PHMSA Adopts Secondary Closure Requirement for Certain Air Shipments of Hazardous Liquids

U.S. shippers of hazardous materials via aircraft should take note of new restrictions for combination packages containing liquids adopted by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) last month.

The new rule, HM-231A, amends the U.S. Hazardous Materials Regulations to “require closures of inner packagings containing liquids within a combination packaging intended for transportation by aircraft to be secured by a secondary means or, where a secondary closure cannot be applied or it is impracticable to apply, permit the use of a leakproof liner.”  PHMSA provides further detail within the rule notice on how to secure different packing group materials:

“A Packing Group I liquid must be further packaged in a rigid leakproof receptacle or rigid intermediate packaging containing sufficient absorbent material to absorb the entire contents of the inner packaging, before being placed in its outer package. For liquids assigned to Packing Groups II or III, however, a leakproof liner may be used where a secondary closure cannot be applied or it is impracticable to apply.”

As the changes are consistent with similar regulations contained within the 2011-12 edition of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air, many shippers already follow such protocol when shipping these materials. The new rule is effective July 1, 2012, although shippers can begin voluntary compliance on May 16.

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As Labelmaster offers a complete line of UN packaging for shipments of hazardous materials, many of our products, including our glass packaging line, already include a secondary means of closure. Should you have any questions whether your packaging is affected by the new regulations, please feel free to give our regulations department a call at 800-621-5808.

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