Sunday, March 17, 2013
Thursday, February 14, 2013
It appears that ICAO is thinking about banning ion batteries shipped as cargo via passenger air. There's no doubt the recent Boeing 787 problems have elevated the topic. If ICAO bans them, it will be interesting to see how quickly IATA will react. Also, the reaction of DOT will be interesting as well.
Click here for the story:
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
One thing that shippers are always concerned about are the training requirements found in the various regulations. Typically, if the auditor calls, one of the first items on the agenda will be compliance with the training requirements.
The training requirements of DOT occupy Subpart H of Part 172 of the Hazardous Materials Regulations. The requirements are straightforward. Testing is required. Recurrent training is required. Training records must be kept. Certain training components are required.
A shipper using the DOT regulations for a highway shipment rarely has questions as to the training requirements.
But what are the training requirements if you ship using the alternative regulations, such as the IMDG Code, or the ICAO Technical Instructions? (typically through the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations).
It is true that ICAO/IATA and the IMDG documents have training chapters or subsections. These requirements are based on the UN Model Regulations. But experienced shippers know that there are subtle differences between the DOT requirements and those of the UN.
For example, DOT states that a hazmat employee may perform functions prior to the completion of training provided they are supervised by someone who has been trained. But the employee must receive the training within 90 days after employment or a change in job function.
The “90 day window” does not exist in the international regulations.
This biggest difference seems to be in recurrent training. DOT requires training once every 3 years, and the international rules state every 24 months.
Clearly this is a controversial discrepancy.
Who is right?
Whether you agree with the logic or not, the answer lies in Subpart C of Part 171 of the DOT regulations. This subpart, known as “Authorization and Requirements for the use of International Transport Standards and Regulations” addresses training issues. Specifically, section §171.22(g)(2) states that if using an international standard, the shipper is subject to the training requirements in subpart H of part 172 of this subchapter, including function-specific training in the use of the international transport standards and regulations.
Whether one agrees with this or not, simply put, the only training requirements that can be enforced in the US are the DOT requirements, which include the 3 year recurrent training requirement.
The shipper of course can stay on a 2 year recurrent training schedule which is more conservative than 3 years, but it appears that all that can be enforced are the DOT requirements for training.
Saturday, January 5, 2013
Every two years, PHMSA publishes a final rule in the "215" docket series. In this case it's HM-215L. As a training organization we have to stress that it's important to focus on the various dates associated with this type of docket.
In this case:
Voluntary compliance is authorized as of January 1, 2013
Delayed compliance is authorized until January 1, 2014
Our experience in training is that these dates can confuse a shipper, so caution is urged. It does create a more complicated scheme for 2013.
This is a big document, stretching for 114 pages. For a copy, click here.
The ORM-D issue continues to generate much interest. Our experience as a training organization is that most US shippers do NOT ship consumer commodities by air under the DOT regulations. But by highway, it's another story entirely.
On Monday, January 7, 2013, the transition period for shipments traveling under ORM-D designation was extended until December 31, 2020.
Other issues are discussed in this final rule as well. Click here to view the Federal Register document.