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November 2004 Newsletter
News Archive
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Lithium Batteries
We have dealt with the issue in a total of 8 newsletters. The U.S. D.O.T. website deals with batteries in no less than 52 notices and publications. We remind everyone that all batteries (yes, we do mean ALL, including your favorite AA and AAA, C, D, and 9 volt batteries) are forbidden in transportation unless they are packaged in such a way as to prevent short circuits. The next time you buy those batteries note that they are in a very tight blister pack that prevents any movement. The batteries all face up. And they are also difficult to remove. And that's just the inner packaging. Anything less efficient is not likely to be safe, or, legal.

The Air Line Pilots Association has presented some new facts about lithium batteries that are used in laptop computers and cameras. Tests completed by the U.S. FAA and the British CAA indicate that these batteries have the ability to breach defenses such as fire extinguishing agents. Heat from a single battery fire is sufficient to ignite adjacent batteries in the packaging. Molten lithium burned explosively, spraying white-hot lithium to a radius of several feet. The fire can reach a temperature of 1400°F (aluminum melts at 1200°F).

For those visitors who really get into that technical material check out www.fire.tc.faa.gov/pdf/04-26.pdf

Just before we were ready to send this newsletter to our Webmaster a recall of lithium batteries for cell phones was issued. The problem? Batteries igniting, and, in at least one case, exploding causing injuries to the cell phone owner. To make matters worse, there are also reports of counterfeit batteries that do not meet the minimum standards for quality control and safety.

IATA Changes in the 46th Edition, 2005
You can get a heads-up on the upcoming changes by going to IATA's website at http://www.iata.org/whatwedo/dangerous_goods

We will have some comments regarding the changes in our next newsletter.

If you are not yet aware of a major change in the dangerous goods declaration, the declaration at the bottom of the IATA declaration should read:
“I hereby certify that the contents of this consignment are fully
and accurately described above by proper shipping name and
are classified, packaged, marked and labeled, and in proper
condition for carriage by air according to applicable national
governmental regulations”.

If you wish to use up your old stock of declarations you can insert the following in the additional handling section of the declaration:

“I declare that all of the applicable air transport requirements have been met.”

Competition for the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations

Labelmaster of Chicago will introduce a compliance book dealing with air regulations that will probably stir some interest in the transportation industry and will directly compete with the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations. The book is based upon the ICAO Regulations, which is the legal basis of air regulations worldwide. It should be available for distribution within days. Check our links section of this website for a direct link to Labelmaster.

Air Bag Inflators -
Our complaints about the handling of air bag inflators attracted a lot of attention in the August Newsletter. If you care to add your two cents you can send us feedback by addressing your comments to info@r-a-specialists.com

U.S./MEXICO Cross-Border Dangerous Goods Seminar -
The Dangerous Goods Advisory Council conducted a very educational two-day seminar in San Antonio, Texas on October 25-26, 2004. The seminar focused on the differences between the U.S. HAZMAT Regulations and the Mexican NOMS (Normas Para el Transporte Terrestre de Materiales y Residuous Peligrosos). What did we learn? A lot.

The program covered all modes of transportation. Representatives of both governments and a large number of business entities were in attendance. If you missed the seminar and are still experiencing delays and frustration you missed a great opportunity to straighten out problems on cross-border shipments in both directions. The outlook? Grim. Mexico’s system of changing regulations is a very slow and tedious procedure. There is no single set of transportation regulations such as 49CFR or Transport Canada or ICAO or IMO. Multiple Mexican agencies share jurisdiction over HAZMAT transportation and the prospects of timely changes are not good. But, at least, we learned how to cope.

Important Dates -
November 17–19, 2004
DGAC Board and Committee Meetings
DGAC Annual Conference and Hazardous Materials Transportation Exposition, St. Louis, MO
Open to the public (fee)

March 3-4, 2005 -
Note - there is a change from the original dates that we posted last month.
DGAC Global Conference, Antwerp, Belgium
Focus on International Dangerous Goods Issues - All Modes
Open to the public (fee)

9-11 - Forever on our minds.
As 11 September approached we were compelled to mark that eventful day in history and to assure the families and friends of the 9-11-2001 victims we have not forgotten. A year after that terrible disaster we discovered a website by Seaworthy Systems Inc. of Essex, Connecticut. It was a touching tribute to the families and victims of 9-11. We featured it on our website at the time. It is still an emotional experience. If you care to review it again click on

We salute Seaworthy Systems for their thoughtfulness.

Hope to see you in Antwerp!

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