|January 2010 Newsletter
Upcoming Dangerous Goods Training Dates at JFK and on the web (All Feature Lithium Batteries)
Check your current training records - if you are close to the expiration date make your reservations now for any of our classes throughout the year. We always remind attendees a few days prior to the class.
Why we are late with this newsletter.
We were anxiously waiting for the other shoe to drop. And, it did. On January 8, 2010, the U.S. D.O.T./PHMSA released a 85 page notice of proposed rulemaking (Docket No. PHMSA-2009-0095 (HM-224F). It was published in the January 11, 2010 Edition of the Federal Register. This is a direct result of suggestions and mandates by the National Transportation Safety Board and Congress concerning safety in transporting lithium batteries. While the NPRM was a gallant attempt to simplify the domestic regulations, at the first “quick” reading it seems just as complicated as ever but we’ll reserve our final opinion when we have had a better chance to read it undisturbed for about 2 hours and then another 2 hours to pick away at it. PHMSA has attempted to merge the domestic and international regulations and it looks like they have done so, to some extent. However, the complicated format that prevails in 49CFR still keeps us wondering….
If you have a couple of hours to read the 85 page document and wish to print it for more casual reading, make sure you have enough paper in your printer. Click on the following link:
Also, needless to say, if you export lithium batteries, you have some catching up to do because IATA has re-worked the lithium battery packing instructions. If you do not have the latest version of the regulations (51st Edition – 2010) you will not be in compliance if you are still following the packing instructions from 2009. See the next item.
Lithium Batteries (Oh, no! More confusion?)
Yes, the new IATA air regulations have been changed to reflect the ICAO Regulations. Make sure you read those packing instructions very carefully. The IATA 51st Edition (2010) is now in effect.
We still see lithium battery MSDS’s referring to Special Provision A-45 for shipments by air. That Special Provision was discontinued on January 1, 2009. The not-so-new marking and labeling and documentation requirements for air and ocean went into effect on January 1, 2009.
For many months we have been cautioning customers (and potential customers) that use outdated MSDS’s to ship their lithium batteries. If you do not have a new MSDS that has been issued over the past month you will more than likely be in violation of the new rules. This will lead to frustration and potential fines.
Dangerous Goods Advisory Council
For over thirty years the DGAC has been a leader in promoting safety in transportation. The council has been and advocate for the chemical industry as well as for transporters of dangerous goods/hazardous materials.
Over the past year DGAC has proudly highlighted its accomplishments and if you are involved in manufacturing or transporting dangerous goods it would be well worth your while to visit their website at www.dgac.org to get an idea on how DGAC operates. Your company should seriously consider becoming a member of this outstanding organization.
U.S. D.O.T./PHMSA Penalties increased:
Effective January 1, 2010, hazmat/dangerous goods fines have been increased by about 10%. The civil violation minimum fine is now $275; Failure to train hazmat employees will now cost $495 per employee; The maximum civil penalties will rise to $55,000 but if there is a serious illness or injury or significant property damage the fines can rise to $110,000.
In previous newsletters over a number of years we have pointed out items that people use every day that may be hazardous. Cigarette lighters, all types of batteries, aerosol products, mouthwash, antibacterial soap, automobile struts and shock absorbers, air bags, flavouring and aromatic extracts (yes, even the ones that are not flammable may be aviation regulated liquids or solids), magnetized material, smoke detectors – the list goes on and on. Check out our Newsletter Index in the lower right hand corner of our website’s opening page.
We constantly suggest that IATA’s Section 2.2 – Hidden Dangerous Goods – provides some excellent examples of exactly what you should looking for. You can get tons of information via IATA’s website for dangerous goods at http://www.iata.org/whatwedo/cargo/dangerous_goods/index.htm
A year ago we advised readers to thoroughly examine MSDS information. If your manufacturer, supplier or shipper is still using the older versions of the MSDS the form probably does not address Transportation Regulations. Most carriers rely on this form in order to practice “due diligence” to verify whether a chemical is hazardous or not, and emergency responders need the form in case of an accident or spill. Your colleagues can download the latest version from http://www.msdssearch.com/ or paste and copy this form.
Have a happy and safe new year.