Regulatory Helpdesk: December 4, 2017

Top 4 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.

IMDG Editions

Q. What edition of the IMDG should I be using?

A. The customer would still need the 38th edition to get him through all of next year. The new 39th edition will be published at the end of 2018 but it can’t be used at all until Jan 1, 2019. Even then the 38th is still a viable option.

IMDG Transition Timeline
IMDG Transition Timeline

Placement of the Consignor’s Certification Statement

Q. Can the Consignor’s certification appear on a second page or on the back of the shipping document?

A. Yes, if there is no other non-DG information intervening when using the phrase in TDGR 3.6.1(1)(a). This phrase requires that the certification appear below the information specified in 3.5. The Transport Canada FAQ page indicates that the “consignor’s certification may appear on the back of the shipping document as long as it is after the information required under Section 3.5“.

Limited Quantities Under IMDG

Q. Can limited quantity provisions be used to ship under the IMDG Code?

A. Yes, but you should have IMDG Code training or consider a re-packing service if you are not trained, since the requirements are not the Continue Reading…

Regulatory Helpdesk: November 27, 2017

Top 4 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.

Lithium Battery Special Provision

Q. Why is only a reference to Packing Instruction Section IB required on a lithium battery Shipper’s Declaration – what about shipments made under Section I or IA?

A. Sections I and IA refer to fully regulated shipments so it’s redundant to indicate an authorization unless there’s a special provision deviation involved.

Although Section II shipments don’t require a Shipper’s Declaration document, if an airwaybill is used a notation must be made indicating the Section II status like ‘’Lithium ion batteries in compliance with Section II of PI— CAO’’.

This is particularly true for UN3090 or UN3480 where the document is required to indicate the CAO status.

Shippers also need to verify any listed state or operator variations that may require information over that mandate by IATA DGR.

Determining the Size of the Package

Q. I have a customer who wants a “portable tank” of product instead of our usual smaller sized containers, can I oblige?

A:

  • Characterize your product,
  • read the container supplier’s specification,
  • read the relevant regulation,
  • read the cited container standard; review 1. & 2. in the context of 3. & 4; decide on any required modifications.

Shipping Continue Reading…

Single Packaging
UN Specification Packaging Mystery

UN Specification Packaging Mystery

We Got a Mystery to Solve

One of my favorite childhood shows was “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?”. How he and his group of friends could solve all those crazy hauntings and monsters always amazed me. Nothing made me happier than when the culprit was discovered and he uttered the words, “If it weren’t for you pesky kids, I would have gotten away with it.” After all I was only a kid and catching the bad guys was a big deal.

Occasionally during a training class odd questions or little mysteries arise. In those times I can feel like Thelma from my childhood show tracking down the clues and getting an answer. Here is one from one mystery from a recent training. It came about after our discussion on United Nations (UN) Specification Packaging. We had just finished reviewing all the parts of the packaging codes and discussing the manufacturer’s packing instructions as they apply to 49 CFR – US ground regulations. This lead to talking about their actual facility. Below is a picture of a box they have on site for use. They wanted to know if it was in compliance.

Ah, a mystery I can solve.

UN Specification Packaging Mystery 2

In case you didn’t catch why they asked about this particular box and compliance, take a look at the FOUR package specification codes on the box. For most boxes, there is only one code derived from the Continue Reading…

Regulatory Helpdesk: October 30, 2017

Top 4 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.

WHMIS Labeling

Q. If a product is manufactured in Canada strictly for export into the US, does it require the French on the GHS label?

A. HPR (Hazard Products Regulations) section 5.14, subsection 3. These exemptions from labeling and SDS (safety data sheet) requirements apply to importation (subsection 5.14(2) of the HPR) and sale, for the purposes of exportation (subsection 5.14(3) of the HPR), of hazardous products that are not meant to be used in a work place in Canada. Such hazardous products do not require an HPR compliant label or SDS.

Lithium Battery Labels

Q. When does the 12 mm UN number height requirement start?

A. The IATA 59th edition states the UN number height should be 12 mm. Since IATA 59th edition becomes mandatory on January 1, 2018, the UN height change is effective then. Keep in mind however that IATA defines “should” as a recommendation, it is not mandatory.

Q. I have a question on the red slash marks all the way around the label – what is the requirement on that?

  • Do they have to be so many of the red slash marks? – is there a specific Continue Reading…
Shipping by Road
UN3363 Dangerous Goods in Machinery or Apparatus

Red semi truck on highway

When Can I Use UN3363?

What does one do when there is device or piece of equipment (“apparatus” or “machinery”) that is not intended to consign dangerous goods or hazmat (DG) specifically, but requires a certain quantity as part of its function or as a residue from earlier use or testing?

Many consignors can take advantage of UN3363, Dangerous Goods in Machinery (or Dangerous Goods in Apparatus), Class 9 – with (depending on the mode) a potential relaxation of packaging, marking, and documentation requirements.

Restrictions

There are basic conditions that must be met, however, to use this entry. Restrictions on using this entry exist in special provisions (SP) or packaging requirements in national and modal regulations.

Function – Not “Deus EX Machina”

This term is derived from the classical theatre world- but could represent an effort to use a “loophole” or take advantage of an unintended provision – for a discussion of the term see:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deus_ex_machina

The apparatus or machinery’s primary function cannot be to “deliver” the DG in question. That is the item must have a purpose other than solely to act as a container to get the DG to the destination; and it must not be intended that the DG is discharged from the item.

Exclusions – Wisdom Begins in Calling Things by Their Proper Name

… with apologies to Confucius

Any article which has an appropriate UN number/shipping name already assigned must be shipped Continue Reading…

Regulatory Helpdesk: October 23, 2017

Top 4 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.

#4. Shipping Lithium Batteries (USA-Ground)

Q. The customer asked if they had to fill out shipping papers for a battery contained in equipment that is less than 1 gram and less than 20 WH if shipping by ground within the U.S.

A. Shipping paper requirements are contained in 49 CFR Part 172 Subpart C.  The 49 CFR, 173.185 (C) states that a package containing lithium cells or batteries, or lithium cells or batteries packed with, or contained in, equipment, that meets the conditions of this paragraph is excepted from the requirements in subpart(s) C through H of part 172 of this subchapter, which in this case means that they are exempt from shipping paper requirements.

#3. Shipping Dry Ice by Ground in the USA

Q. A customer contacted me regarding the labeling and paperwork regulations of shipping dry ice by ground within the US. They normally ship through air internationally and wanted to know the difference.

A. I directed the customer to column 1 in the hazmat table in the 49 CFR for UN1845, which has an “A” and “W” symbol. I let the customer know these symbols mean unless it Continue Reading…

WHMIS 2015
WHMIS 2015 FAQ

Humpty Dumpty When I use a word it means just what I choose it to mean

Or: “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, … “it means just what I choose it to mean …”
Lewis Carrol “Through the Looking Glass” in Bartleby’s “A Dictionary of Quotations”:
http://www.bartleby.com/73/2019.html

CIC Meeting

Health Canada provided an FAQ presentation at a recent CIC (Current Issues Committee) meeting that may provide a useful lead in to the more detailed Guidance document published in December 2016.

The latter, “Technical Guidance on the Requirements of the Hazardous Products Act & Hazardous Products Regulations – WHMIS 2015 Supplier Requirements”, provides (at 540 pages) a detailed review of the content of the law and various aspects of guidance/interpretation. This document is available for download at:

http://publications.gc.ca/site/eng/9.825948/publication.html

The length of the document may be daunting to the casual user, so the FAQ presentation attempts to present Health Canada’s position on items that are of current concern.

The CIC is a multi-representative committee that meets several times a year to review, as it’s name implies, issues that can be improved to increase the effectiveness of WHMIS in helping to protect workers. Currently there are representatives from various government levels (Federal/Provincial/Territorial), Health & Safety organizations (e.g. CCOHS), industry organizations (e.g. RDC, CIAC, etc.) and Labour (CLC, Unifor, etc.).

One of the current issues being addressed is to form sub-committees that may streamline the effectiveness of the committee in considering jurisdictional issues; in addition to establishing a working group to look at Continue Reading…

Skull and Cross Bones
Inhalation Hazards – TDG Marking & Documentation

Man Wearing Respirator

Changes in Special Provision 23

One aspect of the International Harmonization amendment (SOR/2017-137) of the Canadian Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDGR) that did not receive a lot of attention is the change in Special Provision 23. This special provision (SP) deals with the assignment of markings on containers and descriptions on shipping documents for entries related to goods which exhibit inhalation toxicity. Although the basic concept for classification remains the same- i.e. gases in Class 2.3 and Class 6.1 with associated inhalation toxicity. The majority of the latter are in PG I, but there are several PG II entries invoking SP23).

Marking – Keep It Simple?

A significant difference is the change in wording applied to means of containment (MoC). Following the transition period, markings required under SP23 must read “inhalation hazard” for all entries except UN 1005 (anhydrous ammonia). This eliminates the previous options of either “toxic by inhalation” or “toxic-inhalation hazard” (TBI or TIH).

UN1005 retains the previous wording “Anhydrous Ammonia, Inhalation Hazard” when the option of using the ammonia placard (rather than Class 2.3) is chosen. However small MoC of UN1005 will use the standard Class 2.3 label and “inhalation hazard” wording.

Size Matters

Letter Size
The new SP23 simplifies things somewhat by referencing the specific sections of Part 4 that apply- i.e. 4.18.2 for UN1005 and 4.23 for the rest. These sections include specifications for the height and Continue Reading…

Hydrostatic Pressure and Shipping Liquids by Air

Pressure at High Altitudes

As the video above shows, you never know how the pressure change on an airplane will affect our sealed containers. From exploding shaving cream cans in checked luggage, to scattered potato chips at our feet on the floor of an airplane, the unpredictability of a high altitude can certainly cause its share of messes. Aside from having to do laundry while on your vacation, these examples are relatively mild. In the world of shipping dangerous goods, the consequences can be far more severe. For this reason when shipping hazardous liquids by air, our single and inner packaging must pass a hydrostatic pressure test that essentially ensures the pressure differential at high altitudes will not cause a disaster mid-air. You may ask, what is hydrostatic pressure and how is it measured?

What is Hydrostatic Pressure?

Hydrostatic pressure is the pressure exerted by a fluid at equilibrium at a given point within the fluid, due to the force of gravity. For the purpose of shipping dangerous goods, this is measured in kPa or Kilopascal.  When you see a UN Marking on a single package it usually looks something like this 1H1/Y1.8/100. The “100” is referencing the maximum hydrostatic pressure this container was tested at in kPa.

PK-KH6005 Plastic Container

Why is it relevant to shipping by air?

According to the ICAO DGP-WG/09-WP/67: When packages reach high altitudes during transport, they Continue Reading…

USPS Regulations and Updates
USPS Simplifies Mailing Ethanol-Based Products by Air

Cargo loading on aircraft

Consumer Products

It seemed such a simple task at the time. A company decided to expand their consumer product line to include perfumes. They expected to send orders to customers, as they did their other products, by airmail. Yet, when setting up the shipment, an unexpected roadblock appeared. The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) told them that the perfume was a hazardous material.

How can a common consumer product like perfume be hazardous for transportation? Most perfumes have an alcohol base, designed to evaporate quickly leaving the scent behind. Unfortunately, this means that such perfumes are flammable liquids for transportation and are subject to Department of Transportation (DOT) as well as USPS restrictions for both ground and air transport.

So, the decision to go into perfumes created some major headaches for the company. But they recently got some good news. If the perfume is based on ethanol, one of the most common alcohols, the company will get a break – USPS has reduced the requirements for this one solvent. Ethanol, or ethyl alcohol, can be found in many consumer products, ranging from perfumes to hairspray to bath oil. By reducing the requirements for shipment of these products, shippers will enjoy reduced costs and complexity.

Airmailing Hazardous Materials

If you wish to airmail hazardous materials in the United States, your first step should be to consult USPS Publication 52 – Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail. Continue Reading…