Homeland Security -
On August 1 the U.S. Homeland Security Department raised the threat
assessment level to Code ORANGE (high) for financial institutions
in New York City, Newark, NJ, and Washington DC. The rest of the
country remained on "YELLOW" (elevated).
The three cities involved in the orange alert have experienced traffic
tie-ups due to street closures and highway, bridge, and tunnel restrictions.
Vehicles, particularly trucks, are subject to inspection and possible
searches. Drivers are cautioned to make sure that their paperwork
is in order and that cargo is in good condition, properly marked,
labeled, braced and secure.
Air Bag Inflators -
While automobile airbags save countless lives each year they have
become a bloody mess for anyone who feels compelled to comply
with U.S. Regulations. But, comply you must!
Air Bag Inflators, Air Bag Modules, or Seat-Belt Pretensioners,
may be classed as Class 9, UN 3268, or Division 2.2 - UN 3353,
provided the manufacturer has submitted each design type air bag
inflator or seat-belt pretensioners to a person approved by the
Associate Administrator for examination and testing. A detailed
description of the device and completed package must accompany
the request for the approval. Samples of the device must pass the
test series 6(c) U.S. Manual of Tests and Criteria.
Or, the manufacturer can submit an approval issued by the competent
authority of a foreign government to the U.S. Associate Administrator.
On the other hand, no approval applications are required for air
bag modules containing an approved air bag inflator. What?????????????????
Air bag inflators or seat belt pretensioners previously reclassed
from Class 1 to Division 4.1 under terms of an exemption may be
reclassed as Class 9 materials without further testing.
A clarification is in order here:
When air bag inflators first appeared in the automobile industry
they were classed as 1.4 explosives but under an exemption procedure
were permitted to be downgraded to Division 4.1 (Flammable Solid)
after further testing and exemptions (DOT-E) were issued.
The U.S. D.O.T. requires that the "EX Number" or "Product
Code" must appear on the shipping papers (documentation) and "the
Product Code must be traceable to the specific EX number assigned
to the inflator."
Somewhere in that regulation (49CFR, 173.166), in invisible ink,
no doubt, it must say that the U.S. automobile industry does not
have to comply with that rule. The stock clerks or order pickers
in the industry have no way of telling which product code matches
up with the correct EX number. Product Code Numbers or Part Numbers
are not anywhere to be found on the modules or its packaging. How
do they match them up? They don't! So they simply do not comply
with the "shipping paper requirement." And if they don't
know, how are you supposed to know?
And, what happens when an automobile dealer wants to re-ship the
airbag module or inflator after he has received the unit from UPS?
The little shipping paper (red & white tag on the box) was
given to the dealer but contains no EX Number. He just signed for
the package but received no other information By the way, the requirement
to mark the package with the EX Number was dropped in 1999. Are
we to assume it was not important?
If you, an auto parts distributor or an ordinary citizen shipping
a new replacement air bag module to your cousin, you probably will
get caught for non-compliance and receive a pretty stiff fine.
Or be thrown in jail as a terrorist for shipping an unapproved
explosive. Remember, it's the shipper's responsibility to comply
with all of the regulations.
We think that if DOT/RSPA has an unenforceable regulation then
it should drop the rule or get the whole industry to comply with
it - meaning traceable Product Codes and EX Numbers.
Cross-Border Dangerous Goods Seminar -
The Dangerous Goods Advisory Council will conduct a two day seminar in San Antonio,
Texas on October 25-26, 2004. The seminar will focus on the differences between
the U.S. HAZMAT Regulations and the Mexican NOMS (Normas Para el Transporte Terrestre
de Materiales y Residuous Peligrosos). The event will be held at Wyndham St.
Anthony Hotel in San Antonio.
Additional information and registration forms will be available shortly on the
DGAC Website - www.dgac.org
The program will cover all modes of transportation. Representatives
of both governments and a large number of business entities will
be in attendance. If you are experiencing delays and frustration
this is your opportunity to straighten out problems on cross-border
shipments in both directions. We suggest that you might want to
have your Mexican or American business partners attend with you
as well as a representative of your forwarder or customs broker.
Oxygen Cylinders Shipped by Air - HM-224B
The DOT/RSPA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking on May 6, 2004 that will
dramatically increase the cost of shipping oxygen cylinders and other oxidizing
gases and chemical oxygen generators. The RSPA Proposed requirement for an
outer packaging would be required to prevent penetration of a flame of 1700°F
for five minutes. Additionally the cylinder must remain below the temperature
at which its pressure relief device would activate and a chemical oxygen
generator inside the outer packaging can not actuate when exposed to a temperature
of 400°F for three hours.
The outer packaging would be restricted to "rigid" outer packaging.
RSPA is also proposing the cylinders' pressure release device
must have a set pressure equal to the test pressure for the cylinder.
Authorized cylinders for oxygen will be limited to DOT specifications
3A, 3AA, 3AL, and 3HT. Other specification cylinders such as DOT
39 will not be permitted on board aircraft. Other oxidizing gases
will be prohibited on board cargo and passenger aircraft.
The closing date for comments is December 13, 2004. You can download
a copy of the proposed regulation at http://hazmat.dot.gov/69fr-47074.pdf
TO OFFER YOUR COMMENTS ON LINE USE
Use docket number 17664 to view public comments.
Important Dates -
September 1 and 2
Quarterly Meeting, Alexandria, VA
DGAC Members only
October 25 and 26
US/Mexico Seminar, San Antonio, TX
sponsored by DGAC - open to the public (fee)
November 17 – 19, 2004
DGAC Board and Committee Meetings
DGAC Annual Conference and Hazardous Materials Transportation Exposition, St.
Open to the public (fee)
March 17 and 18, 2005
DGAC Global Conference, Antwerp, Belgium
Focus on International Dangerous Goods Issues - All Modes
Open to the public (fee)