This has been an unusually busy month at R-A
Specialists therefore we are combining November and Decembers
U.S. Regulatory update:
RSPA-02-12064 (HM-232) TITLE: Hazardous Materials:
Security Requirements for Offerors and Transporters of Hazardous
As of 21 October 2002, 272 comments have been submitted to the
U.S. D.O.T.s Research and Special Programs Administration
concerning proposed new security requirements for manufacturers,
distributors, shippers, forwarders, carriers, and warehouse operators
involved in various functions dealing with hazardous materials (dangerous
goods). Some of the commenters represent industry or trade groups
so those 272 comments could easily be voicing opinions on behalf
of a thousand or more large and small businesses. Non-U.S. companies
have also jumped into this hornets nest as well.
We check the U.S. D.O.T. Hazmat website a couple of times a day
in order to see if a final rule has been published. No, it has not.
We do not envy RSPAs Susan Gorskys role in coordinating
all of the comments and helping RSPA in coming up with a final rule.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Susan Gorsky, (202) 366-8553,
Office of Hazardous Materials Standards, Research and Special Programs
At the DGAC Conference in Phoenix earlier this month, RSPAs
representative, Fritz Wybenga, did not expect the final rule to
be published before the end of the year.
RSPA-01-10568 (HM-207B); Hazardous Materials: Retention of Shipping
Papers; Final rule, response to appeals; Published 11/1/2002;
Effective Date: November 1, 2002; 67 FR 66571. This rule requires
both shippers and carriers of hazardous materials/dangerous goods
to maintain shipping documents for a minimum of 375 days after the
shipment is tendered to the initial carrier. This applies to domestic
shipments, export from the U.S. and imports into the U.S. This is
a security-related regulation.
FMCSA-02-13376; RSPA-02-12773 (HM-232B); Revision to Periodic
Tire Check Requirement for Motor Carriers Transporting Hazardous
Materials; Final rule; Published 10/4/2002; Effective Date:
November 4, 2002; 67 FR 62191. This rule does away with the antiquated
requirement for truckers to periodically check their tires every
100 miles. Drivers are now required to check their tires at the
beginning of a trip and each time that the vehicle is parked. This
rule applies to interstate and intrastate drivers and vehicles
transporting hazardous materials. This is a security-related regulation.
RSPA-98-3971 (HM-226); Hazardous Materials: Revision to Standards
for Infectious Substances; Correction to final rule effective
date; Published 08/27/2002; Effective Date: February 14, 2003; 67
SUMMARY: This document corrects the effective dates for
a final rule revising transportation requirements for infectious
substances, published in the Federal Register on August 14, 2002
(67 FR 53118). The effective date for the final rule and the
incorporation by reference approval date are corrected to February
RSPA-98-3971 (HM-226); Hazardous Materials: Revision to Standards
for Infectious Substances; Final rule; Published 08/14/2002;
Effective Date: October 1, 2002; 67 FR 53118. (See above for
change in effective date).
SUMMARY: RSPA is revising transportation requirements for
infectious substances, including regulated medical waste, to: adopt
defining criteria and packaging requirements consistent with international
standards; revise the current broad exceptions for diagnostic specimens
and biological products; and authorize bulk packaging options for
regulated medical waste consistent with requirements in international
standards and DOT exemptions. These revisions will assure an acceptable
level of safety for the transportation of infectious substances,
and facilitate domestic and international transportation.
Major issue raised by a D.O.T./RSPA Interpretation
On May 31, 2002, RSPA issued an interpretation concerning the training
requirements for persons who sign dangerous goods certifications/declarations.
RSPAs comment essentially requires that the person signing
the document must be trained in all aspects of classifying, marking,
labeling, packaging, placarding, and proper condition for transportation.
RSPA advised that the employee signing the document must be able
to assure that full compliance with the HMR (DGR) has been followed,
therefore, full training was required.
We are aware of many companies that have taken the position that
the person signing the document merely must receive training on
how to fill out the document. In many cases the documentation is
prepared at a facility other than the actual shipping point and
the employee signing the document has never seen the freight or
checked the packaging, marking, labeling, etc.
Indeed, some training organizations travel the country from city
to city offering 3 or 4-hour initial training courses for shipping
dangerous goods by all modes of transportation.
We feel that this confusion is actually caused by the regulations.
General Awareness training, for example, appears
to be in the eyes of the beholder. We think DOT/RSPA, ICAO, IATA,
IMO and other regulatory organizations should spell out exactly
what material must be covered. Classifications, for example, for
some instructors, is merely mouthing the words explosives,
gases, flammable liquids, and so on.
We came across a shipper recently who had been shipping his product
for three years as not regulated. They recently got
around to doing a flash point test on their product. It had a flash
point of 21°C. They wanted to know if by chance this changed
the classification. The MSDS read Flash Point:
N/A the manufacturer meant not available.
Everyone else thought it meant not applicable. No
one questioned it.
This is not unusual. Ignorance is bliss.
Dangerous Goods Advisory Councils Conference
in Phoenix, November 7 and 8, 2002.
The conference was a huge success with hazmat security being the
main topic. The exhibitors had timely products dealing with different
levels of security ranging from securing cargo from tampering to
preventing trucks and ocean containers from being used as weapons
Risk Assessment was a prime topic and the conference speakers were
interesting and shared their knowledge with enthusiasm. The breakout
sessions dealing with Risk and Security Management in Domestic Commerce,
Risk and Security Management in International Commerce, and Advances
in Technology were outstanding learning experiences.
If you didnt attend the conference, you should have. In the
coming months it will become more apparent as you search for answers
to your hazmat transportation dilemma.
IATAs 44th Edition of the Dangerous Goods Regulations
are now available. They will be issued at our recurrent and initial
training classes at the end of this month and the first week of
Our 2003 training schedule
will be issued by December 1st .