Lithium
FedEx Grants Extension on Lithium Battery Mark for Air Transport

New Lithium Battery Marks

The 58th Edition of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations has introduced new package markings for air transport of lithium batteries. For fully-regulated (Section I) batteries the UN has introduced the dedicated lithium battery Class 9 label, showing a battery graphic in the lower half. For low-powered batteries that are exempted under Section II, IATA has introduced a new version of the Lithium Battery Handling label (the one marked “CAUTION”).

The new Lithium Battery Handling mark (no longer classified by IATA as a “label”) was designed to eliminate the text portion, making the mark no longer dependent on a specific language. Instead of using text to indicate type of battery, this mark will use the UN number, making it easy to identify the batteries no matter what language the handlers speak.

New Lithium Battery Mark and Pictogram

ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) and IATA (International Air Transport Association) intend this new handling mark and the new lithium battery Class 9 label to be phased in over the next two years, to become mandatory on January 1, 2019. This will allow people to use up old stocks, and train their staff to recognize the new symbols while still using the old ones.

FedEx Implementation

However, FedEx introduced a variation (FX-05 in the IATA DGR) that requires shippers to mark the UN number on Section II batteries as of January 1, 2017, two years before ICAO Continue Reading…

IATA
IATA DGR 2017 FedEx Limitations Re-organized

FedEx Changes Style & Substance

The 2017 IATA DGR Limitations (Section 2) has a bit of a curve ball thrown to those who have become familiar with the common FedEx (FX) limitations found throughout the Section 5 packing instructions (PI).

In addition to the substantive changes in lithium battery shipment acceptance, the complete FX series has been re-arranged. The restrictions in the previous (57th) edition are still there but have been largely consolidated as sub-items; often within a different FX number. The change results in going from 18 FX numbers, 17 of which were active (FX-08 was “Not used”) to essentially the same topics covered in a list of 9 active FX numbers (FX-01 through FX-08 & FX-18)- i.e. FX-09 through FX-17 are currently not in use.

A quick reference guide for those who had memorised the common FedEx exemptions appears below:

FedEx-Changes in IATA DGR Limitations

TOPIC 57th Ed 2016 58th Ed 2017
Class 1 FX-01 FX-01 (a), (b)
Class 6.1, PIH, Class 2 with sub. FX-02 FX-02 (a), (b)
Class 7…+ excepted pkg FX-03 FX-03 (a)- (d) + (e)
Nitrating acids FX-04 FX-04 (a)
Haz waste FX-05 FX-04 (b)
PCBs FX-06 FX-02 (c)
Li Batteries FX-07 FX-05 (a) – (d)
not used FX-08
Class 6.2, WHO RG4 FX-09 FX-04 (c)
Class 4.3 FX-10 FX-02 (d)
Pkg must accommodate labels FX-11 FX-06
Typed ShDec FX-12 FX-07
Compressed oxygen FX-13 FX-02 (e)
Shipper’s Dec, 3 copies… FX-14 FX-08
Acetylene; DiMeDiClsilane; Zr suspension FX-15 FX-04 (d)
Sp A2, A183 not recognised FX-16 FX-04 (e)
IE/IEF require “V-pkg” FX-17 FX-02 (f)
Software for ShDec FX-18 FX-18

Note: Although there are several “FX-” limitations relating to, for example, marking and documentation; the majority of limitations are referenced in the PI. Continue Reading…

DGIS VI (Part I)

I attended the sixth Dangerous Goods Instructor Symposium (DGIS VI) hosted by LabelMaster in Memphis TN last week.
Things started on Tuesday evening with the Dangerous Goods Trainers Association (DGTA) meeting. The changes concerning NESHTA, BCSP, IHMM and others were discussed. Bob Richard has suggested the DGTA make application at the UN for consultative status. This would allow DGTA to attend the UNSCOE on TDG as observers or as a NGO (non-governmental organization). The website has been updated, see www.dtga.org/. There was also discussion on which trade shows that DGTA should attend.

Later that night some of us boarded buses to go the the FedEx world hub. Here we were given a tour of the FedEx Memphis Hub (night-side) facilities.

Some interesting points of interest:

  • handles approx. 1.3 million packages daily
  • averages 140 landings per night (every 90 seconds)
  • averages 140 takeoffs per night
  • aircraft unloaded in under 30 minutes
  • fleet of more than 366 aircraft (727s to A300s to 777)
  • 7,000 employees at the hub
  • covers 863 acres
  • approx. 42 miles (68 km) of conveyor belts

Thanks to David Jones of FedEx for arranging the tour.

The Wednesday morning session on the ABCs of Training Objectives. This workshop covered the basics in making brief, concise, clear learning objectives. After lunch, Howard Skolnik of Skolnik Industries did a hands-on session on Writing of packing and closure instructions: an exercise in authorship. Howard gave each table an exercise on writing Continue Reading…

Shopping Online – A Growing Issue in Dangerous Goods Transportation

Online shopping – whether from large internet companies such as Amazon, to individual vendors on sites such as eBay – has grown, well, explosively, in the past few years. But with this growth has come a headache for shippers, receivers and regulators. How do you handle online purchases of product that may actually be classified as dangerous goods (or, in the US, as hazardous materials)?

Online shop with dangerous goods.

Often, people are not aware that common consumer products may be considered hazardous for transportation. These include:

  • Aerosol sprays
  • Cosmetics, such as nail polish remover or perfumes
  • Flammable liquids, such as paints and adhesives
  • Smoke detectors containing radioactive sources
  • Fireworks
  • Refrigerants (including those in equipment)
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Goods with internal combustion engines
  • Lithium batteries, including batteries packed in or with electronic equipment

There are, of course, provisions in various regulations such as the US Hazardous Materials Regulations of 49 CFR (Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations), and Canada’s Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Regulations. Small packages of dangerous goods can often be shipped more easily under the provisions for Limited Quantities or Consumer Commodities. These provisions, however, do vary from country to country.

In addition, the regulations for shipment by air are much more stringent. Shipments by carriers who specialize in fast delivery may need to comply with the system for air transportation from ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization), and IATA (International Air Transport Association). These may require additional packaging, labeling Continue Reading…

Know Your Software’s Limitation

Many dangerous goods shippers in the United States are finding themselves using new software to complete their IATA shipper’s declaration for air shipments. A new operator variation for Federal Express (FX-18) requires shipper’s declarations be completed using an approved error checking software.

Most of these programs have rules built in to them that force the user to complete specific areas of the declaration with limited options, sometimes based on previous choices. the options given will always be ones that are authorized by the regulations, but the user must still consider their specific product when making choices. Just because the regulations (and software) allow something, doesn’t make it the best choice.

For example, when shipping hydrochloric acid, PG III on cargo aircraft, you must use IATA packing instruction 856. The packing instruction allows the use of metal single packagings. An error checking software will allow a declaration to show metal drums, but it will not, in most cases, alert the shipper that the metal drum must be corrosion resistant, as specified in the packing instruction.

If you find yourself using a new software system to complete your declarations, make sure you know the limitations of the program and make sure that you understand how to use the regulations. Error checking is not the same thing as fully automated!