TDG
HO! HO! HO! TDG Under the Tree – Proposed Harmonization

The November 26th Canada Gazette I provides an early “gift” to the regulated community which may help relieve boredom over the holiday season.

Harmonization Transportation Style

Although the DG world (unlike WHMIS/OSHA) has been fairly well harmonized under the UN Recommendations for some years now, there have been issues from time to time with; the editions standards referenced in the TDG regulations (TDGR); differences between DOT/TDG requirements for pressure receptacles; and confusion in the status of cross-border shipments when special permits (DOT) or equivalency certificates (TDG) are applied to consignments (for brevity, we’ll refer to these both under the generic term “permit for equivalent level of safety”- PELS).

Ambling Along

An example of the former is the Table of Safety Standards in TDGR 1.3. The recognized edition of the UN Recommendations is the 17th Ed. (2011)- despite the fact that we’re currently looking at the 19th Ed. (2015) and are on the verge of the 20th (2017). This can lead to confusion since the modal regulations are usually consistent with the current edition of UN Recommendations.

To help resolve this issue, and presumably to reduce the amount of catch-up amending necessary, Transport Canada proposes to expand the listing of “ambulatory references” – refer to the latest edition (i.e. “as amended from time to time” rather than a specific date)- for equivalency of other regulations and some selected technical standards.

Canada-US Regulatory Cooperation

Issues reviewed at the joint Canada-US Regulatory Cooperation Council are also appearing in this harmonization proposal.

The US DOT is following a parallel track, with proposed amendment HM-215N published in September, to include similar provisions in 49 CFR. (see Barbara’s Blog of Oct. 13, 2016)

U.S. Publishes Proposed Rule HM-215N on International Harmonization

Key aspects of this initiative include expanding the reciprocity provision to fill and use US DOT pressure receptacles in Canada rather than only accepting those which had been filled within the US. Requalification, repair, marking, etc. must be in accordance with the country where it’s done.

TDGR Parts 9 and 10 also would extend recognition of US PELS regardless of the existence of a Transport Canada-issued corresponding permit, reducing the need to apply for, or determine the existence of, a similar provision. The PELS number would have to appear on the shipping document. Application of the reciprocity would continue to be disallowed for things that are forbidden in TDGR or are not regulated under 49CFR. Each country’s regulations would still have to be reviewed regarding general special case/special provision exemptions.

Additionally, “one-time movement approvals” (OTMA) for moving damaged tank cars, for example, would be recognised in each country to facilitate dealing with situations where the car must be moved to safely empty and repair the means of containment.

Safety Marks, Labels, and Placards

Lithium Battery Mark, Label and Placard

The adoption of the “new” lithium battery mark will replace the provision for marking equivalent wording on packages subject to SP 34. This includes indicating the UN number of the contents instead of just the battery type by name. All SP34 packages will require the mark, but a notation on documentation will no longer apply.

The TDGR also will adopt the new lithium battery Class 9 label for packages requiring this hazard label. As with the other modal/US regulations/proposals, the mandatory use will have a 2-year transition period.

Placarding May not be Harmonized

The TDGR amendment as proposed will require the use of a placard corresponding to the lithium battery Class 9 label instead of a standard Class 9 placard when means of containment require placards.
This is at odds with the 49CFR HM-215N proposal to maintain the use of a “regular” Class 9 placard despite the new lithium battery Class 9 label (“…Class 9 placards, when used, must conform to the existing requirements in …172.560”).
Ditto final (i.e. adopted) IMDG Code Amendment 38-16 -see 5.3.1.1.2: “For dangerous goods of class 9 the placard shall correspond to the label model No. 9 as in 5.2.2.2.2; label model No. 9A shall not be used for placarding purposes.” – i.e. must use the standard Class 9, not the lithium version.

Updating to Current International Regulations

Other proposals will “catch up” the TDGR with many of the changes in the UN Recommendations regarding classifications and listings in TDGR Schedule 1 with applicable editing of special provisions (e.g. specific entries for the various types of combustion engines, solid/liquid polyester resin kits, etc.).

Overpack Marking Clarified

Included in 2 dozen or so “typographical corrections and minor miscellaneous changes” is the removal of the need to mark “Overpack” when the DG marks are visible; but when it is required it must be in minimum 12 mm high characters.

Other Safety Marks (in addition to lithium batteries discussed above)

The proposed amendment will adopt the international standard Class 9 convention of underlining the “9” on both labels and placards.
Also the new “fumigation” label is included in the Appendix to Part 4, presumably to catch up with the information included in the amendment in SOR/2014-159.

Missing from this proposal however, is the requirement for a 2 mm thickness for the inner border line on labels, as currently specified in the UN Recommendations, 49 CFR, IATA DGR and the IMDG Code.

The amendment will not, of course, be finalized until published in Gazette II, with a proposed 6 month general transition period (but until Dec.31, 2018 for the lithium battery mark and lithium battery Class 9 label). There is a 60 day comment period on the proposal and the detailed version may be consulted at:

http://www.gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/2016/2016-11-26/html/reg3-eng.php


If you have any questions about these changes and how they can affect your operations, please contact us here at ICC Compliance Center at 1-888-442-9628 (USA) or 1-888-977-4834 (Canada).

Danger Placard
Does My Personal Vehicle Need Placards? – Answering Regulatory Helpline Questions

One of the great services offered by ICC Compliance Center to our customers is our Regulatory Helpline. Current customers can call in and have basic questions answered for free. Our Specialists are trained in all of the transport regulations for the US and Canada. We also answer questions surrounding HazCom2012 and WHMIS 2015. A great benefit of our service is getting the customer a “right” answer. Occasionally it may require some information gathering, but we still give you an answer. Being relatively new to our Helpline, I tend to take a bit longer to get an answer.

I mention this because of an interesting question that came in last week. A customer called and posed the following question:

If I want to move a container of oxygen in my personal vehicle, does [my vehicle] have to be placarded?

On the surface this seems easy enough to answer, but in reality that is not the case. As I discovered a good bit more information was needed to formulate a “right” answer.

Answer Step 1:

What is meant by “a container of oxygen”? This information is needed for several reasons. We have to determine if what the caller has is truly a hazardous material/dangerous good. For example, is it pure oxygen or is it a blend of oxygen and nitrogen similar to a SCUBA tank? One is much more dangerous in the event of a fire than the other. In this case, the container is of pure oxygen.

Answer Step 2:

What is the description of the container? The assumption is the container is a cylinder. If so, what size? There could be exemptions in place depending on how large or small the container is. The caller said it is a steel cylinder that weighs 15 kilograms and it has TC on the outside.

Answer Step 3:

Where is this person located? We need to have this information so that the proper regulations can be checked. If the caller was in the United States, but I used Canada’s transport regulation to answer that may not have worked. In this case the caller is from Canada. This is helpful because there was a mention of using a “personal vehicle”. In the U.S. this could have led to a discussion of Materials of Trade exemptions. Since Canada does not have that type of exemption it would make no sense to go over them with the caller.

Answer Step 4:

Now we almost have the whole picture. We have a steel cylinder full of pure oxygen that weighs 15 kilograms. It is being transported in a personal vehicle in Canada. With all of that information, the caller MAY meet the 150 kilogram Gross Mass Exemption in the Canadian Transportation of Dangerous Goods regulations per Section 1.15. This prompted one more question. Was this cylinder purchased by the caller at a location open to the general public? The answer was “yes.”

Final Answer:

The final answer is “no”, the caller is not required to placard his personal vehicle to transport a cylinder of oxygen. Per the 150 kilogram Gross Mass Exemption, he does not need a shipper’s declaration, training or … any sort of “dangerous goods safety marks”. This section also includes placards. He may voluntarily display it per Section 4.1.1 of the regulation but there are multiple provisions.

So while this looks like a complicated process, it is in fact not. As long as we have all of the information, answering your questions can be quite easy. Give us a call today to see just how easy it is – ICC Regulatory Helpline 855.734.5469. We are here to help. As always, ICC Compliance Center is here to help you with all of your regulatory needs.

Canada!
Transport Canada Consults on Revised Packaging Standard TP14850

A draft version of the 3rd Edition of Transport Canada’s TP14850- Small Containers for Transportation of Dangerous Goods, Classes 3, 4, 5, 6.1, 8 & 9” is available for public review and comments will be considered when received by October 13.

Transport Canada began planning the review in Q3 2015 and announced the formation of a Technical Committee in a public notice in early 2016.

The Committee was formed in April; consisting of participants representing interests from production, marketing, distribution, sales, use and/or regulation of dangerous goods packaging. The Committee met initially by phone and, following the review of a preliminary draft, followed up with a meeting in Ottawa in May to provide input for the aforementioned first draft.

The intent of the 3rd Edition is to incorporate updates from the 19th (2015) Edition of the UN Recommendations and possibly prepare for inclusion of aspects of the 20th Edition expected in 2017.

Some features of the first draft, in addition to the harmonization with the 2015 model UN Recommendations, include:

  • clarification of the requirements for packaging distributors to provide instructions on assembling and closing packages;
  • removal of some redundant provisions that are already in the regulations;
  • clarification of special cases and expanding some Substance Specific Provisions (SSP) removing the need for certain Equivalency Certificates (e.g. UN3268);
  • locating SSP within the packing instruction (PI) applicable to the UN number, similar to the UN Recommendations & the IMDG Code practise;
  • requiring Transport Canada “acceptance” of alternative leakproofness testing procedures;
  • consideration of using plastic containers beyond the 5-year limit when the use is under the control of a fleet operator registered with Transport Canada;
  • mandating a periodic (5 year) retest by manufacturers of prototypes from production of approved containers

Following the comments received on the first draft of the 3rd Edition of TP14850, the Committee will meet again in Q4-16 to review the comments and provide input for a 2nd draft. The 2nd draft is expected to be released for additional public comment in the Spring of 2017. The objective is to release the final 3rd Edition in October 2017.

To obtain a copy of the first draft click here »

Motorcycles – Yes, They are Dangerous Goods

If you are feeling “Born to Be Wild” – Steppenwolf and looking to race down life’s highway on two wheels this summer, but short on time, or looking for an even better adventure across the pond, fly your bike and meet it there.

Wait! You can’t just show up at the airport and check in your motorcycle. Did you know that a motorcycle is considered to be a dangerous good? Under the IATA regulations, a motorcycle is classified as UN 3166, Vehicle flammable liquid powdered, hazard class 9; and therefore needs a shipper’s declaration form.

What does this mean to the average motorcycle enthusiast? It means that you need to seek the advice of a dangerous goods consultant, who specializes and can assist in providing instruction on the preparation of the motorcycle, and provide the proper signed shipper’s declaration.

According to Air Canada, some of the requirements at time of tender include:

  • The fuel tank must be drained as far as practical; and fuel must NOT exceed ¼ of the tank capacity
  • All batteries must be installed and securely fastened in the battery holder of the vehicle and be protected in such a manner as to prevent damage and short circuits
  • Spare key, to be left in the ignition
  • Alarm (theft-protection devices, installed radio communications equipment or navigational systems must be disabled
    Air waybill number (booking number)
  • Saddle bags may be filled with equipment, parts, etc. An itemized list of the content of the saddle bags must be provided at time of tender.
  • Personal effects such as a clothing, toiletries and luggage cannot accompany the motorbike. (Dangerous goods such as lubricants, spray paints etc. must be left behind)

ICC Compliance Center offers declaration services across Canada, and can work with you to find a consultant in other countries as well. Contact us at least 2 weeks before you plan to start your adventure.

Have fun and contrary to the opening statement, no racing! Simply stay safe enjoy the sun on your face and the wind in your hair!

Transport Canada Amends TDG Reporting Requirements

On June 1, 2016, Transport Canada issued an amendment to the “Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations” (TDG) under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act. This amendment substantially revises the requirements for reporting spills of dangerous goods during transportation. It also addresses changes to air shipment of lithium ion batteries and makes various minor corrections and changes. The “Reporting Requirements and International Restrictions on Lithium Batteries Amendment” reflects concerns that the previous requirements for reporting spills, called “accidental releases,” was inefficient and didn’t allow the reporting parties to evaluate the risk to the public when deciding if a release had to be reported.

Continue reading “Transport Canada Amends TDG Reporting Requirements”

2016 Emergency Response Guidebook (PDF Download Available)

The Emergency Response Guidebook published by the US Department of Transportation, developed jointly with Transport Canada and the Secretariat of Transport and Communications is used by firefighters, police, and other emergency response personnel who may be the first to arrive on the scene of a transportation incident regarding dangerous goods/hazardous materials.

The primary purpose of the Guide is to provide immediate information regarding the chemical, therefore allowing them to take appropriate action to protect themselves and the general public.

Changes and Updates You Should Know About

Free ERG 2016 Download

  • The 2016 edition includes changes such as:
    • Expanded/Revised sections on:
    • Shipping documents
    • How to use this guidebook (flowchart)
    • Table of placards and markings
    • Rail car/road trailer identification charts
    • Pipeline transportation
    • Protective clothing
    • A glossary
    • ER telephone numbers
  • New Sections include:
    • Table of contents
    • Information on GHS (Globally Harmonized System of Classification and labeling of Chemicals)
    • Information about ERAP (Emergency Response Assistance Plans)
  • Also …
    • Updated to the 19th revised edition
    • Updated guides

Plus much more…

Order your copy today and download the free ERG 2016 PDF »

Canada!
Transport Canada Issues Protective Direction 36

On April 28, 2016, Transport Canada issued its latest Protective Direction. This Direction, number 36, will replace a previous one, Protective Direction 32, with more detailed instructions for rail carriers.

Protective Directions are rules that are not included in Canada’s Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDG). Instead, they are announced by Transport Canada, and are published on their website. Usually, these directives are used when Transport Canada believes it’s important to bring in a new rule quickly in order to protect the public. Since amending the regulations can take months or longer, Part 13 of TDG allows them to use this method to respond to important issues with appropriate speed.

Protective Direction 36 requires Canadian Class I rail carriers to either publish information on the carrier’s website, or provide information to designated Emergency Planning Officials (EPOs) of each jurisdiction through which the carrier transports dangerous goods. This information includes:

  • Aggregate information on the nature and volume of dangerous goods that the rail carrier transported by railway car through the last calendar year (broken down by quarter);
  • The number of unit trains loaded with dangerous goods operated in the jurisdiction in the last year (again, broken down by quarter); and
  • The percentage of railway cars carrying dangerous goods that were operated by the rail carrier through the jurisdiction in the last calendar year.

Rail carriers transporting dangerous goods by railway car in a province must, by March 15 of the following year, publish on its website a report in both official languages detailing the dangerous goods shipments, including the percentage of cars that were loaded with dangerous goods, the top ten dangerous goods carried, the percentage of these top ten goods as part of the dangerous goods transported in this province, and the percentage of all residual dangerous goods on the total dangerous goods transported in that province.

Further details are given in the Protective Direction about how the rail carrier must communicate with the designated Emergency Planning Official in each jurisdiction, and how they must provide information to the agency CANUTEC to improve communication during accidents.

Protective Direction 36 replaces the earlier Protective Direction 32, and takes effect on April 28, 2016, the day it was issued. The full text of the Direction can be found at http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/tdg/safety-menu-1281.html.

Do you have any further questions about Protective Directions? Contact ICC Compliance Center here at 888-442-9628 (U.S.) or 888-977-4834 (Canada), and ask for one of our regulatory specialists.

Public Notice – Transport Canada Standard TP14877 Update

A public notice has been posted by Transport Canada. The info is below:

The Transportation of Dangerous Goods Directorate will begin work on updating the Transport Canada Standard TP14877, “Containers for Transport of Dangerous Goods by Rail”, December 2013. The standard covers large means of containment used in the handling, offering for transport and transporting of dangerous goods by rail. The update will focus on incorporating recent regulatory changes and proposals that have been consulted with the TP14877 Consultative Committee. The TP14877 Consultative Committee is comprised of various key stakeholders with extensive knowledge and expertise in regards to various aspects associated to the transportation of dangerous goods by rail.

Read the full notice »

Toxic
The Zika Virus — Public Health Crisis and Regulatory Puzzle

Zika virus – the name itself sounds exotic and dangerous. It is believed to be a serious risk for pregnant women. And it’s due to arrive in North America. Just how great a danger is this virus, and how should research and medical facilities prepare for the regulatory burden?

First of all, Zika is not a new virus. It has been known since the 1950s in equatorial Africa and Asia, but only recently has it appeared to migrate to new territories, including South and Central America, the Caribbean and Mexico. It is primarily a mosquito-borne illness, transmitted by the Aedes genus of mosquitos. Possibly climate change has increased the populations of these mosquitos in the areas where Zika is spreading. Aedes mosquitos are found in some parts of the U.S., and although they are not currently believed to be in Canada, they may spread as the climate warms. Person-to-person transmission by body fluids is possible, but this would be relatively rare compared to the mosquito vector.

Zika is classed in the Flaviviridae family of viruses, along with dengue fever, West Nile virus and the notoriously dangerous yellow fever. However, compared to these, Zika is usually a mild affliction. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), only one in five persons infected with the virus shows any symptoms at all. For those who do fall ill, the symptoms are described as flu-like: fever, joint and muscle pain, inflammation of the eyes (conjunctivitis) and a rash. Although there is no cure, and the virus does not respond to antibiotics, the infection normally resolves without treatment within a week. Fatalities are extremely rare. In other words, Zika is, for most people, a mildly unpleasant illness that they recover from quickly. Even better, exposure to Zika usually results in lasting immunity.

So, why has Zika become such a big issue in public health? While most people only become mildly ill when infected with Zika, the infection appears to be correlated to increases in two much more serious conditions: the neurological condition called Guillain-Barré syndrome (which can be triggered by a number of infections), and most tragically, the birth defect called microcephaly.

Microcephaly is a condition where a baby’s head is smaller than normal, and often includes abnormal brain development. The CDC indicates “problems can range from mild to severe and are often lifelong. In some cases, these problems can be life-threatening.

It should be noted that we don’t yet have a conclusive linking of Zika to microcephaly, but some relatively strong evidence has been gathered. There appears to be a statistical increase in microcephaly in the children of mothers infected by Zika, as well as evidence that the virus can pass the placental barrier. The virus has been found in the brains of affected infants. So, it seems at least plausible that there is connection between the condition and exposure to the virus during fetal development. We don’t yet know just how likely the condition will be if the mother is infected with the virus, and we don’t know if it can occur at any stage in fetal development, or if there is only a short window of time for the defect to arise.

It would appear, therefore, that the main public health issue is the risk to developing fetuses. This is not a new problem; pathogens such as those responsible for rubella (German measles) and toxoplasmosis are also known to cause serious birth defects. But Zika has gathered headlines due to its fast spread, its previously unknown status to the public, and the difficulty in avoiding exposure to mosquitos if you live in an area where the disease is prevalent.

Based on mosquito distribution, it’s likely that Zika will obtain at least a foothold into the United States. Canada may be at less risk due to its colder climate, but there is a possibility of spread as global temperatures warm. The CDC and Health Canada have put out advisories to help people protect themselves from exposure to the virus. But medical facilities and laboratories must also take steps to prepare for Zika’s arrival, from preparing the infrastructure to send samples for analysis and diagnosis, to disposing of contaminated linens.

The first step in transporting infectious substances is to classify it according to either the U.S. “Hazardous Materials Regulations” of 49 CFR, or Canada’s “Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations”. Although many disease organisms have accepted classifications established for them (such as those found in the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations), Zika virus is so new to North America that there has not yet been an official classification assigned.

Pathogens fall under two categories. Category A is used for organisms that are “transported in a form that, when exposure to it occurs, is capable of causing permanent disability, life-threatening or fatal disease in otherwise healthy humans or animals.” Pathogens that do not meet that criteria will be classed as Category B, less hazardous.

Although it is not immediately dangerous to the person affected, Zika is capable of causing permanent disability (birth defects) or life-threatening conditions (Guillain-Barré syndrome). However, it is not likely to cause these effects simply from a spill in transportation – it appears that direct blood contact is necessary to contract the disease. Unless the Department of Transportation or Transport Canada make an official determination of the appropriate category, as they did in the SARS outbreak, the decision will be the shipper’s, and should be guided by medical or scientific personnel. It may be noted that many other viruses in the Flaviviridae family have a split classification; they are placed in Category A when transported as a culture (artificially propagated to increase the virus concentration), but Category B when transported in samples in their natural state, such as blood or other body fluids.

Once the classification has been determined, packaging must be selected for Category A or B as appropriate. Obviously, the highly dangerous Category A organisms will require a much more secure packaging, one which must be approved to a standard created by the United Nations. Category B packages do not have to meet UN specification, but they must follow the regulations for construction and use. Note that ICC Compliance Center can provide packagings for various needs, from shipping small samples to disposing of contaminated linens as hazardous waste.

Once assembled, you must identify the package as containing Category A or B substances with the appropriate safety marks and labels. Note that Category B substances do not have to show the Class 6.2 label, but must show a diamond with the applicable UN number, UN3373, in the center. Category A pathogens will require full dangerous goods shipping papers. Most regulations exempt Category B from some or all of the shipping paper requirements. While placards are not required for Class 6.2 materials under the “Hazardous Materials Regulations” in the U.S., Canada does require placards if the shipment exceeds 500 kilograms or is subject to an Emergency Response Assistance Plan (ERAP). And, of course, personnel performing dangerous goods functions must be trained and certified in the appropriate regulations.

If you intend to ship pathogens outside your own country (for example, for international research efforts), remember that exporting and importing of infectious substances will involve additional regulations, such as the CDC’s Import Permit Program.

For more information on protecting yourself and your family from Zika, consult the Centers for Disease Control, or Health Canada.

 

Do you have questions about how to transport infectious substances? Need labels, packaging or other supplies for such shipments? Contact ICC Compliance Center here at 888-442-9628 (U.S.) or 888-977-4834 (Canada), and ask for one of our regulatory specialists.

Canada!
“Sea Change” Amendment to TDG Proposed- Criteria Requiring IMDG Code Clarified

Hot on the heels of the Feb. 2 Transport Canada proposed amendment (“Harmonization Updates”) posting, there was another (Feb. 9) proposal for consultation to clarify the intent of Part 11 regarding marine/ferry shipments.

A major result, if the proposal is adopted, will remove the confusion around when the IMDG Code is mandatory for vessel (updated terminology to replace the noun “ship”) shipments of dangerous goods. This issue has been subject to conflicting interpretations from time-to-time; not just among consignors, but also within the transport and enforcement communities.

This difficulty in making a clear interpretation stemmed from the difference in the intent of the term “Home Trade Voyage” in an obsolete version of the Canada Shipping Act which was quoted (perhaps out of context) in Part 11 of the TDGR.
A literal reading implied that essentially all “salt water” voyages could be considered Class I home trade voyages; requiring use of the IMDG Code.

As proposed, shipments by ferry to, for example Newfoundland or Vancouver Island, will likely clearly be under the provisions of the TDGR, not the IMDG Code. This will be of benefit, particularly to shippers of limited quantity/consumer commodity items which should no longer require a formal dangerous goods document or other considerations unique to the IMDG Code.

Short-Run Ferry qualification criteria may also be expanded to 5 km voyages; and restrictions on fuel transport on passenger ferries may be relaxed based on risk assessments/current equivalency certificate experience.

Comments on the proposal are welcomed by Transport Canada until Feb.28 – see:
http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/tdg/safety-menu-1262.html