PHMSA Change Notice

Man preparing shipment

PHMSA Issues Notice of Change on Termination of M-Number and R-Number Approvals with no Expiration Date

PHMSA has made a proposal to terminate previously approved M-numbers and R-numbers that were issued without an expiration date. Unless approval holders can either show why their approvals should not be terminated as provided in 49 CFR 107.713(c)(1) or apply for a modification of their approval in accordance with 49 CFR 107.705 prior to the effective date, their M-number may be considered expired. Modified approvals will conform to the Approvals and Permits Division’s standardized format in which all approvals have a 5-year expiration date.

M Number on UN packaging

What is an M-Number?

An “M-Number” or manufacturer number is issued by the D.O.T. to a manufacturer of packaging related to hazardous goods as a means of identification. This number is used in place of the manufacturer’s name and address as authorized in 49 CFR 178.503. In addition, an “R” number was a number previously given to companies that recondition their hazardous goods packaging, but PHMSA now uses M-numbers in their place. Often times the M-number is displayed on the outside of a package (like in the above picture). Manufacturer’s symbols can come in two formats. The first format lists the manufacturers sequentially by Identification Number (M#). The second format lists each state’s manufacturers alphabetically by city and company name. The identification number, the name and address, the status, and Continue Reading…

Lithium Battery
Lithium Button Cell Air Exemptions

Cargo loading on aircraft

IATA DGR PI 967 & PI 970 Confusion

The wording in recent, current and upcoming editions of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) has some potential to confuse the regulated community, especially regarding shipping lithium batteries.

Exemptions Restricted or Not?

The paragraph providing an exemption from the lithium battery mark (pka “Handling Label”) is found in the last sentence of the second paragraph in Section II “Additional Requirements”, for the packing instructions (PI) for both UN3091 and UN3481 “contained in…” lithium battery entries:

This requirement does not apply to:

  • packages containing only button cell batteries installed in equipment (including circuit boards); XXX
  • consignments of two packages or less where each package contains no more than four cells or two batteries installed in equipment.

The “XXX” is the key that led to this discussion.

2016 as the Baseline:

In the IATA DGR 57th (2016) Edition, both PI 967 and PI 970 (“contained in equipment”, ion and metal respectively), the “XXX” in each case read “or”.

In other words, whereas cells/batteries other than button cells were limited to 2 packages per consignment, the number of packages per consignment were not limited when there were only button cells (of course, the maximum net battery weight per package restrictions in Table II of each PI must also be met).

Looking Forward to 2017?

Things then look as though they’re changing when reading the Appendix H (Intended Changes for Continue Reading…

Regulatory Helpdesk: November 20, 2017

Top 5 Questions from the Regulatory Helpdesk

Welcome back to the Regulatory Helpdesk where we answer your dangerous goods & hazmat questions. Here are some highlights from our helpdesk last week. Check back weekly, the helpdesk rarely hears the same question twice.

Overpacks

Q. My shipment was refused even though I followed what the regulations and my training said for shipping an overpack. My drums were on a pallet and shrink wrapped. All of the information on the drums could be seen. I placed a sticker with the words “Overpack Used” on the shrink wrap and listed it that way on my paperwork. Can you tell me why my carrier refused it?

A. Per Section 7.1.7 the actual wording that must be used on your pallet is just the word “overpack”. It seems confusing to have different terminology used but that is how the regulations work and why you should be trained every 2 years for IATA.

Using Combustible Liquid, N.O.S. (USA)

Q. Since this product meets the combustible definition, can we use ‘NA1993 Combustible Liquids, n.o.s.’ to ship to Canada or does Canada only recognize the ‘UN1993 Flammable Liquids, n.o.s.’?

A. Basically, to me, she is asking what is the difference between NA1993 and UN1993 and how it impacts transporting into Canada. NA1993 is a US only identification number. It is used for transporting combustible liquids in the US.  Technically, a combustible liquid is NOT Continue Reading…

WHMIS 2015
Health Canada Notice of Intent for Possible Amendments to the HPA and HMIRA

Warehouse with chemicals

The Issues with Exclusions and Confidential Business Information (CBI) Keep Coming

Health Canada recently published a proposed amendment to the HPR (Hazardous Product Regulations), which included an option to use specified concentration ranges for ingredients rather than the exact or actual chemical concentration on their SDSs (safety data sheets) (October 21, 2017). The proposed amendment to allow these ranges, would offer industry some CBI protection of formulations without having to go through a potentially costly CBI application claim under the Hazardous Materials Information Review Act (HMIRA).

The “Why” of the Notice

After receiving comments and questions on the proposed amendment, Health Canada brought forward two additional bigger issues, the full exclusion of consumer products from the Hazardous Products Act (HPA) and HPR (or WHMIS 2015), and whether to allow CBI protections of substances with special health hazards (particularly carcinogens, mutagens, reproductive toxicants and respiratory sensitizers, or “CMRRs”).

The “What” of the Notice

With regard to the full exclusion of consumer products from the HPA and HPR, stakeholders felt that since the Consumer Chemicals and Containers Regulations 2001 (CCCR 2001) did not include hazard criteria for special health hazards like the CMRR’s, a worker that might purchase a consumer product from a retail store to use in their workplace, will not have the same full hazard information on the product (and will therefore not protect themselves appropriately) that they would have if the Continue Reading…

IATA
IATA Significant Changes to the 59th Edition

2018 IATA DGR Significant Changes

It’s that time of year, the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations are released. This year marks the 59th Edition which includes the following significant changes:

  • Limitation have been adopted on the number of portable electronic devices (PED) and the number of spare batteries that may be carried by passengers or crew members.
  • Many operator variations have been added, changed, or deleted.
  • The classification sections now include all substances and articles in Class 9.
  • Several special provisions have been added, changed, or deleted.
  • There are new restrictions on packing lithium batteries (surprise, surprise).
  • Several packing instructions have been added, changed, or deleted.
  • The Lithium Battery label now has a recommended UN number height of 12mm.
  • Changes have been made to Appendix B, D, E, and F.

A new appendix has been added – Appendix I. This new Appendix provides details of what to expect in 2019. These changes are based on the changes arising from the UN model regulations, and agreed to by the ICAO panel.

Some of these changes include:

  • Replacement of the word “risk” with the word “hazard”.
  • Changes to the provisions for classification of corrosive substances. These changes will better align the classification with the GHS Subcommittee (or GHS recommendations).
  • A new requirement to make available the test data for Lithium Batteries (UN38.3 test).
  • New UN numbers: UN3537 and 3538, which are for Continue Reading…
WHMIS 2015
Health Canada Proposed Amendment to the HPR

chemical concentrations and ranges

Hooray for Ranges!

Finally, news that every Canadian chemical manufacturer, supplier, and importer has been waiting for.

On October 21, 2017, Health Canada proposed an amendment to the HPR (Hazardous Product Regulations) providing industry with the option to use prescribed concentration ranges rather than the actual chemical concentration on their SDS (safety data sheets).

When Heath Canada updated the HPR to include the Globally Harmonized System into their regulations, they removed the ranges that were previously allowed in the 1988 edition.

One can imagine the reaction from people in the industry. We have heard things like, “I am not going to give away my formulation,” or “Are they trying to put me out of business?“.

After many months and many discussions with industry, RDC (Responsible Distribution Canada) and other Canadian associations persuaded Health Canada to agree to amend the HPR to include ranges – providing relief to industry. HMIRA claims may still be required for those who want to further protect their formula; however, Health Canada expects that with this amendment HMIRA filings will not increase.

The following is what the proposed amendment states:

  • The amendment allows the use of prescribed concentration ranges to protect ingredient concentrations and concentration ranges that are considered CBI without having to submit claims for exemption under the HMIRA. These prescribed concentration ranges will be spelled out directly in the HPR. The concentrations and concentration ranges of Continue Reading…
Canada!
TDG-CGSB Standards Review Update Continues

Truck Driving on highway at sunset

Updates to Packaging Standards for Explosives & Drums

In keeping with the move to ambulatory references to quoted standards, Transport Canada has recently published notice that the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) is undertaking consultation on a review of the packaging standards for Class 1 (Explosives) and Reconditioning/Remanufacture/Repair of Drums used in dangerous goods (DG) transportation.

The current edition of the former, CGSB-43.151, is dated Oct., 2012 (with a Jan., 2013 corrigendum). The latter, CGSB-43.126, is dated Sep.2008 (reaffirmed Jan. 2013).

This represents the last of the five CGSB packaging standards cited in the s. 1.3.1 Safety Standards Table of the TDG regulation.
Interested parties have until Oct. 31/17 (explosives) and Nov. 15/17 (drums) to submit comments for consideration in the preliminary drafts of the updated standards.

The Notice, which contains links to the free access copies of these standards is available here:
http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/tdg/clear-modifications-menu-261.htm

Alberta Reviews OHS System

Warehouse with chemicals

News From the Provinces

Alberta Labour Announces Comprehensive OHS Review – Invites Comments by October 16

Taking Alberta workplaces a little closer to heaven:

The province of Alberta is inviting stakeholders to get involved in a comprehensive review of its occupational health and safety (OHS) system. Although there have been some amendments (e.g. to the OHS Act in 2012, with an update to the OHS Regulation in 2013), the system was established in 1976. The operating OHS Code, containing details (such as WHMIS requirements) has not been updated since 2009.

[Note: Alberta Labour has also posted an update to their WHMIS 2015 transition policy following the extension of Health Canada’s deadline to 2018 for suppliers:

http://work.alberta.ca/documents/OHS-Bulletin-CH010.pdf ]

In addition to general regulatory updates, the review will also look at improving the fundamental aspects of the system under the key themes of responsibility, worker engagement and prevention.

Responsibility

This topic will examine potential enhancements to the internal responsibility system that may include tools such as prescribed joint health and safety committees or other programs, and enforcement options.

Worker Engagement

Worker engagement is dependant on protected rights- i.e. the right to: know about hazards; freely participate in OHS decisions or to refuse unsafe work, without fear of reprisal. Education and training of workers can assist in promoting worker engagement.

Prevention

The main focus of this theme in the review seems to be examining current programs to determine their effectiveness, as well Continue Reading…

IATA
Significant Changes and Amendments to the 59th Edition of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations

Download 2018 IATA 59th Edition Significant Changes

This year marks the 59th edition of the Dangerous Goods Regulations. The 59th edition becomes effective January 1, 2018. It is published by IATA and distributed by many, including ICC Compliance Center.

Highlights of the changes and amendments include:

  • Limitations have been adopted on the number of portable electronic devices (PED) and the number of spare batteries for the PED that may be carried by passengers or crew
  • There are a number of additions, deletions and amendments to variations submitted by operators
  • The classification section has been updated to bring in all substances and articles that are assigned to Class 9 with their respective UN numbers and proper shipping names
  • The “not restricted” conditions have been revised to require that the shipper provide written or electronic documentation stating that a flushing and purging procedure for flammable liquid powered engines has been followed.
  • The special provision that identifies that vehicles powered by an engine powered by both a flammable liquid and flammable gas must be assigned to the entry Vehicle, flammable gas powered.
  • New and amended packaging provisions for lithium batteries
  • New and amended packing instructions
  • Updated minimum size of UN numbers on the lithium battery mark
  • Update to the Handling table 9.3.A and the provisions of 9.3.2
  • Many Appendices have some form of change

Books are expected to be available late in Continue Reading…

Lithium
Lithium Battery Labels as of August 1, 2017

Lithium Batteries, Laptop battery

The A-Team and Lithium Battery Marks / Labels

An iconic show from the 1980’s was “The A-Team”. It was about a group of former military men who worked to help those in need by using their former skill set. A famous line from it was often said by John “Hannibal” Smith, played by George Peppard. At the end of many episodes he would say, “I love it when a plan comes together”. With the publication of Transport Canada’s Amendment TDGR SOR2017 – 137, we finally have a plan coming together for the transportation of Lithium Batteries.

Finally, all transport regulations – 49 CFR, TDG, IATA .and IMDG – are on the same page regarding the necessary marks and labels needed for transporting Lithium Batteries. All of the regulations even have the same transition times for when the new Class 9 Lithium Battery Hazard Class Label and new Lithium Battery Mark will be mandatory.

New lithium battery label     New Lithium Battery Mark and Pictogram

Download Our Lithium Battery Labels Guide

 

Let ICC Compliance Center be your “A-Team” for shipping Lithium Batteries. Call us today for packaging, training, labels and marks.  We have it all.