IATA Creates Digital System – DG AutoCheck

Cargo loading on aircraft

IATA is Going Digital with DG AutoCheck

When receiving inbound calls at our regulatory help desk, one of the most popular inquiries involves filling out various types of paperwork when shipping dangerous goods.

If you are looking to ship dangerous goods by air, you could now be facing a different type of compliance check involving your shipper’s declaration in the near future. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) unveiled a digital product allowing air cargo providers an easier way to verify that a shipper tendering dangerous goods has met the industry’s standards for transporting hazardous goods. Their new product is called Dangerous Goods AutoCheck (DG AutoCheck).

What is this new Digital Product?

This new Dangerous Goods Auto Check system is designed as a digital means of checking the compliance of goods designated under the Shipper’s Declaration. This tool will allow direct receipt of electronic consignment data and will automatically check the information contained in the Shipper’s Declaration against the relevant language in the IATA regulations governing the handling and transport of the goods.

Simply scan or upload the dangerous goods declaration into the tablet-based tool. That’s it!

-IATA’s Webiste

The tool will simplify a ground handler’s or airline’s decision to accept or reject a shipment during the physical inspection stage by providing a visual representation of the package with the correct marking and labelling required for transport based on the information electronically provided Continue Reading…

Airplane Icon
191 Lithium Battery Incidents Reported Since 1991

Lithium Batteries, Laptop battery

Airport Lithium Battery Incidents

In our dangerous goods world we all know the importance of labelling, packaging, and disposing of lithium batteries. As many of you know we offer training, consultation, packaging, and re-packaging for shipping lithium batteries, and for good reason. While lithium batteries are becoming more and more prevalent in our society, so are the risks involved, like the video below:

According to the FAA as of January 24, 2018, there were 191 air/airport incidents involving lithium batteries carried as cargo or baggage that have been recorded since March 20, 1991.

And just to clarify, these are just the recent cargo and baggage incidents that the FAA is aware of. Most of these incidents included smoke, fire, extreme heat or explosion involving lithium batteries or unknown battery types. Incidents have included devices such as E-cigarettes, laptops, cell phones, and tablets. The severity of these incidents ranged from minor injuries to emergency landings.

Visit FAA’s website for the complete list of incidents:

https://www.faa.gov/ (PDF)

Note: This list does not include three major aircraft accidents where lithium battery cargo shipments were implicated but not proven to be the source of the fire.

What can we do to prevent these incidents?

The following precautions should be taken when traveling with devices containing lithium batteries:

  • Never travel with a device with a damaged or defective battery.
  • Make sure battery is properly installed in your device. Batteries Continue Reading…
Standard TP14850 Pre-Canada Gazette (CG) I Consultation

Truck Driving on highway at sunset

Updated TDG Packaging Standard – Small Containers for Classes 3, 4, 5, 6.1, 8, & 9

In addition to expanding the title to reflect the various types of containers contemplated in the Transportation of Dangerous Goods regulation (TDGR) §5.6, 5.12 (and cited within other referenced standards), this “final draft” reflects the penultimate result of a review that’s been active since the adoption of the current edition in 2015.

Anatomy of Development

The 2nd Edition of TP14850, published October 2010 was adopted into the Canadian TDGR in July 2014, replacing CGSB-43.150-1997 and becoming the mandatory standard for packaging the “common” classes of dangerous goods in Canada in January 2015.

The 16th Edition (2009) UN Model was the primary basis for the 2010 TP14850 standard, so it was time to move forward in the spirit of harmonization.

Transport Canada began the process of forming a consultative committee in mid-2015. A public notice regarding the consultation was published in early 2016 with provision for general public input. The committee, formed in April 2016, consists of about 3 dozen participants.

The committee includes a core group of 6–8 from Transport Canada with the remainder representing a variety of industry associations, individual manufacturers, users, provincial/US regulatory interests, and labour organizations.

The draft presently open for general comment was developed by consensus following discussions, including face-to-face meetings and a series of web/teleconference sessions, between April 2016 and June 2017. Continue Reading…

United Nations Logo
20th UN Model Recommendations for Dangerous Goods Transport (Orange Book)

UN Model Regulations (Orange Book)

2017 (20th Edition) – Highlights Changes

Those who follow the IATA DGR will have an idea of many of the changes resulting from the UN Recommendations expected to result from the changes in the 20th Edition of the commonly titled “Orange Book”.

Those who work with other modal/government regulations may not be familiar with changes that will likely follow in those regulations as all or part of the amended Model become incorporated.

Changes in Terminology

As often happens, terminology changes were introduced to this edition to clarify or technically improve concepts covered by the regulations. Throughout the document the term “risk” has been replaced by “hazard” to reflect the intent of referring to a danger.

Similarly, most references to “devices” now refer to “articles” which is defined in as including “machinery, apparatus or other devices”.

New UN Numbers

UN3535 to UN3548 have been added to the collection:

  • UN3536 is a new “LITHIUM BATTERIES INSTALLED IN A CARGO TRANSPORT UNIT” applicable to either ion or metal-based batteries.
  • UN3537 through UN3548 cover a sequence of listings for “ARTICLES CONTAINING…, N.O.S.” applicable to a variety of Class 2-5, 6.1, 8 and 9 dangerous goods.

The additional entries result in related changes to classification sections and special provisions.

Lithium Everywhere

As we’ve seen over the last few years regulation of lithium battery regulations continues to evolve.

The concept of “equipment” in the sense of lithium Continue Reading…

Regulatory Helpdesk: January 8, 2018

3 Questions from our Regulatory Helpdesk

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.

Disclosing Concentration Ranges Under WHMIS 2015

Q. Do I have to indicate “Proprietary” on a WHMIS (M)SDS when masking actual concentrations with ranges?
A. It depends. WHMIS 1988 accepted the use of concentration ranges on MSDS to mask confidential business information (CBI) without requiring any indication.

WHMIS 2015 does not currently allow the use of ranges other than the concentration range actually present for a variable substance (also, unlike WHMIS 1988, ranges cannot be used to allow a single SDS for a series of different but similar products).

Products subject to an approved masking under the HMIR Act do have to, in both versions, reference the exemption authorization on the (M)SDS.

A CBI amendment under consideration may re-introduce the permissible use of ranges to unilaterally mask actual concentrations. This proposal as currently written requires a statement in the SDS when a range is used that’s wider than the actual concentration range, to protect CBI. We’ll have to wait for the final amendment to answer the question going forward …


Q. Does a shipment within Canada by vessel from Newfoundland require placarding according to the IMDG Code or do the provisions of the TDGR Continue Reading…
Lithium Battery
Lithium Battery Placarding and Segregation

Lithium Batteries, Laptop battery

Lithium Battery Segregation

It is January and all of the new or updated transport regulations are in full swing. This includes the new IATA addendums and IMDG Code corrigenda that were recently published. That leaves many tracking down what changed in and how those changes could impact business. Add to that dealing with the complexities that come with shipping lithium batteries and many people end up feeling confused like Vincent “Vinny” Barbarino on “Welcome Back Kotter”. Check out that memory.

Here is my attempt to simplify the placarding and segregation requirements as they now stand for lithium batteries. Let’s take a look at each topic and regulation to sort things out.

49 CFR – US Ground

Placarding (§172.504): Class 9 materials are found on Table 2. This indicates that when the gross aggregate weight of the materials in the transport vehicle reaches 1001 pounds (454 kilograms) placards would be needed. In Paragraph (f)(9) there is an exception. The exception tells us that placards are not needed for Class 9 materials shipped domestically. Easy right? Now this paragraph also tells us that should you use a bulk packaging of batteries, we would be required to mark the identification number on an orange panel, a white square-on-point configuration or a Class 9 placard.

Segregation and Separation Chart of Hazardous Materials (§177.848): There is currently nothing in this section of 49 CFR to indicate batteries should be segregated or Continue Reading…

Regulatory Helpdesk: January 1, 2018

3 Questions from our Regulatory Helpdesk

Welcome back to the Regulatory Helpdesk where we answer your dangerous goods & hazmat questions. Check back weekly, the helpdesk rarely hears the same question twice.

Location of the To/From Address

Q: Can the name and address of the shipper and/or receiver be on top of packages of hazardous materials?
A: For 49 CFR only 1 address is needed and for air you would need both. Ocean doesn’t specifically mention addresses but we tend to include one since most carriers are going to ask for it. None of the regulations actually state where they MUST go. In some of our older trainings it was indicated that the addresses had to be near the name and number. I’ve tried to correct that.

  • For Air – Section – both addresses “located on the same surface of the package near the proper shipping name mark, if the package dimensions are adequate
  • 49 CFR – Only one address is required per 172.301(d)
  • IMDG – There are no set guidelines for including addresses in Section 5.

New Segregation of Lithium Batteries

Q: Do lithium batteries have to be segregated?
A: It depends on the mode of transport.

In 49 CFR and IMDG 38-16, there are no segregation requirements for batteries. There could be information on a batteries SDS that should be followed.

For Air, in the new 59th edition of IATA or as some call it the 2018 version, there is some Continue Reading…

Regulatory Helpdesk: December 25

Lithium Batteries & Hazard Communication

Welcome back to the Regulatory Helpdesk where we answer your dangerous goods & hazmat questions. Due to the Holiday week, we have only 2 FAQ’s worth sharing.

Check back weekly, the helpdesk rarely hears the same question twice.

More Lithium Batteries

Q. We want to ship a 63 W-hr lithium ion battery.  Are there any issues with packaging 2 or more together in the same container under IATA 2018 and 49CFR?  If 2 or more are ok what is the limit?
A. Under IATA you have 2 options and it will be up to you as the shipper to make the decision as to how to handle your shipment. As you know the 65 w-h battery falls into the excepted type. Now, for IATA that puts you in either Section II or Section IB. By the way, be sure to grab the recently published Addendum!

For Section II batteries there is a change for this year. As per usual, there are several changes to the operator regulations. Also, these batteries cannot be packed in the same outer packaging as any other dangerous goods. 

The rest of the section still applies in PI 965. You are not allowed to offer more than 1 package prepared under Section II in any single consignment or shipment.

If you are using an overpack, you can only have one package of these batteries in the overpack. The overpack cannot Continue Reading…

IATA 59th Edition Addendum No. 1

2018 IATA Addendum

The 59th IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations were not even in effect when the first Addendum was sent. This Addendum was posted on Dec 22, 2017, and is effective January 1, 2018.

To view the full Addendum click here

Highlights of the Addendum include:

  • A new state variation was added for Ethiopia. This new addition includes 4 variations including mandatory requirements for the shipper’s declaration form and a mandatory inclusion of an (M)SDS.
  • UPS Airlines (5X), Air Canada (AC), Air France are some of the others who have operator variations. Check these carefully, as there are several pages dedicated to these changes.
  • Table 2.3A – Provisions for Dangerous Goods Carried by Passengers or Crew has been regarding Lithium Batteries. This section is not only important for shippers, but also for travelers.
  • Section has been completely revamped.  There isn’t an easy way to go in and make the changes they have listed.  As a courtesy to our customers, you can download a revised section with all the changes, deletions and additions.  It fits on one page and can be printed for adding into IATA.
  • A change was added for Dangerous Goods in Excepted Quantities. The number of packages must now be shown on in the Nature and Quantity of Goods box on the waybill, unless they are the only thing being shipped.

There are a few other typographical changes in Section 4, Section Continue Reading…

Repacking Dangerous Goods
Shipping Different Dangerous Goods in One Package

Man preparing shipment

Q Value!

Now doesn’t that sound interesting. When you want to ship different dangerous goods in one outer packaging, you have to calculate something called a “Q value” using a formula. The Q value ordeal is only applicable to air shipments and seldom used as most prefer to put the dangerous goods in separate packaging.

Last week a customer requested to have 2 different dangerous goods packaged and shipped to Brazil via air. Since the quantities for each product was less than 200 ml I thought I might be able to apply the “Q” value and besides it’s always better to consolidate your shipment if you can to prevent loss/delay of packages. Especially this time of the year.

I ensured the dangerous goods met all the requirements of Section of the IATA Regulation. I calculated the “Q” value and it was less than 1.0. So, everything seemed to be a go. For packaging, I used a 4GV box and lots of vermiculite to:

  1. separate the two dangerous goods and
  2. more than enough absorbent in case there was a leak (only one product was liquid)

Applied all the labels and markings, created the shipper’s declaration and added the Q value as required per Section, then shipped it out with Fedex.

I like to throw in a knuckleball once in a while and keep things Continue Reading…