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May 2006 Newsletter
News Archive
press here for back issues

Our 2006 hazardous materials/dangerous goods training schedule is on this website - click on "Training" on the opening page.

Ocean shippers and forwarders should now be using IMDG Amendment 32-04.(2004 Edition with Amendments)

Our next training programs are:

  • Initial Hazardous Materials Training for Warehouse Personnel May 9, 2006 (Tuesday)
  • Dangerous Goods by Air - Recurrent Training June 6, 2006 (Tuesday) - This class appears to be filling up quickly - check your training records.
  • Dangerous Goods by Air - Initial Training June 13-14-15 (Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday)

Reminder - you are now required to maintain copies of your dangerous goods documentation for 2 years if you are a shipper and 1 year if you are a carrier.

U.S. DOT/PHMSA Issues New Maximum Limits for Civil and Criminal Penalties.

Docket No. PHMSA-05-22461
On February 17 civil penalties were raised "from $32500 to $50,000 for a knowing violation and to $100,000 if the violations results in death, serious illness or severe injury to any person or causes substantial destruction of property."

"Criminal penalties now apply to both reckless and willful violations (as well a knowing violation of the prohibition in 49 U.S.C. 5104(b) against tampering with a marking, label, placard, or description on a shipping document) of Federal hazardous material transportation law or the regulations, orders, special permits, and approvals issued thereunder."

The criminal penalties include a maximum of 5 years imprisonment and a fines of $250,000 for an individual and $500,000 for a corporation. The 5 year imprisonment can be increased to a maximum of 10 years if "a release of a hazardous material results in death or bodily injury to a person."

Our advice -

  • Make sure your training records are current.
  • Make sure your employees have received hazmat security awareness training.
  • If you are required to have a formal security plan, make sure you follow the plan and train your employees.

HM-240 - Final Rule; Published 12/9/2005; Effective Date 1/9/2006;

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration published a final rule on December 9, 2005, which became effective on January 9, 2006. A rare action by PHMSA, the former RSPA, by having such a short lead time before the effective date. HM-240 expands the definition of a hazmat employer and hazmat employee, requires shippers to maintain files for hazardous materials for a period of 2 years instead of 375 days, and carriers to maintain their copies of the files for one year, instead of the 375 days. It also clarified when the Hazardous Materials Regulations will apply in the U.S. Postal Service.

You can download the final rule at

Note the following information in HM-240 dealing with -

Exemptions and Special Permits.

If you are shipping under an Exemption or Special Permit, make sure you pay attention to the expiration date and that your employees have been trained to use the Exemption or Special Permit.
As the old exemption is renewed it will change from DOT E-****  to DOT SP-*****

Packages and containers will require new markings indicating DOT SP- plus the number. What about the zillion boxes with the old DOT E marking? The D.O.T. advises you can still use them.

49CFR, 172.301 dealing with General Marking Requirements, states in (c) "Packages authorized by an exemption issued prior to October 1, 2007, may be plainly and durably marked "DOT-E" in lieu of "DOT-SP" followed by the number assigned as specified in the most recent version of that exemption."

If you are about ready to order a new supply of exemption-type packages and normally pre-print the old exemption number you should plan on altering your quantities if your exemption is coming up for renewal in the near future.

Do you have a little free time on your hands?
You say you really don't think hazardous materials are all that dangerous?
If you're interested, there are a few nifty videos that you can watch for free at the CHEMICAL SAFETY BOARD address http://www.chemsafety.gov/index.cfm?folder=video_archive&page=index#launch (note firefox browser may not work properly with videos on webpage)

Batteries.....make sure you go down the right path before you ship them.

First things first. All batteries are forbidden to be shipped unless you have first determined that they can't move within the package (or your luggage) and that they can't cause a short circuit. Short circuits can be caused by the positive or negative poles of the battery touching another battery or a piece of metal. Until you have satisfied those two requirements, there is no such thing as a non-regulated battery. Without those two safeguards you are in possession of a forbidden battery, subject to fines if you attempt to ship them.

Simply throwing some batteries into a box or your luggage will not meet the above requirements.

Next, you have to determine the type of battery you're shipping. Nickel cadmium battery? Dry battery? Car battery? Aircraft battery? Spillable battery? Non-spillable battery? Lithium battery? Lithium ion battery or cell? Primary lithium battery or cell? Secondary Lithium battery or cell? How much lithium or lithium ion is in the battery or cell? These are all factors that figure prominently when shipping "batteries."

Primary lithium batteries and cells are non-rechargeable batteries or the cells that are used in the batteries, like you might find in a hearing aid. They are forbidden to be loaded on passenger-carrying aircraft unless they are installed or packed with equipment. Even if they are declared as non-regulated per Special Provision A-45. Refer to USG-02 in the ICAO Technical Instructions and the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations. The manufacturer or shipper is required to mark the boxes as "PRIMARY LITHIUM BATTERIES - FORBIDDEN FOR TRANSPORT ABOARD PASSENGER AIRCRAFT."

Secondary lithium batteries and cells are rechargeable batteries and cells. The prohibition does not
apply to them.

All lithium batteries, whether regulated or not regulated, must pass the U.N. Manual of Tests and Criteria, Part III, sub-section 38.3 (the Orange Book).

The above three paragraphs apply to shipments of lithium batteries imported or exported or transiting the United States.

If the MSDS for the lithium batteries is over a year old it probably doesn't give you all that information. Be careful out there.

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