Square on point with x marked out
Symbols in Transportation Regulations

Symbols in the IATA, IMDG, and 49 CFR

Solving the Mystery of the Regulation Symbols

As an avid reader and science nerd, the author Dan Brown is a different type of read. His lead character, Dr. Robert Langdon, is a professor of symbology. This means he studies and understands various symbols found in history and codes. Sometimes in transportation, we must be our own Dr. Langdon to decipher what the regulations are trying to tell us.

Here are some of the common symbols you could see with their meanings. Also included is where in each regulation you can find further information. By the way, have you purchased the March 2018 version of 49 CFR?

Symbols in IATA and IMDG:

  1. ■ The square: This symbol tells us new material has been added to the regulation or edition.
  2. ▲ The triangle: Here it indicates some part of that section of the regulation changed in some way.  It could be as simple as one word, sentence, or entire section that was reworked or clarified.
  3. ∅ The crossed-out circle: This one is a space holder showing some part or section has been removed, deleted or cancelled from the current edition. A very useful symbol, because it will keep you from looking for something that you knew was there but now can’t find.
  4. ☛ The pointing finger: Here is a symbol found only in IATA. It signifies this section or statement is more Continue Reading…
PHMSA
PHMSA & OSHA Make a Video Together – an Oxymoron?

Warehouse with chemicals

PHMSA vs OSHA

George Carlin will always be a favorite comedian for people of a certain age. One of his best-known bits is on oxymorons. An oxymoron, is basically a set of contradictory terms that work together. While not the greatest of explanations, let’s have George give you some examples to make the point.

This concept came to mind on the heels of the DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the DOL’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) joint video on labeling. Those two organizations are just that, 2 different organizations, yet they released a joint video? It sounded like a setup to a bad joke. Turns out I was wrong.

The video does a great job of explaining the focus of each organization and goes a long way to clearing the air. There are references to the regulations used by each, but not a lot of time is spent on “regulatory language” or the details of either one. 

Comparing PHMSA vs OSHA

Here is my version of the comparisons between the two and how closely the align based on the video.

PHMSA OSHA Take Away
Regulates hazardous materials in transport Regulates hazardous chemicals in the workplace Both want people to be safe.
Uses the Hazardous Materials Regulation Uses the Hazard Communication Standard Both have a set of “rules”.
Defines Hazardous Material as those that pose an unreasonable risk to health, safety and property when transported in commerce Defines Hazardous Chemical as Continue Reading…
Regulatory Helpdesk: January 29

WHMIS Labels Format, How ICAO and IATA are Related, Shipping Residues, and IATA Documentation

Welcome back to the Regulatory Helpdesk where we answer your dangerous goods & hazmat questions. We’re here to help you become independent with – and understand the whys and hows – of the regulations.

WHMIS Labels Format

Q. Is there a specified format for WHMIS 2015 workplace labels?
A. No. The information is specified but not the format. Pictograms may assist employees in quickly identifying the hazards/precautions; and may simplify employer creation of substitute “supplier” labels.

This is especially true when employees have been trained in the GHS-based WHMIS 2015 system. Employers must ensure training has been provided if GHS pictograms are used on workplace labels during the transition period.

ICAO/IATA Relationship

Q. Is a risk of non-compliance in using IATA DGR given that government regulations specify compliance with ICAO Technical instructions?
A. IATA DGR states in §1.14 that they contain all of the ICAO TI requirements and add additional restrictions. Thus, complying with IATA DGR will ensure compliance with ICAO TI. As with all regulations, it is important to keep aware of amendments/corrigenda between publication dates.

Shipping Residues (TDG)

Q. When we are shipping residues…. Can we and how do we indicate ‘Residue last contained’ on the transport document.
A. If the quantity of dangerous goods in a means of containment is less than 10 per cent of the Continue Reading…
Regulatory Helpdesk: January 15, 2018

Here are the top 4 questions last week:

Welcome back to the Regulatory Helpdesk where we answer your dangerous goods & hazmat questions. We’re here to help you become independent with – and understand the whys and hows – of the regulations.

Worded Label Requirements

Q. Are worded labels required for use in US transport?
A. Based on 172.405(a), except where prescribed, wording is optional on US hazard class labels.

Placement of UN Number, Shipping Name and Hazard Class Label

Q. Can you put the “ISH” information (shipping name, UN number and hazard label) on the top of a package (e.g. box)?
A. That depends. Different regulations express it differently, but the key message is that the information must be easily located and read; and with few exceptions in proximity to each other on the same surface of the package. All common regulations (49 CFR, Canadian TDGR, IATA DGR, IMDG Code) have a general requirement for legibility.

49 CFR requires the information to be clearly visible on a surface other than the bottom [172.304(f) and 172.304(a)(i)]- so the top could be allowed if the configuration resulted in it being clearly visible.

IATA DGR and the IMDG Code do not specify top/bottom but only require the information to be “readily visible” [IATA 7.2.6.1(a); IMDG 5.2.1.2.1, 5.2.2,1.6].

TDGR, however, is a little more prescriptive- requiring the information to be “on any side … other than the side on Continue Reading…

Repacking Dangerous Goods
Shipping Dior … Perfume, not Christian

Shipping Perfume

Shipping Perfume as Dangerous Goods

A freight forwarder contacted me to get some help on shipping perfume to Hong Kong. I asked him how he is sending it and he replied, “Air.” I said, “That’s simple.” It would fall under ID8000, Consumer Commodity. Explained to him what that actually meant. Basically, it’s goods that are “packaged and distributed in a form intended or suitable for retail sales for purposes of personal care or household care”; however, there are a few restrictions such as only certain hazard classes and packing groups are permitted. Perfume definitely falls within the criteria.

He came by our office and dropped off 8 decent sized boxes of these goods. I asked the forwarder if he plans on shipping the boxes individually or will be consolidating them (e.g, on a pallet). He said his plan was to take the boxes back to the office once I prepare the boxes and he will palletize it. I advised him he can’t do that, because that would be considered an “overpack” and would require marking and labeling on the outside of the shrink wrap (assumed it would be shrink wrapped). He said “Oh”. I told him we could help him. We will provide the shrink wrap and prepare the shipment completely at our location. He said he already had a heat-treated pallet (all wooden pallets must be heat-treated Continue Reading…

Lithium Battery
Lithium Battery Placarding and Segregation

Lithium Batteries, Laptop battery

Lithium Battery Segregation

It is January and all of the new or updated transport regulations are in full swing. This includes the new IATA addendums and IMDG Code corrigenda that were recently published. That leaves many tracking down what changed in and how those changes could impact business. Add to that dealing with the complexities that come with shipping lithium batteries and many people end up feeling confused like Vincent “Vinny” Barbarino on “Welcome Back Kotter”. Check out that memory.

Here is my attempt to simplify the placarding and segregation requirements as they now stand for lithium batteries. Let’s take a look at each topic and regulation to sort things out.

49 CFR – US Ground

Placarding (§172.504): Class 9 materials are found on Table 2. This indicates that when the gross aggregate weight of the materials in the transport vehicle reaches 1001 pounds (454 kilograms) placards would be needed. In Paragraph (f)(9) there is an exception. The exception tells us that placards are not needed for Class 9 materials shipped domestically. Easy right? Now this paragraph also tells us that should you use a bulk packaging of batteries, we would be required to mark the identification number on an orange panel, a white square-on-point configuration or a Class 9 placard.

Segregation and Separation Chart of Hazardous Materials (§177.848): There is currently nothing in this section of 49 CFR to indicate batteries should be segregated or Continue Reading…

Regulatory Helpdesk: January 1, 2018

3 Questions from our Regulatory Helpdesk

Welcome back to the Regulatory Helpdesk where we answer your dangerous goods & hazmat questions. Check back weekly, the helpdesk rarely hears the same question twice.

Location of the To/From Address

Q: Can the name and address of the shipper and/or receiver be on top of packages of hazardous materials?
A: For 49 CFR only 1 address is needed and for air you would need both. Ocean doesn’t specifically mention addresses but we tend to include one since most carriers are going to ask for it. None of the regulations actually state where they MUST go. In some of our older trainings it was indicated that the addresses had to be near the name and number. I’ve tried to correct that.

  • For Air – Section 7.1.4.1(b) – both addresses “located on the same surface of the package near the proper shipping name mark, if the package dimensions are adequate
  • 49 CFR – Only one address is required per 172.301(d)
  • IMDG – There are no set guidelines for including addresses in Section 5.

New Segregation of Lithium Batteries

Q: Do lithium batteries have to be segregated?
A: It depends on the mode of transport.

In 49 CFR and IMDG 38-16, there are no segregation requirements for batteries. There could be information on a batteries SDS that should be followed.

For Air, in the new 59th edition of IATA or as some call it the 2018 version, there is some Continue Reading…

Airplane Icon
My Suitcase is Following Me! Can I Take it on the Airplane?

luggage at an airport

Smart Luggage: Regulations and Technology

In the world of dangerous goods regulations, frequent changes are the norm. These changes may happen for a variety of reasons. With technology constantly moving forward at a fast pace, the dangerous goods regulations often times have to update accordingly. Within the last 40 years or so, we have been introduced to a variety of new products that contain lithium-ion batteries. From laptops to smartphones, the introduction of these products into society has caused dangerous goods regulators to be in a constant foot race to keep up with the newest lithium battery powered electronics. The newest craze we see in the electronic world is the introduction of battery powered smart luggage.

What is smart luggage?

If you have ever watched The Jetsons, When George arrives at work in the introduction, his car folds down into a briefcase for him to carry inside. 

While smart luggage isn’t exactly what George Jetson used, they do have many amazing features. Built-in features in smart luggage include GPS locators, weight scales that prevent over-packing, USB ports to charge your devices, and remote lock systems. Smart luggage is a game-changer in the travel industry, as they can help you navigate the airport and let you know where it is if it did not follow you to your destination. They even have the ability to follow you around the airport like a robot, which I’m Continue Reading…

Danger Placard
DG on the Other Side of the World

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What’s wrong with these photos?

Well, nothing, if you consider where it was taken (a remote town in Thailand).

Even while on vacation, someone in the Dangerous Goods field is always on the lookout for dangerous goods in their environment. I know when I first joined ICC, I never noticed placards on trucks, but soon after it seemed like they were on every transport that passed by. Those blessed to be in our line of work have a heightened awareness for the dangers around us.

As we all know, regulations concerning dangerous goods differ around the globe. As much as we would like to think the regulations are harmonized, they’re really not. Enforcement is the same. There are only so many inspectors available compared to the number of shipments each day.

One has to wonder what training these workers have. Where are the transport labels, the Hazcom labels, and the blocking and bracing?

I feel a lot more comfortable knowing that shipments of gases in the US and Canada will be properly secured when transported, and they will always have proper labels. Regulations are in place for one reason, and that is to protect workers and the community.

ICC is your source for products, services, and training – all under one roof. Call us today.

Regulatory Helpdesk: December 25

Lithium Batteries & Hazard Communication

Welcome back to the Regulatory Helpdesk where we answer your dangerous goods & hazmat questions. Due to the Holiday week, we have only 2 FAQ’s worth sharing.

Check back weekly, the helpdesk rarely hears the same question twice.

More Lithium Batteries

Q. We want to ship a 63 W-hr lithium ion battery.  Are there any issues with packaging 2 or more together in the same container under IATA 2018 and 49CFR?  If 2 or more are ok what is the limit?
A. Under IATA you have 2 options and it will be up to you as the shipper to make the decision as to how to handle your shipment. As you know the 65 w-h battery falls into the excepted type. Now, for IATA that puts you in either Section II or Section IB. By the way, be sure to grab the recently published Addendum!

For Section II batteries there is a change for this year. As per usual, there are several changes to the operator regulations. Also, these batteries cannot be packed in the same outer packaging as any other dangerous goods. 

The rest of the section still applies in PI 965. You are not allowed to offer more than 1 package prepared under Section II in any single consignment or shipment.

If you are using an overpack, you can only have one package of these batteries in the overpack. The overpack cannot Continue Reading…