Hazardous Materials Transportation Training

New HazMat Transportation Regulations to Affect Chemical Distributors

By Roy Marshall
President, Regulations Training, Inc.

New HazMat Transportation Regulations to Affect Chemical Distributors

The latest in a continuing series of regulations designed to keep the U.S. in harmony with international HazMat transportation laws was published on December 20, 2004. While there are some U.S. driven changes, the final rule of Docket HM-215G is based primarily on changes from three international sources: Thirteenth Revised Edition of the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (the orange book); Amendment 32 to the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code); and the International Civil Aviation Organizations 2005-2006 Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (ICAO TI), which became effective January 1, 2005.

Why you need to look at HM-215G

This rulemaking contains important changes that will affect nearly all U.S. shippers and carriers of hazardous materials. Most changes that will affect chemical distributors must be in place by January 1, 2006. You can download a copy of the rulemaking at http://hazmat.dot.gov/regs/rules/final/69fr/docs/69fr-76043.pdf.

Get it, read it, and comply by the deadline! By doing so, you will reduce your company's liability exposure, reduce the chance of enforcement action, and - most importantly - ensure the safe transportation of hazardous materials.

The New Hazardous Materials Table

As always, the UN Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, adds, deletes, and modifies descriptions of hazardous materials in the official orange book's "Dangerous Goods List." To stay in harmony with these model regulations - and to facilitate international commerce - the U.S. DOT makes most of the same changes to its official 49 CFR 172.101 Hazardous Materials Table (HM Table).

Shipping descriptions

Anyone who ships hazardous materials MUST review the post HM-215G Hazardous Materials Table to see if their respective HazMat descriptions have changed. Using a copy of the final rule will be particularly useful to companies that ship a large number of regulated materials. For both small and large companies, purchasing a 49 CFR with the HM-215G changes highlighted is well worth the money. There are about 70 new UN numbers that have been added and many descriptions have been changed. Many descriptions that are legal today in domestic transportation will not be legal on January 1, 2006. Here are some examples of changes to shipping descriptions:

Pre HM-215G      Phosphoric acid, liquid, 8, UN1805, PGIII

Post HM-215G     Phosphoric acid solution, 8, UN1805, PGIII

Pre HM-215G      Phosphoric acid, solid, 8, UN1805, PGIII

Post HM-215G     Phosphoric acid, solid, 8, UN3453, PGIII

Pre HM-215G      Potassium fluoride, 6.1, UN1812, PGIII

Post HM-215G     Potassium fluoride, solid, 6.1, UN1812, PGIII

Potassium fluoride solution, 6.1, UN3422, PGIII

Pre HM-215G      Nitrobenzotrifluorides, 6.1, UN2306, PGII

Post HM-215G     Nitrobenzotrifluorides, liquid, 6.1, UN2306, PGII

Nitrobenzotrifluorides, solid, 6.1, UN3431, PGII

Special provisions

Many changes have occurred in the Special Provisions Column 7 of the HM Table. New special provisions have been added, previous special provisions now apply to more materials, and other entries have had special provisions deleted. This is another MUST check for all your hazardous materials. The largest number of changes are for shipments of HazMat moving via air, but some changes apply to non-bulk packaging in any mode. Other changes affect HazMat in intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) and new codes have been added for UN and IM specification portable tanks.

Appendix B - Marine Pollutants

In Appendix B List of Marine Pollutants, the following entries have been removed: "Dipehnyl oxide and biphenyl phenyl ether mixtures," "Isoamyl mercaptan," "Pentanethiols," and "Tetrachlorophenol." Chloropicrin has been added as a marine pollutant and "2, 6-Di-tert-Butylphenol" has become a "severe marine pollutant" - important particularly if this is an ingredient you use in a chemical mixture.

Air Eligibility Mark

"Section 172.321 Air Eligibility Mark" has been removed. The placement of this mark on a package, which consisted of an aircraft within a circle, was to designate that the package met all applicable requirements for transportation by air. A shipper could have a warehouse full of "4G" fiberboard boxes, but only 50 of which were packaged to be legal for air transport. This mark would indicate to all who may handle the packages that those packages could be sent out air, and packages without the mark could only go via surface transportation. However, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has removed this mark from their 2005-2006 edition of their Technical Instructions, and U.S. DOT has followed by removing it from 49 CFR. ICAO and U.S. DOT revised the air certification statement to include the following: "I declare that all of the applicable air transport requirements have been met." It's worth noting that some European shippers have used this mark for years and it still can be used by U.S. shippers. Let's say you send out thousands of HazMat packages via highway that are not legal for airfreight but occasionally you receive an urgent order to overnight product to the customer. If you need to know which packages can go airfreight, you can still use the symbol to mark your packages. While it is no long a regulatory requirement, it is permissible.


One change that will affect every chemical distributor who overpacks hazardous materials is found in Section 173.25(a)(4). It applies to shippers who put specification packages in an overpack, whereby you can no longer see the specification markings on the original packages. The old requirement was to mark what was commonly called the "overpack statement" on the outside of the overpack. It read: "Inside (inner) packages comply with prescribed specifications." The new requirement is to mark your overpack with the word "OVERPACK." Until October 1, 2007, domestic surface shipments can be marked either way. If you are using the ICAO TI/IATA DGR for preparation of an air shipment, domestic or international, you should know this became mandatory on January 1, 2005.


A new handling mark has been added in [a new] Section 172.317 in the marking requirements. While this will affect a smaller number of companies, if it applies to one or more of your products you will have to comply with this for shipments that will be transported via aircraft. It applies specifically to packages containing self-reactive substances of Division 4.1 or organic peroxides of Division 5.2 that will be transported via aircraft. Keep in mind the DOT has stated that unique modal requirements, such as a handling mark/label, are authorized for all modes. If you ship the materials referenced in Section 172.317 primarily by surface, but occasionally by air, you may want to consider marking all packages with this mark. Note: ICAO TI/IATA DGR refers to this as a handling label. The ICAO TI also requires that this label should be affixed on the same surface of the package near the hazard label(s).

Limited Quantities to include Division 6.1, PGII materials

U.S. DOT will now allow most Division 6.1, Packing Group II materials to be transported under the limited quantity provisions. This provision only applies to poisonous/toxic materials if "153" is listed in Column 8A of the HM Table. Packages containing Division 6.1 materials still must be labeled even when moving as a limited quantity and DOT is not allowing Division 6.1, PGII to be shipped as consumer commodities. The benefits to the chemical distributor are significant, including: No placards required for domestic highway transportation, non-specification packages can be used when packaged in combination packages, and in most cases, no segregation requirements for ocean transportation, e.g., Tacoma to Anchorage, Alaska.

A Major Change to Affect all U.S. HazMat Shippers and Carriers

The Fourteenth Revised Edition of the UN's Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, the model for all nations around the globe, will remove the option to start shipping descriptions with the proper shipping name. The standard for HazMat shipping descriptions will be: UN number, proper shipping name, hazard class or division (followed by any subsidiary class(s) or division(s) in parentheses) and packing group, if applicable. Look for the Fourteenth Revised Edition to be published in 2005 and look for this change to be adopted by U.S. DOT in docket HM-215I, which will keep us in harmony with the next versions of international regulations. Many companies, particularly those with large inventories of hazardous materials, are now changing HazMat shipping descriptions to list the UN number first on shipping papers for all international and domestic shipments.

The attention given to shippers and carriers moving hazardous materials is still on the rise. What you did yesterday may not be adequate for tomorrow. The best way to be ready for the new changes is to be pro-active. Make a schedule now, on how and when you will review the extensive changes that will affect your business, and your bottom line.

Changes at U.S. DOT: RSPA becomes PHMSA & RITA

In February of this year the lead administration for the development of hazardous materials transportation regulations, the Research and Special Programs Administration, ceased to exist. The functions of RSPA have been split into two administrations: 1) PHMSA-the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has the same core duties (and personnel) for regulatory development, enforcement, training, and information dissemination, domestic and international standards, and inter-agency cooperative activities; and 2) RITA-the Research and Innovative Technology Administration will coordinate and advance transportation research efforts within DOT.

This article is designed to give an overview of current regulatory developments and should not be used to determine compliance actions. Please consult the final rule for HM-215G and any updates, e.g., editorial corrections, etc., before determining compliance actions.

About the author: Roy Marshall is a hazardous materials specialist for Regulations Training, Inc., d/b/a HazardousMaterials.com. He conducts courses on hazardous materials in both domestic and international transportation, and is a frequent NACD OPSEM presenter. For more articles or information, he can be reached at 1-800-317-0518, rti@hazardousmaterials.com, and www.hazardousmaterials.com.

Published in Chemical Distributor, May 2005 Copyright 2005, 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.
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