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Shipping by Air? Don’t Overlook the Latest IATA Addendum

As we start our new year, one of our resolutions should be to make sure our dangerous goods shipments get where they’re going. Which means, of course, that we need to update to the 2020 edition of the Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). But don’t rely on that completely, because as always, there will be a few corrections and additions that IATA needed to make after the book has gone to print.

In December, IATA published an addendum to the DGR which is available as a free download. These will take effect as of January 1, 2020, so they’re in effect now. The majority of the corrections and additions have to do with State and Operator variations (country variations and airline policies that apply in addition to the DGR), although some affect more general areas. To find the addendum, go to the bottom of their webpage at https://www.iata.org/en/publications/dgr/#tab-2, from where you can download the file as a .pdf in various languages.

First, let’s look at some of the significant changes that are not specific to countries or airlines.

  • In section 2.3.2.3, on shipping wheelchairs and mobility aids with spillable batteries, paragraph (c)(2) includes a corrected cross-reference.
  • A significant change has been made to several packing instructions for Class 3 liquids when shipped Cargo aircraft only. In the original versions of Packing Instructions 360 to Continue Reading…
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2020 Vision or Still Blurry for Lithium Battery Shippers?

The title says it all, can you see clearly when you ship lithium batteries, or are the waters still a little murky? If it is the former rather than the latter for you, that may change as Amazon has announced new global FBA requirements for all lithium batteries and products which contain lithium batteries. A Lithium Battery Test Summary will now need to be uploaded to Amazon, starting this past 1st of January 2020. This new rule will affect those who sell a variety of products, from watches to smartphones to toys. This type of change is not only exclusive to Amazon, as IATA and IMDG Code will now also be enforcing a new regulation that requires the test summary for the lithium battery/cells to be made available throughout the entire distribution network. 

What is the Test?

Lithium cells and batteries that are manufactured after June 30, 2003, and equipment powered by those cells and batteries have to be tested in accordance with the UN Manual of Test and Criteria Part III, Section 38.3. If the testing passes, the test facility provides a summary certificate to the manufacturer that confirms that the cells or batteries meet an international standard and can be shipped around the world in accordance with the appropriate regulations. The test standard includes eight tests total: Altitude Simulation; Thermal Test; Vibration; Shock; External Short Circuit; Continue Reading…

Air Canada Cargo – Section II Lithium Batteries Transport Document

It’s really no surprise that something new has come up with shipping lithium batteries again. Frankly speaking, these days it’s easier to ship a radioactive shipment on a passenger aircraft then a cell phone. Of course, I am referring to the process of shipping when I make this statement. Crazy isn’t it?

Effective Jan 2, 2020, anyone shipping any of the following:

  • Lithium-Ion batteries packed with equipment – UN3481 Section II PI966
  • Lithium-ion batteries contained in equipment – UN3481 Section II PI 967
  • Lithium metal batteries packed with equipment – UN3091 Section II PI 969
  • Lithium metal batteries contained in equipment – UN3091 Section II PI 970

With Air Canada cargo must complete and sign Lithium Batteries – Section II – Shipper’s Transport Document. The contents of the document include:

  • certifying shipment doesn’t include forbidden lithium battery shipments such as defective/damage batteries;
  • verifying the watt-hour for lithium-ion batteries meet Section II requirements;
  • verifying lithium metal content for lithium metal batteries meet Section II requirements;
  • airway bill includes the statement, if applicable;
  • lithium battery mark is on the package(s), if applicable; and 
  • shipper’s declaration statement. 

This document reinforces the fact that any person preparing or offering Section II lithium batteries must receive adequate instruction (IATA section 1.6). Basically, have some sort of dangerous goods training before you can ship lithium batteries. 

Up here in Canada we are limited to dangerous goods Continue Reading…

Environmental Update
Proposition 65 List Update for 2019

Here is one more blog in support of knowing it is autumn even though the weather may not feel like it.  The Office of Environmental Health and Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) in California just published a revised list.  If you aren’t familiar with the OEHHA, you likely do know about California’s Proposition 65 list.  As per usual, the list has changed a few times over the course of the year. 

To refresh your memory, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 is the official name for California’s Proposition 65.  The list has to be revised and republished at least once per year.  California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) is the agency responsible for the implementation.  Chemicals are added or removed from the list when some other “authoritative body” makes a determination regarding a substances ability to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm.

Shown below are all of the new substances that were added and or removed by month. They are listed by name, type of toxicity, and Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Number (CAS).  Now would be a good time to see not only if you are up to date on the new required “warnings” but if any of your products or substances were added to the new list.

Proposition 65 – Additions and Deletions

March 2019

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Transport Canada Unveils Training Standard Draft

Since Canada first created regulations on the transportation of dangerous goods, those who “handle, offer for transport or transport” dangerous goods must be adequately trained. The question, of course, is what does “adequately” mean? Section 6.2 of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDGR) says that it means “the person has a sound knowledge of all the topics … that relate directly to the person’s duties and to the dangerous goods the person is expected to handle, offer for transport or transport,” but that still doesn’t clarify how the employer should verify that the knowledge is “sound.” Now Transport Canada, in consultation with the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB), has attempted to answer that question.

On August 30, the CGSB put out a draft of a proposed training standard that reflects current international work on “competency-based training.” This standard is not available on a website, but may be obtained by contacting Beata Hart of the CGSB at Beata.Hart@tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca for a PDF copy. Comments are due on October 24th, 2019.

The proposed standard would establish two levels of training. First, a “general awareness” segment, that should be approximately 2 hours long, which would cover the basics of how the TDGR works. Then, when employees are familiar with those concepts, they would receive “job specific” training, which would specifically address the job functions they do in that organization.

This would, of Continue Reading…

IATA
IATA 61st Edition Significant Changes

The Labor Day Holiday generally symbolizes the end of summer for many people.  For many businesses it is the end of their fiscal year.  For parents in many areas it means back to school.  For the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) it means releasing notices of proposed rulemakings.  We also have OSHA publishing their Top Ten Violations.  Finally, it is time for IATA to publish the list of significant changes for their upcoming edition.

Keep in mind, these changes are in the 61st edition of the IATA.  It goes into force January 1, 2020.  The other thing to remember is these are just a list of “significant” changes.  Some of the changes always seem a bit cryptic to me.  Plus, I’m one of those folks that takes the old one and compares it to the new one to better understand exactly how it changed.  Guess it comes from being a visual learner.

If you should want to read the list of changes, it can be found here.  A brief overview of some of the changes are shown below for quick reference.  There is a little something for everyone in the industry.  As you read through, there are some times where I added some information to supplement the change as it is stated on the publication.

Brief Summary of Some Proposed Changes by Section:

PHMSA Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

In the vast world called the dangerous goods community, it can sometimes feel like we are specks in the universe, simply just faces in the crowd.  The regulations exist, and we follow them. However in certain cases like in the latest NPRM, we do have a voice.   What is a NPRM you may ask? It stands for a notice of proposed rulemaking, which derives directly from requests from within the dangerous goods regulatory community to address a variety of provisions within the regulations.  That’s right, we can make a difference!   The purpose of this is to help clarify, improve, and provide relief from the various regulatory requirements when shipping dangerous goods. As a result of the requests, PHMSA addressed a wide variety of provisions including those addressing packaging, hazardous communication, and incorporation by reference documents. Some of the proposed amendments include revising the basis weight tolerance provided in § 178.521 from ±5% to ±10% from the nominal basis weight reported in the initial design qualification test report for paper shipping sacks, incorporating by reference updated versions of multiple Compressed Gas Association (CGA) publications, and removing the words “manufactured before September 1, 1995” from § 180.417(a) (3) to allow for an alternative report for cargo tanks manufactured after September 1, 1985. 

Per PHMSA, these revisions proposed therein are intended to reduce regulatory burdens while maintaining, or enhancing, the existing level of safety. In this NPRM, Continue Reading…

TDG “INTERNATIONAL HARMONIZATION UPDATE” (IHU) CONSULTATION

IHU 2019 Proposed Amendment: Pre-Gazette I Consultation

In late March, Transport Canada posted a notice on their public website regarding a pre-Gazette I consultation on proposed amendments to the TDGR. The consultation was distributed to selected stakeholders by email on March 4.

This proposal is the latest in a series of international harmonization updates (“IHU”) to incorporate changes to reflect the current editions of the UN Model Regulations (UN Recommendations), ICAO Technical Instructions for air, and the IMDG Code for ocean shipment. In addition, the Canada-US Regulatory Cooperation Council work planning effort has suggested several items that would facilitate reciprocity in shipping dangerous goods between the two countries.

UN Recommendations

  • Updating to 20th edition and preparation for 21st edition.
  • Incorporate packaging updates by adopting 3rd edition TP14850 (pending repatriation to CGSB as standard CGSB-43.150-xx), normalize EC-allowed practices on batteries; allow UN3175 in FIBC 13H3 & 13H4.
  • Marking/Labeling: text on labels, banana labels on cylinders, require orientation arrows for liquids, marine pollutant, and Lithium Battery Mark on overpacks.
  • Language issues under review, include determining the options on the use of either or both English/French and circumstances when a different second language might appear (i.e. foreign sourced material).

Placarding

  • Consider adding provisions for optional hazard class text on placards – see also marking/labeling.
  • Allow US placards for re-shipping road/rail within Canada. In addition to text issues, this would allow re-shipping with US Continue Reading…
railroad crossing
PHMSA UPDATE: New Safety Rule to Strengthen Oil Train Spill Response Preparedness

Much like Sheryl Crow sang, “A change, could do you good”, at least one would hope. When it comes to PHMSA, change is aimed at improving an already existing process, or adding a new process we can all benefit from. So in this case, I believe Sheryl Crow is right.

With that being said, The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), recently issued a final rule that requires railroads to create and submit Comprehensive Oil Spill Response Plans for route segments traveled by High Hazard Flammable Trains also called HHFTs. The rule applies to these trains that are transporting petroleum oil in a block of 20 or more loaded tank cars and trains that have a total of 35 loaded petroleum oil tank cars.

Why the Change?

Incidents involving crude oil can have devastating consequences to local communities and the environment. Countering these effects on the environment can take between a few weeks to many years, depending on the damage caused. For this reason, fast and effective response is essential to rail accidents containing oil. The 174-page final rule is designed to improve the response readiness and decrease the effects of rail accidents and incidents involving petroleum oil and a flammable train. The agency said the rule also is needed due to expansion in U.S. energy production having led to “significant challenges for the Continue Reading…

Lithium
49CFR Trying to Catch Up for Lithium Batteries

Lithium Batteries, Laptop battery
Every year at this time training is busy at ICC. It happens for various reasons. The one that causes it most often is companies are due. As we know each transport regulation has a training requirement to it. Many decide to do all transport training at one time which is great.

Here’s the rub though. To me, 49CFR is always just a few steps behind all of the other transport regulations. I get the whole rulemaking process but it is frustrating to constantly have to explain or mention times when the US ground regulations don’t align with other international ones. When you add lithium batteries to the mix, it just complicates things even more.

For once, efforts are being made to catch up with all of the other regulations. On Wednesday, February 27, the Department of Transportation published HM-224I which is an Interim Final Rule (IFR) centered around transporting lithium batteries. Take note, this is a final rule with no advanced notice and was not open to comment. Comments will still be accepted and reviewed which could cause amendments later on but for now, this is what is required. DOT believes this IFR was “necessary to address an immediate safety hazard” presented when shipping lithium batteries.

So, what changes did this IFR bring in to the regulations? Let’s take a look.

HM-224I: Enhanced Safety Provisions for Lithium Batteries