Due to the vicious terrorist attacks in London during the morning of 7 July, Homeland Security advises that "the United States Government is raising the threat level from Code Yellow – or Elevated – to Code Orange – or High – targeted only to the mass transit portion of the transportation sector. This only includes regional and inter-city passenger rail, subways and metropolitan bus systems."
We would remind all of our website visitors to be alert for suspicious packages, luggage, or persons when traveling anywhere in the free world.
Sadly, this is our 23rd reference to security since 9/11. Please be careful out there.
Upcoming Dangerous Goods Training Dates at JFK
- August 9-10-11, 2005 - Initial Air Transportation
- August 23, 2005 - Recurrent Air Transportation (limited openings available)
- October 18, 2005 - Recurrent Ocean Transportation
- We have in-house training dates available during August and September
Check your training records - make sure you are in compliance with U.S. and International Transportation Laws.
Since January we have received many calls from ocean forwarders and shippers requesting information on new dangerous goods regulations issued by the International Maritime Organization. We mentioned one of those calls in our May 2005 Newsletter. Although that reference really had more to do with the lack of training, we too are experiencing frustration with carriers (or possibly their employees) making up new rules as they go along. It appears that there is no uniformity in following the IMDG Code.
Many carriers now request all the details about inner and outer packaging. Why would a carrier need that information?
The prime purpose of the documentation is to quickly identify the dangerous goods and the amount being shipped and by signing the document the shipper swears that he has complied with the regulations for classification, identification, packing, marking and labeling.
When a carrier demands unnecessary additional information they make it more difficult for emergency responders to decipher the information they need when quick response is most important.
A few weeks ago we responded to a shipper's request to get clarification about the need for a 24 hour emergency response phone number for a small shipment of limited quantities. The U.S. D.O.T. does not require a 24 hour number for limited quantities. The destination country also did not require an emergency phone contact. The carrier's booking agent insisted that it was a requirement in the IMDG Code. When we requested the exact rule that he was quoting he could not provide the information. Finally, he said it was the company's rule. When we asked for a copy of the rule he refused to provide it and arrogantly responded that he simply would refuse the booking. We can understand that carriers may have good reason to initiate a variance from the requirements. But to not address those changes openly with the shippers is a disservice.
Back in April a carrier refused an entire container loaded with perfumes in limited quantities because the shipper (a client of ours) did not list the net quantity of each bottle, and the gross and net weights of each carton individually. After the shipper complied with what must have been a 50-page document the carrier refused the shipment because the boxes did not have the limited quantity marks despite the exemption from the code for such a mark - rule 3.4.7. The reason? It was the carrier's rule!
We would suggest that IMO take a look at ICAO & IATA's State and Operator Variations. By providing that type of information in advance shippers can cope with these frustrating little unknown rules that do not add to safety at sea.
If you have questions about the application of the IMO Regulations you can call the IMDG Call Center in the United States at 202-267-1217.
The Dangerous Goods Advisory Council’s
27th Annual Conference is coming, featuring
The 2005 Hazardous Materials Transportation Exposition!
The Conference and Exposition will take place at the Inter-Continental Hotel in New Orleans, a great location that everyone can enjoy. Make sure to mark November 9-11, 2005, on your calendars now!
In July 2001's Newsletter, I wrote -
"Earlier this year I had a rare opportunity to read a favorite book for the second time. It was written by a favorite author and a person that I admired very much - the late Charles Kuralt of CBS News fame. Although I am not much of a TV addict, I rarely missed Mr. Kuralt's weekly Sunday Morning TV show. I even watched it once via satellite on a cruise. I never missed his short-lived weeknight show called "On the Road with Charles Kuralt." He had that rare ability to tell stories about the trials and tribulations, hard work, and small victories of ordinary people in ordinary towns and villages. In his book, "Charles Kuralt's America," he picked the American States that he most cherished and always visited during certain months of the year. His very first chapter dealt with New Orleans, Louisiana. He admired New Orleans for its way of life, outstanding restaurants, fascinating history, and memorable friends and acquaintances. As I had revisited the book I shall also have that rare opportunity and excuse to revisit the city of New Orleans. I am looking forward to the visit and the chance to see my colleagues from HMAC once again. It's a shame that unlike all my cousins, I'm a lousy golfer."
There will be no golf outing this year but New Orleans is a great city to visit.
Since 2001 HMAC changed to DGAC and we are still proud members. Your company can be a member too. Click on www.dgac.org
Hope to see you in New Orleans. Look me up...I'll be the fat guy at the end of the bar. Ooops! I meant the distinguished gentleman near the front of the meeting hall.
Meanwhile, stay safe by being alert.