Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ: What is a Special Permit?

Truck Driving on highway at sunset

If you ever navigate our packaging section on our website, you will notice a section for U.S. Special Permit Kits.

You may ask yourself, what is a special permit and how does it apply to packaging? Well, basically special permits allow a shipper to perform a function that is not currently authorized by the regulations, or not perform a function currently required under the PHMSA regulations. Below are answers to questions regarding special permits.

Q. Why would someone need a special permit?

A. Special permits can provide relief from specific regulations when shipping dangerous goods. For example, it can allow a shipper to transport their dangerous goods in a specific UN-rated package without having to use hazard labels, as long as they adhere to the required provisions stated within the Special Permit.

Q. How do you apply for a special permit?

A. An application has to be completed and submitted to the US DOT along with specific documentation including written descriptions, drawings, flow charts, plans and other supporting documents.

Q. Do special permits expire?

A. Yes. Special permits expire after a period of time and the manufacturer must re-apply with the Department of Transportation.

Q. Does the Department of Transportation reject applications for a special permit?

A. The application must demonstrate that the special permit achieves a level of safety at least equal to that required by regulation, or if a required safety level does Continue Reading…

Applying for an Equivalency Certificate in Canada

So, you want to bend the rules? What happens when you have a scenario where following the regulations to ship your dangerous goods becomes impractical to the point of impossibility?

This blog entry will speak to what the process is for applying for an Equivalency Certificate in Canada as per the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Clear Language Regulations.

Generally when people ship dangerous goods, the process becomes a matter of reading and complying with everything the regulations state. However, below are some scenarios where following exactly what the regulations state is… shall we say… less than ideal.

Scenario 1)

Al wants to ship some large batteries for equipment within Canada with classification:

               UN 2794, Batteries, Wet, Filled With Acid, Class 8, P.G. III

His dilemma is that when a new battery is commissioned, the outer package is generally discarded due to space limitations. In many cases these batteries were installed prior to the packaging requirements of Part 5 of the TDG Regulations.

Al wants to ship this without UN approved packaging.

Scenario 2)

Bill wants to ship a MRI machine that contains liquid helium, classification:

               UN 1963, Helium, refrigerated liquid, Class 2.2

His dilemma is that his MRI machine is what contains the Helium and it is not in an approved means of containment. He requires the helium to remain in his equipment during transport in order to keep the magnet cool.

Bill wants to ship this Continue Reading…