PHMSA/DOT Update: Label Border Line Thickness

HM-215N Update: Clarification on 2mm label border line thickness

2mm Label Border Requirement Changed

As most hazardous goods professionals know, HM-215N was intended to harmonize the 49 CFR regulations with the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods—Model Regulations (UN Model Regulations), International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code), and the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (ICAO Technical Instructions).

Among many other mandates, the final ruling ultimately revised §172.407 (c)(1)(iii), which changed the required width of the solid line forming the inner border of hazard class labels to a minimum of 2mm thick allowing for a transition period for domestic transportation to be in effect until December 31, 2018 in a final rule published in March of 2017.

Approximately vs “at least”

Although this ruling intended to improve consistency in labeling specifications worldwide, the language has caused confusion at the international level, and The United Nations Subcommittee of Experts recently adopted new language to clarify the width of the line may be “approximately” 2 mm instead of “at least” 2mm.

As a result, earlier this year in response to the industry’s request for clarification, the International Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) rescinded the requirement for label borders to be at least 2 mm in thickness.

This action will officially take effect on January 1, 2019. However US enforcement inspectors currently still have been referring to the Continue Reading…

ICC's Regulatory Helpdesk
Regulatory Helpdesk: April 23

Using absorbents with variation packaging, UN marking height, limited quantity, and de minimis quantities

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.

Absorbent Materials in Variation Packaging

Q. Can I use absorbent padding instead of the vermiculite as the absorbent in a 4GV package that was tested with vermiculite?
A. Per the 49 CFR §178.601, the packaging must meet the standard to which it is certified and the material must be of the same type or design as used in the tested design type, in this case vermiculite. Therefore vermiculite would have to be used to comply with the regulations.

UN Number Height

Q. Is there a minimum size requirement for the UN number on a lithium battery mark?
A. The only place that a specific size requirement is referenced regarding the UN number on a lithium battery mark is in the IATA DGR – §7.1.5.5.2(b)- which states that the UN number “should be” at least 12 mm high.

None of the other common (49 CFR §173.185(c)(3)(i); IMDG §5.2.1.10; TDG §4.24; or UN Model §5.2.1.9) regulations quote a minimum UN number size specifically for the lithium battery mark. All of the regulations referenced allow for proportional reduction, of features without specified dimensions, when the authorized Continue Reading…

ICC's Regulatory Helpdesk
Regulatory Helpdesk: April 16

WHMIS 2015 concentration ranges, training, overpacks, segregation and non-DG in DG packaging

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.

New WHMIS 2015 Concentration Ranges

Q. There is a very specific list of approved concentration ranges listed in the CA regulations.  We had previously set up our ranges to be .1-10%, 10-20%, 20-30%, etc. (groupings of 10) and always included the “trade secret” caveat after our concentration list. Would this still be considered “compliant” for Canada, meaning using our ranges vs. their list of ranges?
A. There is a Regulatory Impact Assessment file that was sent out to stakeholders by Health Canada a couple days before the new amendment appeared in the Gazette II.

Under the comments received section of that file was the following:

Use of the prescribed ranges

One stakeholder agreed with the proposed amendment as it read in the context of the CGI publications, but asked for the following clarification: can smaller ranges be used if they (1) fall within an existing range, e.g. using 3.8-4.5% rather than 3-5% (as listed), or (2) when combining up to three prescribed ranges, e.g. combining ranges (e), (f), and (g) would be 5-30% but using 6-28% instead. Health Canada clarified that the prescribed concentration ranges are Continue Reading…

ICC's Regulatory Helpdesk
Regulatory Helpdesk: March 26

Proper shipping name, 500 kg exemption, MANCOMM symbol, and a TDG error

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.

Proper Shipping Name (49 CFR)

Q. The customer wanted to know if they can print the product name in section 1 of the SDS next to the UN number on a hazard class label instead of the proper shipping name.

A. No. The proper shipping name on the outside of the box is a requirement per 49 CFR §172.301 (a) (1) and must be marked along with the UN number in a non-bulk packaging.

500 kg Exemption (TDG)

Q. Can I apply the 500 kg exemption when I have a mixed load where part of the load is excluded from using a DANGER placard under the 1000 kg Class restriction in TDGR §4.16 but the remainder is less than 500 kg gross? An example would be a consignment offered that included 1200 kg of Class 3, 100 kg of Class 8 and 300 kg of Class 9 (no ERAP required for either)?

A. In the DANGER placard scenario in 4.16, the Class 3 is restricted from using the DANGER placard specifically, based solely on quantity. Regular placarding requirements apply to the load based on the guidance text Continue Reading…

ICC's Regulatory Helpdesk
Regulatory Helpdesk: March 19

Proper Shipping Name, Hydrostatic Pressure Tests, Other Information on the Lithium Battery Mark, and an Interesting Lithium Battery Story

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.

Proper Shipping Name for Lithium Batteries (IATA)

Q. Is it acceptable to print “Lithium Ion batteries packed in equipment” on a Class 9 Miscellaneous lithium battery label for UN3481 instead of Lithium Ion Batteries Contained in Equipment?
A. Yes. In the blue pages (Section 4) of IATA, you will notice there are 2 spots for UN number “3481”, one for lithium batteries containing equipment, and one for lithium batteries packed in equipment, so either of those printed on the label is acceptable.

Hydrostatic Pressure Test by Air (IATA)

Q. I plan on shipping an F-style container as an inner container in a combination package. Per IATA  §6.3.5.1, it says the internal pressure test is not required for combination packages. Does this mean the inner container doesn’t have to meet the 95 kPa pressure rating if shipping liquids by air?
A. Although IATA §6.3.5.1 does state the internal pressure test is not a required test for inner packagings of combination packages, it also references §5.0.2.9 for further instructions, which states that packaging for retention of liquid must be capable Continue Reading…
Regulatory Helpdesk: February 19 & 26

Shipments to Puerto Rico, Non-hazardous substances, the Overpack label, and Aviation Regulated Liquids or Solids

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.

Shipping to Puerto Rico

Q.  If 49 CFR is used to make a vessel shipment of limited quantities from the mainland US to Puerto Rico is a shipping paper required? I’m asking because limited quantities don’t require shipping papers.

A. Technically that is true. Shipping papers are not needed for US GROUND shipments. You have to read the fine print in paragraph 173.150(b) which is the section on limited quantities for flammable and combustible liquids. It that paragraph it says, ” … is not subject to the shipping paper requirements of subpart C of part 172 of this subchapter, unless the material meets the definition of a hazardous substance, hazardous waste, marine pollutant, or is offered for transportation and transported by aircraft or vessel, and is eligible for the exceptions provided in §173.156 of this part“.

Non-hazardous substances under WHMIS 2015

Q.Customer called and asked if SDS’s were required for non-hazardous substances and where to find this in the WHMIS 2015 Regulations?

A.The answer to your question can be found below in WHMIS 2015, which states that safety data sheets only pertain to a hazardous product, therefore Continue Reading…

PHMSA
PHMSA & OSHA Make a Video Together – an Oxymoron?

Warehouse with chemicals

PHMSA vs OSHA

George Carlin will always be a favorite comedian for people of a certain age. One of his best-known bits is on oxymorons. An oxymoron, is basically a set of contradictory terms that work together. While not the greatest of explanations, let’s have George give you some examples to make the point.

This concept came to mind on the heels of the DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the DOL’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) joint video on labeling. Those two organizations are just that, 2 different organizations, yet they released a joint video? It sounded like a setup to a bad joke. Turns out I was wrong.

The video does a great job of explaining the focus of each organization and goes a long way to clearing the air. There are references to the regulations used by each, but not a lot of time is spent on “regulatory language” or the details of either one. 

Comparing PHMSA vs OSHA

Here is my version of the comparisons between the two and how closely the align based on the video.

PHMSA OSHA Take Away
Regulates hazardous materials in transport Regulates hazardous chemicals in the workplace Both want people to be safe.
Uses the Hazardous Materials Regulation Uses the Hazard Communication Standard Both have a set of “rules”.
Defines Hazardous Material as those that pose an unreasonable risk to health, safety and property when transported in commerce Defines Hazardous Chemical as Continue Reading…
DOT 49 CFR USA
Alternative Ways to Ship Perfume Under 49 CFR

Different bottle of perfume on a wooden table

Shipping Perfume: The Regulations

Every so often our regulatory team is asked a question that on the surface seems funny but in reality, has some interesting facets upon review. For example, can a perfume ever be shipped as anything but a perfume under the 49 CFR regulations? It sounds like a basic question. The short answer is yes. However, when you move through the intricacies of the regulations it can be a quite complex answer dependent on many factors.

Exceptions

Most of us familiar with the regulations would immediately think about the exceptions for small quantities, excepted quantities, de minimis, limited quantities and consumer commodities. However, before we can look at any of those, you need a clear indication of what you are actually shipping. 

For perfume the shipping description is UN1266, Perfumery products, Class 3, Packing Group II or III. There is one special provision that applies for ground shipments on this entry. It is SP-149 that allows the inner container limit to be 1.3 gallons or 5 L when shipped as limited quantity or consumer commodity.

Let’s look at each exception and see if it would apply:

  1. 4 Small Quantity (§173.4). For this exception, we are limited to domestic highway and rail transport only. We also see that our Class 3 material is allowed. The maximum amount allowed per inner container for this exception is 1 oz. or 30 ml.
  2. Excepted Quantity Continue Reading…
Regulatory Helpdesk: February 5

Labels, Placards, Segregation, Documentation, SDSs & Emergency Response

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.

Here are the top 6 questions from last week.

SDS and Workplace Labels

Q. If I have a product like a concentrated cleaner which is corrosive to the eyes and skin that I water down at my facility, do I need a new SDS and workplace labeling?
A. You have 2 options. You can use the SDS as provided to create your workplace labeling. This may cause concern with your workers. However, it would be better for you to develop your own and re-evaluate the product using the hazards presented in the watered-down version. It is possible, depending on how diluted it is, to move into the irritation or non-hazardous range.

Listing Canutec or Chemtrec on Lithium Battery Marks

Q. Regarding the new battery mark, am I allowed to add “in case of emergency, contact Chemtrec”?
A. The regulations are pretty clear (DOT §173.185(c)(3) and IATA 7.1.5.5). What should be listed there is a phone number for “additional information”. There should be no extra phrasing other than phone number itself. As for listing Chemtrec, Infotrac or even Canutec, those are 3rd party Emergency Response Providers and would not be appropriate to include in that section of Continue Reading…
IMDG
How Do You Ship Bullets? (IMO)

shipping bullets by ocean

What to do when you are moving and need to ship a whole lot of bullets?

98% of our repackaging clientele are businesses, but there are 2% of our clientele that are regular people. At least, this is how I refer to them. These folks are a “Mr. or Mrs. Smith” who have absolutely no idea about the dangerous goods world, but what they wish to send is considered dangerous goods. These folks are referred to us from carriers, freight forwarders, and sometimes by internet search results.

Recently I had a Mr. Smith call us to ask about packaging cartridges as recommended by his freight forwarder. He is moving to Europe and is packing up his entire house, which includes his firearms and the cartridges that go with them. He already had all his ducks in a row meaning his export/import documentation and certification for the firearms and whatever else was needed to ship the firearms and cartridges, but he needed to get the cartridges packaged up for transport. That’s where ICC comes in.

What Are We Really Dealing With?

Mr. Smith didn’t have any transport information such as UN number or shipping name. So, I asked him to email me pictures of the cartridges, because he mentioned they were all in their original retail packages. I was able to call the manufacturer directly and ask for the shipping info. Continue Reading…