides for comments until May 1, 2017 and may be obtained at:
http://www.gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/2017/2017-04-01/html/reg3-eng.php

Rail Car Standard TP14877

The first revision to this 2013 standard has reached a final (at 2016 12) draft stage and is available, on request, for review and comment by April 30, 2017:
http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/tdg/clear-modifications-menu-261.htm#public

The major changes, as highlighted in the above reference, will incorporate the improvements in tank car design; and various other safety aspects covered in Protective Directions following the Lac Mégantic disaster in 2013. The draft also includes changes to further harmonize with the 19th Ed. of the UN model regulations and 49CFR.

Before Offering versus After Loading

One significant item in section 10 (Selection and Use of Containers…) is a change in the obligation for ensuring loaded containers are in safe condition for transport.

Section 10.8 has been changed from “Before Offering for Transport” to “After Loading”. This may be to reflect the desirability of discovering errors when they’re most likely to occur; but perhaps the former aspect should be maintained for situations where there is a delay between loading and offering. In section 10.9 (“Before Transporting”), the carrier is no longer specifically responsible for remediating deficiencies that could impact public safety.

ERAP Review

The TDGR Part 7 ERAP (registered “Emergency Response Assistance Plan”) requirements have been under a Task Force review for several years. Proposals for amending Part 7 include clarification on circumstances and parties’ rights/obligations with respect to accessing (for information) or activating an ERAP.

Also, the proposal would allow an ERAP holder to extend the right to third party to return “residue last contain” shipments under the holder’s ERAP without notifying Transport Canada, update the infectious substance ERAP list, and outline ERAP termination protocols when a holder no longer consigns the substances covered by the plan.

Transport Canada has established a comprehensive website to review and provide feedback on these and other aspects of ERAP requirements, by May 1, 2017, at:
http://www.letstalktransportation.ca/part7eraps

Considering that we’ve already seen consultations on an Harmonization amendment (expected to be finalized in Canada Gazette II in June/July); a review on possible changes to Part 6 “Training” requirements; and a pre-gazette “Canadian Update” amendment proposal- not to mention ongoing committee work to update standard TP14850 for small packaging and possible development of a large packaging standard- the balance of this year will be busy for both regulators and the regulated community.

Labeling
New Hazard Class Label Requirements

Red semi truck on highway

Updated Hazard Class Label Requirements

Stemming from the UN Sub-Committee of experts on the Transportation of Dangerous Goods 40th session, December 2011, and adopted by IMDG, IATA, and PHMSA (US DOT) in 2015. This change to all Hazard Class labels, became mandatory January 1, 2017 for air and ocean shipments. HM-215N issued on March 30, 2017 amended section 172.407 to allow an additional transition period to December 31, 2018 for ground shipments in the USA.

What’s Changed?

This inner line must be 2mm width and also remain at 5mm inside the outer edge even if a reduced size label is allowed.
Note, this is not mandatory for TDG (Canada ground, but will likely become mandatory in future), but customers who ship by ground and air, or ground, air, and ocean will want the consistency now.

Class 3 Label With thick border
New Border

Class 3 Label With thin border
Old Border

The width of the inner border was never previously defined. This change allows for consistency and the wider thickness to make the label more visible.

ICC The Compliance Center is your source for Hazard Class Labels. Our regulatory staff at ICC Compliance Center will be happy to help. Just contact us at 1.888.442-.628 (USA) or 1.888.977.4834 (Canada).

PHMSA Update
Finally . . . HM-215N

Final Rule HM-215N

At long last, HM-215N is officially in place. The Department of Transportation was published in the Federal Register on Thursday, March 30, 2017. This much-anticipated final rule harmonizes the 49 CFR regulations with the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods—Model Regulations (UN Model Regulations), International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code), and the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (ICAO Technical Instructions).

Some of the Notable Changes from HM-215N Include:

New entries in the hazardous materials table (HMT) including:

  • UN3527 Polyester Resin Kit, solid base material
  • UN3528 Engine, internal combustion, flammable liquid powdered or Machinery, internal combustion, flammable liquid powered
  • UN 3529 Engine, internal combustion, flammable gas powered or Engine, fuel cell, flammable gas powered or Machinery, internal combustion, flammable gas powered or Machinery, fuel cell, flammable gas powered
  • UN 3530 Engine, internal combustion or Machinery, internal combustion

Amended Proper Shipping names

UN 3151, Polyhalogenated biphenyls, liquid or Polyhalogenated terphenyls, liquid and

UN 3152, Polyhalogenated biphenyls, solid or Polyhalogenated terphenyls, solid by adding “Halogenated monomethyldiphenylmethanes, liquid” and “Halogenated monomethyldiphenylmethanes, solid”

New Special provisions including:

New special provision 422 is assigned to the HMT entries “UN 3480, Lithium ion batteries including lithium ion polymer batteries“; “UN 3481, Lithium ion batteries contained in equipment including lithium ion polymer batteries; “UN 3481 Lithium ion batteries packed with equipment including lithium ion polymer batteries“; “UN 3090, Lithium metal batteries including lithium alloy batteries“; “UN 3091, Lithium metal batteries contained in equipment including lithium alloy batteries“; and “UN3091, Lithium metal batteries packed with equipment including lithium alloy batteries“.

Updates to Hazard Class Labels

Section 172.407 requires that the inner border of the hazard class labels measure 2mm. A transition period was in place, and recently ended on December 31, 2016, however, HM-215N has provided further relief by extending the transition period to December 31, 2018 (for domestic transportation only)

Updates to Lithium Battery Labels

New lithium battery labelSection 172.447 was created to incorporate the new class 9 lithium battery label (the one with the lithium batteries in the center). There is a transition period in place to December 31, 2018.

Lithium Battery Section 173.185

Significant changes to both packaging and hazard communication requirements were amended.


ICC has all of the products you need to comply with HM-215N, under-one-roof. Contact us today.

PHMSA Update
A Small Victory for Harmonization … For Now (HM-215N)

PHMSA Withdraws Final Rule

—PHMSA Update 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. This was due to the new administration’s Regulatory Freeze executive memorandum, issued January 20, 2017.

Harmonization

HM-215N would have harmonized the 49 CFR regulations to the latest version 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.

New lithium battery label     New Lithium Battery Mark and Pictogram
New marks and labels introduced in the upcoming international regulations.

 

This delay has made it particularly confusing for shippers of lithium batteries, who have transitioned to the new handling mark, and hazard class 9 label, shown in these international regulations.

Usage

Last week, PHMSA issued a Notice that allows offerors and carriers to use the 2017-2018 versions of the international regulations without fear of enforcement. In addition, it is allowing users to mark and label packages in accordance with either the 2015-2016 or 2017-2018 IATA/ICAO and IMDG regulations.

This notice is limited to 49 CFR Parts 171.4(t) and (v). This notice is expected to be in place until HM-215N is release, or this notice is otherwise rescinded or otherwise modified.

For a full version of the notice, please click here.

ICC is your source for hazardous materials products, services, and training, all under one roof. Contact us today.

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).