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…
Maximising Your Car Vehicle Battery Life For Winter

Auxiliary Battery & CTEK charger

Stephan Ridgway/Flickr

With Christmas coming fast and millions of people all over the world concentrating their efforts on finding the best presents possible for their children and loved ones, it’s easy to overlook and fail to give enough attention to our vehicles. Don’t get me wrong, at a time like this nobody wants to spend any more time outside than they have to, but then again, that’s just another reason why ensuring the battery in your motor is being looked after properly. The cold weather can have some pretty drastic effects on this type of device, but there are a lot of things you can do to give it the best chance of surviving the winter.

So, I’ve spent a few hours reading through all the different techniques listed by some of the most reputable suppliers, and I now feel confident enough to give you some sound advice. Just remember, if your car really is on its last legs, making constant repairs could be financially unviable, and in most instances it would be cheaper to make arrangements with your local dealer for a replacement.

Charging The Battery

Most manufacturers advise that batteries should be charged around every six months, which means the start of December would be ideal. You’ll probably have to leave the charger plugged in overnight to ensure it receives enough juice, but I guarantee you’ll notice the Continue Reading…

ICAO Recommended Transitional Period

The 54th Edition of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulation that became effective on January 1st, 2013 has some significant changes with respect to the packing requirements for Lithium Batteries. These changes affect both Lithium ion batteries (UN 3480) and Lithium metal batteries (UN 3090).

The new Regulations are becoming more restrictive specifically towards the smaller batteries that many people would be most familiar with. In the past, large Lithium ion batteries that might be used for machinery were fully regulated and this is not changing.  The people who will notice a difference are those who send batteries for cell phones, laptops, toys, and other small items.

ICAO has put forth a recommendation that a one-month transitional grace period should be allowed, which would permit the use of the 53rd Edition of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulation (2012 Version) until January 31st, 2013 for shipping Lithium ion batteries and Lithium metal batteries.

http://www.iata.org/whatwedo/cargo/dgr/Pages/lithium-batteries.aspx

In this way, shippers are still granted the option to use the current version of the Regulations to package batteries that are to be sent early in the new year.

Due to the increased quantity of classification within Packing Instructions 965 (Lithium ion batteries) and 968 (Lithium metal batteries), there is a greater likelihood for non-compliance through mistakes.  Shippers who have used the same routine for some time will now be required to further analyze their shipments and gather more Continue Reading…

Risks in Transporting Lithium Batteries in Cargo by Aircraft

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued Safety Alert for Operators (SAFO) No.10017 on October 10, 2010. The subject of this SAFO pertains to the “Risks in Transporting Lithium Batteries in Cargo by Aircraft” and is intended to alert operators to the recent findings from the FAA William Hughes Technical Center test results on the particular propagation characteristics that are associated with lithium batteries. FAA tests follow the United Parcel Service (UPS) Flight 006 crash in the United Arab Emirates on September 3, 2010. Although investigation of the crash is still underway, and the cause of the crash has not been determined, investigators are aware that the plane’s cargo did include large quantities of lithium batteries. In coordination with the FAA, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is considering the best course of action to address the risk posed by lithium batteries. In the interim, SAFO 10017 includes recommended action that carriers should consider adopting when transporting lithium batteries.

FAA tests have demonstrated how lithium ion cells are flammable and capable of self-ignition that occurs when a battery short circuits, is overcharged, is heated to extreme temperatures, is mishandled, or is defective. Lithium ion batteries, like lithium metal batteries, can be subject to thermal runaway. Thermal runaway is a chain reaction that occurs when Continue Reading…