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.

TDG
TDG International Harmonization 2017 (TDG SOR/2017-137)

It’s Here, It’s Here! Feast Your Eyes on TDG International Harmonization 2017

(with apologies to “Genie” – aka the late Jim Backus …)

As predicted in last week’s blog on adoption of 2016 editions of CGSB standards, and reviewed in the Canada Gazette I (CG I) blog referenced therein, today’s Canada Gazette II (CG II) formalizes a variety of changes to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDGR).

The amendment, despite the “International Harmonization” working title is officially referenced as SOR/2017-137 and essentially follows the CG I proposal reviewed in earlier blogs. However, as expected, there have been some changes.

See our earlier articles on the CG I proposal:

An observation on the contents of this amendment – it appears that a rumoured dropping of italicized “guidance” text has begun in SOR/2017-137. The TDGR have been somewhat unique in this approach, but the word is that it is not in keeping with justice department philosophy that guidance material should be separate from the mandatory regulatory text – e.g. in an FAQ or other separate guidance document. This amendment incorporates several instances into the regulatory text and removes several others. Fortunately, the very useful listing of UN numbers pertaining to SP are retained at the end of each SP.

By the Numbers – TDG Parts Amended

PART 1: Interpretations, General Provisions, Continue Reading…

TDG
Transport Canada Prepares to Adopt 2016 Updates to Standards

Truck Driving on highway at sunset

IBC and Bio/Infectious Substances

Transport Canada (TC) published information on some significant changes to the latest editions of standards for design/manufacture/use of packaging for bio/infectious substances and Intermediate bulk containers (IBC); CGSB-43.125-2016 and CGSB-43.146-2016 respectively.

Moving Forward

The notices are presumably to give advance warning of changes to ambulatory (“dynamic”) references as indicated in the CG (Canada Gazette) I “International Harmonization Amendment” to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDGR) expected, according to usually reliable sources, to be formalized by publication in the July 12 edition of CGII.

See also the author’s earlier Blog on the CGI proposal »

These will replace the currently references, in TDGR Part 1.3.1, to the 2002 and 1999 editions respectively. TDGR 5.16 will also be amended as the information appears in the 2016 edition of CGSB-43.125.

Summaries Available

Transport Canada qualifies their information, cautioning the regulated community to carefully read the standards themselves to ensure they are aware of all changes as some may not be covered in the TC summaries. Although not mentioned directly in this TC material, rumour (again the “usually reliable sources”) has it that there will be a 6-month transition to comply with new editions of revised standards that have ambulatory references in the July 12 amendment.

The summaries highlighting changes in the standards are available on the TC website:
http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/tdg/moc-infectious-cgsb43125-1309.html
http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/tdg/moc-ibc-cgsb43146-1308.html

Access to CGSB Standards

Fortunately (unlike other and earlier versions), the actual pdf of these standards Continue Reading…