Hazardous Materials Transportation Training

New Regulations for HazMat Shippers and Carriers

By Roy Marshall
President, Regulations Training, Inc.

The latest in a continuing series of regulations designed to keep the U.S. in harmony with international HazMat transportation laws was published on July 31, 2003. The final rule of Docket HM-215E is based on changes from three international sources: The Twelfth revised edition of the UN Transport of Dangerous Goods-Model Regulations; Amendment 31 to the International Maritime Organization's IMDG Code; and the International Civil Aviation Organization's 2003-2004 ICAO Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air. This rulemaking contains important changes that will affect nearly all U.S. shippers and carriers of hazardous materials.

Why you need to look at HM-215E

In the last two years there have been a record number of visits to HazMat shippers and carriers by both federal and state inspectors. One of the results of increased inspections is discovery of non-compliance with current HazMat regulations. A particular problem is shippers using an outdated shipping description. This is why you must study these news regulations in detail. My advice is: Get it. Read it. Make the changes - before the mandatory compliance deadlines arrive!

Selected highlights

1. Amendments to the Hazardous Materials Table (HMT) which add, revise or remove certain proper shipping names, hazard classes, packing groups, special provisions, packaging authorizations, bulk packaging requirements, passenger and cargo aircraft maximum quantity limitations and vessel stowage provisions. This is a MUST CHECK list of HMT entries that have been added, changed and deleted. Look for proper shipping names of materials you handle that have been changed or deleted or are no longer appropriate since the addition of a "more descriptive" proper shipping name.

2. Revisions and additions of special provisions. Included is the addition of a special provision for assignment to aerosol entries setting forth the criteria for classifying aerosols. If you ship "Limited Quantities" of flammable liquids in PGII, under certain proper shipping names, e.g., "Adhesives, containing a flammable liquid," "Coating solutions," "Extracts flavoring, liquid," "Printing ink, flammable," "Paint," "Paint related material," "Perfumery products," "Resin solution," and more, then you will want to look at Special Provision 149. The special provision will allow the maximum net capacity for inner packagings to be increased from 1 L (0.3 gal) to 5 L (1.3 gal) when the material is transported as a limited quantity.

3. Addition of a requirement to include the subsidiary hazard class or subsidiary division number entered in parentheses following the primary hazard class or division number on shipping papers. While listing subsidiary hazards has been required by international regulations for air and water transportation, in domestic transportation the subsidiary hazard was only required [by 49 CFR] for transportation by water. Now it will be required for all modes. For example, if you are shipping "Ethyl chloroacetate," which has a primary hazard of division 6.1 (toxic) and a subsidiary hazard of class 3 (flammable), you could list the basic description as "Ethyl chloroacetate, 6.1 (3), UN1181, PGII". This would not be required if the proper shipping name included the subsidiary hazard, e.g., "Toxic liquids, corrosive, organic, n.o.s." Since this is a significant regulatory change, the DOT is allowing until October 1, 2005, before compliance becomes mandatory in domestic transportation.

4. Addition of a requirement to indicate the number and types of packagings on shipping papers. While this has been a requirement for domestic ocean transportation, a LTL shipment by highway would not have required this information. For example, a shrink-wrapped skid containing one (1) drum and three (3) boxes of flammable paint could have been listed as "1" in the pieces column on a bill of lading. 49 CFR will be changed to require "1 drum" and "3 boxes." Since this is also a significant regulatory change, the DOT is allowing until October 1, 2007, before compliance will be mandatory.

5. Addition of an alternative basic description sequence on shipping papers. To harmonize with international regulations the DOT will allow HazMat shipping descriptions to begin with the UN number. A shipment of Acetone could be described either as "Acetone, 3, UN1090, PGII" or "UN1090, Acetone, 3, PGII."

6. Revision of marking requirements for limited quantities. Prior to this rulemaking packages prepared using the limited quantity exception had to be marked with the proper shipping name. An alternate marking is being added which will consist of the UN number(s) placed within a "square-on-point" diamond. The marking must be applied on at least one side or one end of the outer packaging. See 49 CFR 172.315 for additional details.

7. Addition of an air eligibility marking *** requirement. Each person who offers for transportation by aircraft a hazardous material in a non-bulk package must mark the package with the new air eligibility mark. This mark consists of an aircraft within a circle and may include the words "Air Eligible" in conjunction with the mark. The mark, which should be placed near the proper shipping name and UN number, is the shipper's declaration the package meets applicable requirements for air transport. This would include the requirements for packages containing certain liquids to meet pressure differential requirements and/or to contain absorbent materials. The mark will be required on overpacks moving via air. A word of caution: While some companies will have packages preprinted with the mark, you may want to wait until you have a shipment moving via air to apply the mark (which you can purchase as a label or make yourself) because the mark may not appear on a package containing a hazardous material which does not meet the DOT requirements for air transportation. For more details, including some exceptions, see 49 CFR 172.321 in the new regulations. Note: January 1, 2004, is the mandatory compliance date for shippers who use the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations for preparing HazMat shipments.

8. Revision of requirements in Sec. 173.27 for packagings intended for transportation by aircraft, including revision of requirements for use of absorbent material for such packagings.

9. Revision of the non-liquefied and liquefied compressed gases descriptions, and the addition of high pressure and low pressure liquefied gases categories.

10. Revisions and additions to the Self-Reactive Materials Table.

11. Revisions and additions to the Organic Peroxide Table.

12. Amendments to the List of Marine Pollutants. Few changes have been made here, but if you ship in IBCís, cargo tanks, rail tank cars or in non-bulk packages moving via water, check out the changes.

These are just a few of the changes brought about by HM-215E which becomes effective on October 1, 2003, and mandatory on October 1, 2004, unless otherwise specified. HM-215E can be downloaded from the Internet by going to http://HazMat.dot.gov/rulemake.htm#final and then to the HM-215E Final Rule dated July 31, 2003. Note: an earlier HM-215E Final Rule was issued on 1/8/2003. Its purpose was to authorize the use of international regulations prior to the full U.S. adoption of the various changes. You can also obtain a free copy by calling the Research & Special Programs Administration's Records Center at 202/366-5046.

This article is an overview of the new federal requirement and should not be used to determine compliance actions. Consult the Final Rule of HM-215E published July 31, 2003 (and any revisions).

Roy Marshall is a hazardous materials specialist for HazardousMaterials.com and conducts courses on hazardous materials in both domestic and international transportation. He can be reached at 1-800/317-0518. For more articles, information, and HazMat Web site links, visit www.hazardousmaterials.com.

[*** 3/2/2004 Author's note: The air eligibility mark (AEM) reference is already out of date as the air eligibility mark (AEM) has recently been changed internationally from a mandatory requirement to an optional requirement. U.S. DOT will probably follow the international change. Check back for further updates and developments on this change.]

Published in Chemical Distributor, November2003 Copyright © 2003, National Association of Chemical Distributors, Arlington, VA
A publication of the National Association of Chemical Distributors [NACD].


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Roy Marshall
Regulations Training, Inc.
Orlando, FL, USA