IATA DGR 57th Edition Addendum I – January 2016

IATA has recently released their first addendum to the IATA DGR 57th Edition.

This is a quote from IATA:

ICAO has now issued their addendum to the 2015-2016 edition of the Technical Instructions to address the changes applicable to lithium batteries. As a consequence attached is the English addendum to the 57th edition of the Dangerous Goods Regulations. The language editions will follow early next week. There will also be updates to the eDGR and to the Lithium Battery Shipping Guidelines (LBSG) in all applicable languages. These should also be rolled out starting next week.

In addition to the changes for lithium batteries to require that, effective 1 April 2016, all lithium ion batteries shipped as UN 3480 under PI 965, Sections IA, IB and II must be at a state of charge (SoC) not exceeding 30%. For Section IA and IB of PI 965 there is provisions for shippers to have lithium ion batteries at a SoC of greater than 30%, but this requires an approval from the States of origin and of the operator.

The 2016 edition of the lithium battery guidance document that was issued recently will be updated shortly to include some specific guidance to shippers on how to determine the SoC of a lithium cell or battery.

Note, there is no requirement for the shipper to specifically prove that lithium ion batteries shipped as UN 3480 Continue Reading…

Back to the Future – Interim ICAO/IATA 2016 Lithium Battery Changes

In addition to changes documented in the IATA 2016 (57th Edition) DGR, and the anticipated 2017 changes outlined in Appendix H (“Impending Changes” to ICAO Technical Instructions), recent incidents with lithium batteries and lithium battery-powered small vehicles (e.g. “Solowheels”, hoverboards, mini-“Segway”, etc.) have caused regulators to re-examine changes and deadlines.

Specifically ICAO intends to require that, in 2016 (date to be confirmed, April 1 proposed):

  1. Lithium ion cells and batteries (UN3480, PI 965) must only be offered for transport when their “state of charge” (SoC) does not exceed 30 % of the rated capacity, as determined by the UN Manual of Tests & Criteria (Section I cells/batteries are only allowed to exceed 30% if the States of Origin & Operator approve in writing).
  2. Not more than 1 package prepared under Section II of PI 965 (UN3480) or PI 968 (UN3090) may be placed in an overpack
  3. Overpacks prepared as above must have both the lithium caution label and “overpack” mark visible.
  4. Packages prepared as above must be offered separately from other cargo and not be loaded into a unit load device (ULD) before being offered to the carrier.

These are interim measures while performance-based standards are developed for lithium batteries; and until changes to UN3481 andUN3091 (packed with/in equipment) take effect in 2017. Some or all of these interim measures may be retained in the future editions of Continue Reading…

Significant Changes to the 2016 IATA DGR 57th Edition

IATA has just released their list of significant changes to the new 2016 IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations 57th Edition.

Download Now (PDF) »

As always we continue to stay abreast of changes and updates to the regulations, and strive to keep providing you with new information. If you have any questions regarding this or any other dangerous goods regulation, please call our regulatory staff at 888.442.9628 (USA) or 888.977.4834 (Canada).

Overpack Label
“OVERPACK” Markings – Overdone?

The Issue

The formalization of the overpack concept into the Canadian TDG regulations has been the subject of concern for domestic shippers of dangerous goods due to the wording for fully regulated (TDGR 4.10.1) products. The wording implies that even when the DG safety marks for packages within the overpack are visible, the overpack must still have an “OVERPACK” mark displayed. This leads to some additional labelling requirements, particularly for shippers of stretch-wrapped pallet loads.


We’ll pause to review the concept of an overpack, consistent among the various regulations (e.g. TDG, UN Model Recommendations, IMDG, IATA, & 49 CFR).
An overpack is non-standardized packaging that:

  1. Is used for handling convenience (e.g. to reduce multiple handling- I.e. 4 drums on a skid, allowing loading 4 at once rather than 4 trips, or 6 small containers in a “non-spec” master carton, or 48 small boxes stretch wrapped on a skid; a keg (small drum) in a non-spec box for stability, etc. )
  2. Cannot be used as a replacement for inadequate, required “standardized” packaging
  3. Is to be unopened between consignor and receiver
  4. Cannot interfere with the integrity of the standardized packaging (e.g. banding cutting into boxes on a pallet)

The common principle requires that the description of DG that cannot be seen once the overpack is in place will be reproduced on the outside of the overpack.

However, this could be misleading in that Continue Reading…

Danger Placard
Remembering Placards

Mnemonic Devices

How do you remember the meaning of something? Do you try to KISS it where KISS stands for – Keep It Simple Silly? Do you use mnemonics from elementary school and even through college to trigger your memory? I do, and boy how they make things easier. I bet you can remember ROY G BIV, the colors of the rainbow from art class. Music class they gave us easy ways to remember the treble clef with Every Good Boy Does Fine for the lines on the staff and FACE for the spaces. One of my favorites however, is PEMDAS to help remember the order of operations in math!

I am always looking for a fun way to help reinforce my memory. In the hazardous transportation industry there are so many things to remember or define. Oh and the acronyms!

What is a Placard?

Let’s take a look at placards. What is a placard? As defined in the Merriam – Webster dictionary a placard is defined as:

a large notice or sign put up in a public place or carried by people

Placards provide pertinent information about an area, a specific instruction, or a hazard. Placards are used in work places to communicate to people of special operating procedures. Placards are also used in transportation to warn of hazards that are present in a truck on the road, in a rail Continue Reading…

IATA, Addendum 2 to the 56th Edition DGR

IATA issued a 2nd Addendum to the “56th edition of the IATA DGR“. A proposal to prohibit e-cigarettes in checked baggage was discussed at the ICAO DGP-WG/15 meeting in Montreal last week. The DGP recommended that e-cigarettes be restricted to carry-on baggage and also that e-cigarettes and/or their batteries not be recharged on the aircraft. The addendum has been modified to reflect the language adopted by the ICAO DGP.

The addendum also contains a number of changes to State and operator variations.

Download the PDF of Addendum 2 for the 56th edition of the IATA DGR and print it. The updates to the eDGR will be issued shortly. The language editions of the addendum should be out by the end of the week.

Why You Need the Most Updated Regulatory Texts

The Bible, Shakespeare and Transport Regulations

“Woe is me” is a phrase heard by many. It basically means someone is unhappy or distressed. The Bible uses this phrase in several locations including Job 10:15, Isaiah 6:5 and Psalms 120:5. Shakespeare later used this same expression when writing for his tragic character Ophelia in “Hamlet”. Existing and operating in the world of regulations can also bring on this feeling. It is difficult enough learning the basics of any regulation, but to truly “know” it takes time, patience and work. This process is complicated by the fact that many regulations change. Is it really necessary to have the newest, latest regulation? To answer that question it is time to look to the regulations.

International Air Transport Association (IATA):

For many, these are the Air Regulations. In this instance, the regulation is updated YEARLY. A new edition goes into effect on January 1st of any given year and ends on December 31st of that same year. The Regulation is currently on its 56th Edition. To showcase some of the changes that could apply to a variety of shippers, please read the following:

  1. The List of Dangerous Goods has new entries and/or updates to existing substances
  2. Packing Instructions for Lithium Batteries was updated to include not only a change but also a new addition
  3. Section 7 – Marking and Labeling for Limited Quantities has new information

Continue Reading…

IATA’s Lithium Batteries Risk Mitigation Guidance for Operators Document

New Lithium Battery Document

Earlier this month, IATA published a Lithium Battery Risk Mitigation Guidance for Airline Operators document that everyone should read. Although it’s 45 pages, it reads well so it feels relatively short. There are several great pictures throughout that help to emphasize key points well.

Click here to read the IATA Press Release. The guidance manual can be found near the bottom of the page.

Even though the strategies listed throughout the document are primarily directed at an airline’s internal processes and procedures, there are strategies for engaging with other parts of the supply chain such as manufacturers, shippers, and freight forwarders. Passengers are also mentioned.

One interesting point was that, “the legitimate lithium battery industry (i.e., those companies adhering to the international rules) has an outstanding safety record since these batteries started to be shipped by air in the mid-1970s.”

For incidents where a cause has been determined, they are invariably due to non-compliance with the requirements that often involve shippers who are either deliberately not following the requirements or are ignorant of them. Publishing this document was a great way to disseminate this information and bring awareness to more people. One of the current problems is that some people who are completely unaware of the dangerous goods regulations and requirements for lithium batteries are shipping them as cargo and in mail. All batteries are subject to Continue Reading…

What You Should Know About Shipping Lithium Batteries by Air

Lithium battery shipping is still a very hot topic. Do you ever ship equipment powered by lithium batteries to other locations? Lithium batteries are included in almost all electronics like mobile phones, laptops, cameras, etc.

Are lithium batteries considered dangerous goods?

The answer is yes, because those batteries present both chemical and electrical hazards. Dangers associated with lithium batteries include chemical burn, fire, and electrical shock. They can overheat and ignite under certain conditions. Once ignited lithium batteries can be difficult to extinguish. Therefore, batteries and battery-powered devices can be a safety risk when transported by air.

Lithium batteries are divided into two types:

Lithium metal batteries are primary non-rechargeable batteries used to power devices such as cameras, calculators, watches, etc.

Lithium-ion batteries are secondary rechargeable batteries, which are generally found in laptop computers, mobile phones, audiovisual equipment, etc. Lithium polymer batteries are also included within “lithium-ion batteries”.

You can safely and easily ship most lithium batteries. As long as certain precautions are taken to prevent short circuits, overheating, and inadvertent operations. The IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations based on the ICAO Technical Instructions are intended to facilitate transport while giving a level of safety such that dangerous goods can be carried without placing the aircraft or its occupants at risk.

Lithium metal batteries will be restricted to Cargo Aircraft Only as of January 1, 2015. The prohibition on the Continue Reading…

Can You Really Ship HazMat/DG Without Following the Regulations?

Can someone ship hazardous materials/dangerous goods without using regulatory publications?

This is often a question we ask ourselves when assisting customers. There are so many if’s, and’s, and but’s in the regulations, it’s hard to imagine someone shipping hazardous products without them. The regulations are just large instruction manuals on how to safely ship dangerous materials. We often have customers call and question why their shipment was rejected. After listening to their story, we can usually find the answer right in the regulations. When we tell a customer why their shipment may have been rejected, customers normally see why having a copy of the current regulations is so important. Every company shipping hazardous materials/dangerous goods should have all the regulatory manuals for the modes of transportation which they ship.

“That’s how we have always done it.”

This is something we hear very often, actually.

Just because that’s how you have always done it doesn’t mean it is compliant. The regulations are updated often for a reason – to ensure safety for everyone involved with shipping hazardous materials/dangerous goods. Recently, many of the regulations have been updated to include new UN numbers. The new shipping names and UN numbers will affect the way that companies label and document these products. This could easily become a scenario where “we’ve always done it this way” may lead to penalties or fines.

“These books Continue Reading…