TDG
“Fast Away the Old Year Passes…” – TDGR Moving into 2019

The Canadian Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDGR) were uncharacteristically quiet in 2018. This represents the first year in a 5-year stretch where stakeholders didn’t see at least one amendment to the TDGR.

That doesn’t mean, however, that there was no activity within this very active government department. For example, in keeping with the move to adopting ambulatory references to cited standards, the responsibility for several standards (e.g., TP14850 small container performance packaging, and TP14877 rail containers) began their return to the Canadian General Standards Board. In addition, there were various consultations on topics such as ERAPs (TDGR Part 7), and discussion of training requirements (TDGR Part 6) – the latter in conjunction with establishing a CGSB committee.

NEW & ONGOING RESEARCH

Various research projects were explored in 2018 including collaboration on examining crude oil flammability, properties of produced water in oil and gas activities, as well as validation testing of a proposed SAE standard for lithium battery packaging. These activities a

An invitation was issued to stakeholders on a scheduled symposium to present/discuss other areas for research. The symposium is scheduled for February 28 – 29 in Ottawa (http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/tdg/tdg-research-symposium.html).

AMENDMENTS IN PROGRESS

Various topics referenced above and others undertaken in the 2016-2018 period were given status updates, including proposed Canada Gazette (CG) I (final consultation) or II (final amendment) at a late November GPAC (General Policy Advisory Council) session:

Training (Part 6):

This Continue Reading…

ICC Compliance Center
Stranded in a Vehicle During a Winter Storm

Living in the St. Louis Metro Area planning before heading out onto the highways is a good idea. With a population upwards of 2 million, there are always lots of vehicles on the roads. Add to that the number of those passing through on their way out west, and you can imagine some of the traffic snarls happening on a daily basis. If there should be any sort of inclement weather, the number of accidents multiply on an exponential basis. Given we just passed the first official day of winter, it seems appropriate to think about what to do if you get stranded in your car during a winter storm.

After researching this a bit, it was interesting where I found the best advice. The Weather Channel, and several insurance agencies seemed to provide the most logical ones. Many ideas center around concepts that make sense for being a responsible car owner.

What to do when stranded:

  • Have a survival kit in your car. Create one for the types of situations you could find yourself. It should include extra gloves, water, a flashlight, a blanket, a cell phone charger, and an ice scraper just to name a few items. 
  • Stay inside the vehicle with your seatbelt connected. By staying in place you avoid exposure to the elements, which can put you at risk for hypothermia, frostbite, and getting lost. Your seatbelt is Continue Reading…
Rejected shipment, but nothing is wrong

Have you ever been in a situation where you understand “it” clearly, but the person you are explaining “it” to just does not get it? Frustrating, eh! Well I recently had this fun experience.

We did a repackaging job for one of our clients a couple of weeks ago. He was shipping a switch, which had a very small amount of mercury inside it. He told us maybe 0.5 kg of mercury – if that – and this shipment needs to go via air transport. Since he isn’t certified for air transport, he needed our services.

We classified the switch as UN3506, Mercury contained in manufactured articles. We packaged the shipment according to packing instruction 869, and as per special provision A191 since the article contained less than 5 kg of mercury. We did not add the subsidiary hazard label (class 6.1), and included “A191” in the authorization column of the shipper’s declaration.

We sent out the package. This was on Friday.

On Monday we got the package back. If there is something to note about me it is that I don’t take rejected packages lightly. It hits close to heart that I made a mistake. Took a look at the checklist, and it was rejected because the carrier’s DG Agent took the weight on the shipper’s declaration as the net weight of the mercury inside the package, and claimed Continue Reading…

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Amazon Now Targeting Sellers That Ship Unsafe Packages to Warehouses

With the holiday season many of us are opting out of the busy malls and stores, and simply shopping from the comfort of our own homes. To make this option even more enticing some retailers are even offering free 2-day shipping during the holiday season. While this seems like a win-win situation for all there are some obstacles that have been coming to the surface, and unfortunately we are not just talking about late deliveries.  According to the Office of Hazardous Materials Safety, the world’s largest internet retailer, Amazon, has seen a sharp increase in reports of shipments allegedly violating the U.S. Department of Transportation regulations. In 2009, Amazon only had two incident reports, but that number jumped to 32 in 2016 before reaching 42 so far this year. This has caused Amazon to ultimately respond as they soon plan on adding new penalty fees for packages that fail to comply with its safety requirements.

Incidents

The main issue here is many third-party sellers on Amazon aren’t trained to ship dangerous goods, and simply don’t understand that what they are shipping is indeed hazardous. These third-party sellers often don’t realize what actions need to be taken per the Hazardous Material Regulations that exist to safeguard those who may come in contact with the dangerous goods. For that reason, often times the correct labeling, packaging, and paperwork required to Continue Reading…

Another PHMSA Penalty Increase

In the dangerous goods world things can change fast, so it is very important to be aware of the most up-to-the-minute changes. Much like in the video below, this can feel like an endless chase, but nevertheless we have to keep up the pace to stay within compliance of the changing regulations.

This not only goes for the regulations themselves, but also the penalties involved with being out of compliance. In Subpart D of Part 107 Hazardous Materials Program Procedures, there is a section entitled Enforcement, which outlines the civil and criminal penalties in the event you are non-compliant with the regulations. Being a federal agency, PHMSA must adjust their penalty rates each year to account for inflation. As of Tuesday, November 27, 2018, the new penalty rates officially go into effect. For this year it is a simple calculation, multiply the existing penalty by 1.02041, round up, and this will give you the new penalty.

For example:

  • A violation of hazardous materials transportation law under 49 U.S.C. 5123(a)(1) is going from $78,376 to $79,976.
  • A violation of hazardous materials transportation law resulting in death, serious illness, severe injury, or substantial property destruction under 49 U.S.C. 5123(a)(2) is going from $182,877 to $186,610.

A complete list of the penalty rate changes can be found at the link below:

https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-11-27/pdf/2018-24930.pdf

Why is this an issue? If you have the latest hardcopy of the 49 Continue Reading…

dangerous goods forms, IATA, IMDG, 49 CFR, TDG documentation
Inner quantities on the IMO declaration…do you need to add it?

For many of us who have been preparing international ocean shipments for sometime now we know that the requirements of what needs to be included on the IMO declaration hasn’t changed all that much.   

One of the biggest frustrations is when carriers or agents of carriers reject the IMO declaration because the inner quantity information is not provided on the actual declaration. I know carriers need to enter information in their internal system for acceptance of shipments (DG or not), and perhaps the system requires the breakdown of inner packaging but why is the IMO declaration being rejected? This information can be provided on an alternate document (i.e., packing list).

As per section 5.4.1.5.1 of the IMDG Code “The number, type and capacity of each inner packaging within the outer packaging of a combination packaging is not required to be indicated.” The Code never asked for it; however, a few editions back, “they” clarified it by adding the above quoted note. And I for one am grateful for it because now when someone comes back stating the declaration is incorrect, I just scan, highlight this section from the Code, and email it to them. I am not trying to be a smart-ass, but for me it’s about educating others. They can read that specific section to avoid future hindrance with others. This goes for me as well. I appreciate it Continue Reading…

Notice of PROPOSED Rulemaking: 49 CFR Docket HM-215O

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is at it again. Published on November 27, 2018 is a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that many in the industry want to happen sooner rather than later. It is Docket number HM-215O. This amendment is a giant step towards better alignment of the Hazardous Materials Regulation (HMR), or 49 CFR, with the changes coming in 2019 for several international transport regulations.

Remember, this NPRM is just one step in the process for updating Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations. We still have to get through the comment period on this particular docket. Starting today, the comment period is open until January 28, 2019. After that window closes, each comment is reviewed and changes could be made to the amendment. The docket is then published as a Final Rule with a 30- to 60-day phase in period. If you feel strongly about a proposed change, speak now or forever hold your peace.

While what is listed below this is not a comprehensive listing of everything in the PROPOSED amendment, an attempt was made to focus on what could impact a majority of transport professionals. For access to the entirety of NPRM, go to https://www.phmsa.dot.gov/regulations-fr/rulemaking/2018-24620 and view the PDF.

Here are some of the PROPOSED changes in HM-215O:

  • Section 171.7 – This section will now include reference to the 20th Revised Continue Reading…
ICC's Regulatory Helpdesk
Regulatory Helpdesk: November 19

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.

UN Packaging Requirements

Q. Is there any specific testing the inner packages for a combination package has to go through if shipping by ground in the U.S? What is to prevent the manufacture and distribution of cans that are not adequately leak-proof?
A. From a UN testing standpoint, if the inner packaging of a combination package wasn’t leak-proof, it would likely fail the drop testing because any leaking of the inner packaging during UN combination testing would be considered a failure. It is up to the shipper of the paint cans to use inner packaging that is equal or stronger in performance than the inner packaging used during the UN testing per 49 CFR 178.601(g)(1). There is a leak-proof test and hydrostatic pressure test per 178.604 and 178.605, but neither is technically required for inner packaging of a combination package. If shipping by air it is a little different, as the inner packaging “must be capable” of withstanding a hydrostatic pressure differential of 95 kPa per 173.27(c)(2).

Electric vehicles

Q. I am shipping electric vehicles in the US. They will be shipped with the batteries in them, but the batteries could also be shipped separately. The vehicle Continue Reading…
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IATA Lithium Battery Update for January 1, 2019
AA sized lithium battery cells

Welcome to the ever-changing world of transporting lithium batteries. It feels like just yesterday we were discussing the introduction of the new Class 9 hazard label dedicated to just batteries and the new handling “mark”. Would you believe that started at the end of 2016? In an attempt to clarify things, here is the first of several blogs dedicated to one of the new versions of a transport regulation. The focus will be what changed in regards to lithium batteries for that mode. My first choice, only because it is my favorite regulation, is the 60th edition of the International Air Transport Association or IATA as many of us know it. By the way, ICC will be hosting a training on lithium batteries on January 24th and 25th. Call us today to get registered today.

Listed below are the specific sections, paragraphs, packing instructions and the like that had changes for lithium cells and batteries. If you aren’t overly familiar with shipping batteries, what is below can be a bit overwhelming. You can access our “cheat sheet” for required labels by ground, ocean, and air.

IATA 60th Edition Changes for Batteries:

  • New classification criteria – As part of 3.9.2.6.1 there are 2 new paragraphs around the classification of lithium batteries. One paragraph talks about “hybrid” batteries, which are those that contain both ion and metal while the other is about Continue Reading…
ICC's Regulatory Helpdesk
Regulatory Helpdesk: October 29

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.

VOC/SDS

Q. We have a customer that is asking why the VOC content is “N/Av” on their SDS. It is required under OSHA or WHMIS?
A. According to US federal OSHA Hazcom 2012, and Canadian WHMIS 2015 rules, VOC information is not actually a mandatory item to appear in any section of a 16 Section SDS. It is commonly requested as a sub-item in Section 9, which is why ICC automatically includes the subheading. ICC does not calculate VOC levels, so the data would have to be provided by you. VOC information is common info to have for coatings, and has become important for coatings manufacturers due to Environmental regulations.

Lithium Battery Mark

Q. Customer called and asked if they ship UN3480 lithium batteries ground within the US, can they use the lithium battery mark instead of the class 9 lithium battery label, or do both have to be on the package. He also wanted to know what packing group lithium battery packaging had to be?
A. When shipping ground within the US, you are required to use a lithium battery mark OR a Class 9 lithium battery label. So just the lithium battery mark is fine in Continue Reading…