Tag Archives: IMDG Code

Lithium Batteries: Notable Changes Result from PHMSA’s Final Rule — HM-224F

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s new final ruling on the safe transport of lithium batteries was published today in the Federal Register. The adopted amendments in the final rule pertain to 49 CFR, Parts 171, 172, 173, and 175. Read the full text here. Continue reading

IMDG Code Amendment 37-14 Available in November

An English hard-copy version of the latest edition of the IMDG Code, Amendment 37-14 will become available to users in November 2014 pursuant to an announcement made by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Shortly following in early 2015 will be the release of the French and Spanish issues. An updated Supplement will also be printed. The online web edition of the IMDG Code will remain accessible throughout 2015 and will include both Amendment 37-14 and 36-12.
The new IMDG Code becomes mandatory for use starting on January 1, 2016; however, the new version can be employed for use as early as January 1, 2015. http://www.hazardouscargo.com/content/new-imdg-code-available-november

Check out Labelmaster’s selection of regulatory publications, inlcuding the current IMDG Code: http://www.labelmaster.com/shop/books

Labelmaster’s Bob Richard Reviews Latest Government Rules & Regs at AHMP

Bob Richard, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Labelmaster Services discussed the latest news and regulatory updates to a captive audience at the Alliance of Hazardous Materials Professionals in Orlando, FL today. Hope you had a chance to participate. If not, here is a photo of the event:

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IMO Group Discusses Potential Revisions to IMDG Code

IMDG Code, 36th AmendmentIssues related to water reactive materials, marine pollutants and special provisions for vehicles and engines were among the notable topics discussed during a recent meeting of an International Maritime Organization (IMO) working group.

The IMO’s Editorial and Technical Group (E&T Group) of its Sub-Committee on Dangerous Goods, Solid Cargoes and Containers (DSC Sub-Committee) convened for its 19th session on April 22-26 in London.  The E&T Group is responsible for amending the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code), the worldwide regulation for transporting dangerous goods by sea, based on decisions made by the DSC Sub-Committee and amendments incorporated into the latest edition of the United Nations’ Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods – Model Regulations (the UN Model Regulations).

The IMDG Code is written in conjunction with two international conventions, the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL). The IMDG Code was developed as a uniform international code for the transport of dangerous goods by sea covering the classification, packaging, marking, labeling, placarding, stowage and segregation of cargo.  The newest version of the IMDG Code, Amendment 37-14, will be authorized on a voluntary basis effective January 1, 2015, and becomes mandatory on January 1, 2016. The latest session of the E&T Group was focused on developing amendments for this new edition and finalizing the corrigendum/addendum for Amendment 36-12.

The first two days of the meeting were devoted to a careful review of the amendments that will be included in the 18th revised edition of the Model Regulations.  The E&T Group adopted all of the UN amendments with a few minor differences related to publication structure and rewording of certain text to make it more suitable for sea transport. The other three days focused on specific proposals to amend the IMDG Code, including:

  • Packaging and stowage requirements for water reactive materials;
  • Excepting environmentally hazardous substances in quantities less than 5 kilograms or 5 liters;
  • Clarifying the transport provisions for UN 3166 and UN 3171, including amendments to special provisions 961 and 962 relative to vehicles, combustion engines, fuel cell powered vehicles and equipment containing engines;
  • Replacing the term “Marine Pollutant” and the indication on a shipping paper and classification of mixtures with marine pollutants;
  • Marking of small portable tanks;
  • Harmonizing the symbols used on labels and placards;
  • Transporting various batteries (most notably lithium batteries) that are either damaged or intended for disposal or recycling; and
  • Reorganizing Column (16) for Stowage and Segregation in the Dangerous Goods List.

Companies that are required to comply with the IMDG Code should carefully review the agreed-upon amendments in the report of the E&T Group, as they can have a significant impact on operations.  Additionally, all of the agreed amendments are subject to further review in September 2013 during the next DSC Sub-Committee and E&T Group meetings. This means there is an opportunity to provide additional relevant information, including recommended changes to the tentatively approved text, that can be used by the E&T Group to better understand the implications of amendments adopted.  Please don’t hesitate to contact our team if you questions about this process or the changes in general.

Packaging and Stowage Requirements for Water Reactive Materials

On the basis of a technical risk study and proposal by Germany, the E&T Group considered a number of proposals to address the packaging and stowage of water reactive substances when transported by sea.  A new special provision was added to numerous water reactive substances that have the EmS code “F-G” in Column 16 of the IMDG Code to specify that the water reactive materials must be loaded into dry containers and kept as dry as “reasonably practicable.”  However, since not all substances assigned “F-G” in Column 15 are water reactive, some substances such as oxidizers were captured even though this requirement may not be justified.  This provides even more reason to conduct a thorough review to determine if your company’s products have been impacted. A number of delegates noted that freight containers are not watertight and that the packaging used for these substances should be of sufficient design and integrity to protect the contents from moisture. This new special provision, a compromise solution that took quite a bit of discussion to reach a conclusion, is extremely subjective. It stands to reason that it will eventually play a significant role should an incident occur where liability can be assessed if it is shown that the incident occurred because the container was not kept dry. It’s also reasonable to assume that legal arguments will be made on the basis of what is “reasonably practicable.”

Similarly to the Column 16 amendment, paragraph was revised to add a sentence:

“Whenever the stowage provision ‘keep as dry as reasonably practicable’ is assigned in column (16) of the dangerous goods list, the closed cargo transport unit including any contained goods, securing or packing materials shall be kept as dry as reasonably practicable.”

One would wonder whether this needs to be stated again, as it would appear obvious. However, the alternate text proposed by Germany would have been much more difficult to impose in practice, so the text was adopted as a compromise.

The stowage requirements for certain hazard class materials, including numerous Division 4.3 materials, were revised with the following new language:

  • “Separated from” goods of classes 2.1 and 3.
  • In addition: from goods of classes 2.1 and 3 when stowed on deck of a containership a minimum distance of two container spaces athwartship shall be maintained, when stowed on ro-ro ships a distance of 6 m athwartship shall be maintained.”

This will impact the ability for shippers of these materials to book their freight on various types of ships due to the conservative stowage restrictions, but the alternative proposed by Germany would have been even more restrictive.

Special packing provisions PP31 (which requires packages to be hermetically sealed) and PP40 (which precludes the use of bags) were added to numerous Division 4.3 substances. This will require that packagings (bags, flexible IBCs) are either hermetically sealed or fitted with a waterproof liner. While some questioned the technical basis and argued for UN consideration so that the changes could be discussed in a multimodal context, the E&T Group adopted the amendment on the basis that the modal authorities can adopt more stringent requirements than the UN Model Regulations if they deem them necessary for safety reasons.

Exceptions for Environmentally Hazardous Substances in Quantities Less than 5 Kilograms or 5 Liters

Environmentally Hazardous Substance MarkingThe E&T Group considered a document submitted by the United States consistent with a decision taken by the UN Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods which proposed to except environmentally hazardous substances from the requirements of the IMDG Code.  This was agreed upon by the Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods and on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (UN COE) at their 6th session but some delegates, most notably Belgium and the Netherlands, expressed concern on the lack of documentation for exempted substances.  Subsequently, the group decided to put square brackets around the proposed amendments as a placeholder to remind the group to revisit the matter at their next meeting in September. The United States agreed to lead a correspondence group in an attempt to find a consensus solution prior to the September 2013 meeting.  Since these proposed exceptions have a huge cost-savings potential for many shippers, it is recommended that companies that could be potentially impacted should contact Shane Kelley (shane.kelley@dot.gov), Senior International Transportation Specialist for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), to express any concerns.  If the IMO was to require documentation for these substances, which will be unregulated in other modes, it would result in diminishing the benefits of the exception significantly.

Clarification of Special Provisions 961 and 962 Relative to Vehicles, Combustion Engines, Fuel Cell Powered Vehicles and Equipment Containing Engines

Discussion on this topic was extensive and spanned an entire day. In the end, a reasonable solution was adopted that will benefit shippers of these articles.  Document DSC 17/3/12 (Belgium, France, Germany, United Kingdom, United States, DGAC and IVODGA) proposed amendments to special provisions SP 961 and SP 962, which recently entered into force under Amendment 35-10.  The group agreed on amendments to these special provisions, as well as the newly added SP 970, in order to differentiate UN 3166 from other UN entries, in particular from “UN 3363, Dangerous goods contained in equipment or articles.”  The group agreed that UN 3166 should apply to internal combustion engines with or without a fuel tank attached, as well as to machinery containing a combustion engine. Furthermore, the group agreed that a declaration of consignment under UN 3166 and UN 3171 as a marine pollutant was not necessary. The group agreed that a differentiator between UN 3166 and other entries, as well as the declaration of consignment of UN 3166 and UN 3171 as marine pollutants, may have multimodal impact and should be brought to the attention of the UN COE’s Transportation of Dangerous Goods Sub-Committee (UN TDG Sub-Committee).

Lithium Batteries and Nickel Metal Hydride Batteries for Disposal or Recycling

The E&T Group considered the new special provision SP 377 to accommodate the transport of mixed battery shipments that may include nickel metal hydride and lithium batteries.  Initially, the group was in favor of limiting these shipments to short international voyages.  A short international voyage is defined as:

An international voyage in the course of which a ship is not more than 200 miles from a port or place in which the passengers and crew could be placed in safety. Neither the distance between the last port of call in the country in which the voyage begins and the final port of destination nor the return voyage shall exceed 600 miles.

The Portable Rechargeable Battery Association representative was able to convince the group to allow longer voyages if appropriate stowage provisions were adopted.  The group agreed to apply a “Category C” designation, which requires “on deck” stowage for batteries and cells transported in accordance with special provision SP 377 unless transported on a short international voyage.

Damaged Lithium Batteries

The E&T Group agreed to harmonize the requirements for damaged or defective lithium batteries in accordance with new special provision SP 376 and packaging instructions P908 or LP904 as applicable.

Marine Pollutants

The E&T Group agreed to exclude class 7 hazardous materials from marine pollutant/environmentally hazardous substance requirements, harmonizing the IMDG Code requirements with that of other modes of transport. Consequential amendments to MARPOL Annex III were developed and will be forwarded to the DSC Sub-Committee. Draft amendments to paragraph and note 2 of chapter 2.9 were adopted, and a new paragraph ( was added.  The group noted that the issue of whether “articles” are considered marine pollutants was forwarded to the UN TDG Sub-Committee to provide clarification.

The E&T Group assigned a new special provision, SP 969, to UN 3077 and UN 3082 and adopted revisions to and 3.2.1. SP 969 reads:

“Substances classified in accordance to 2.9.3 are subject to the provisions for marine pollutants. Substances which are transported under UN 3077 and 3082 but which do not meet the criteria of 2.9.3 (see are not subject to the provisions for marine pollutants. However for substances that are identified as marine pollutants in this Code (see Index) but which no longer meet the criteria of 2.9.3, the provisions of apply.” reads:

“Column 4 of the Dangerous Goods List also provides information on marine pollutants using the symbol P for single entries. The absence of the symbol P or the presence of a “-” in that column does not preclude the application of 2.10.3.”

This clarifies that the aquatic toxicity criteria in 2.10.3 may be applied.

The E&T Group considered a document from the International Paint and Printing Ink Council (IPPIC), which proposed the abbreviation MP/EH for “Marine Pollutant/Environmentally Hazardous.”  After discussion, the observer from IPPIC suggested to modify their original proposal and use the term Aquatic Pollutant, or “AP.” There was a lot of support for this term from delegates. Following a lengthy discussion on the proposed term and abbreviation, the group supported the use of a single term for all modes of transport, preferably “Aquatic Pollutant” for documentation purposes that should be accepted multi-modally. The UN TDG Sub-Committee will be asked to consider the matter at their June 2013 session.

The E&T Group considered clarification on how to address mixtures containing marine pollutants. Germany raised the question on how to deal with mixtures that consist of dangerous goods listed by name and a second component which is hazardous to the environment and not listed by name. Environmentally hazardous substances need to be named on the transport document according to the IMDG-Code as a marine pollutant. In addition to the standard requirement to indicate a technical name or names when special provision SP 274 is assigned, the IMDG Code also requires that a technical name be indicated for marine pollutants according to requires that the proper shipping name be supplemented with the recognized technical name of the constituent that makes the material a marine pollutant. This applies when the shipping name is a generic (e.g. paint) or n.o.s. entry.  For example, a mixture containing an acetone solution (listed in the Dangerous Goods List (DGL) of the IMDG Code), and an epoxy resin (not listed in the DGL but deemed environmentally hazardous according to the aquatic toxicity criteria (70% acetone, 30% epoxy resin), the description would be “UN 1090 Acetone solution (Epoxy resin), 3, II, Marine Pollutant.”  The group agreed to this interpretation.

Counterfeit Refrigerant

On the basis of a proposal from the United States, the E&T Group considered incidents involving the use of counterfeit refrigerant, which prompted proposed amendments to provision  It was agreed to revise to read:

“The refrigeration system shall be subjected to a thorough inspection and a test prior to the cargo transport unit being packed to ensure that all parts are functioning properly.  Refrigerant gas shall only be replaced in accordance with the manufacturer’s operating instructions for the refrigeration system.  Prior to filling replacement refrigerant gas, a certificate of analysis from the supplier shall be obtained and checked to confirm that the gas meets refrigeration system specifications.  In addition, the replacement refrigerant gas shall be checked for possible contamination prior to use.  If the refrigerant gas is found to be contaminated it shall not be used, the cylinder shall be plainly marked “CONTAMINATED”, the cylinder shall be sealed and sent for recycling or disposal and notification shall be given to the refrigerant gas supplier and authorized distributor and competent authority(ies) of the countries to which the supplier and distributor reside, as appropriate.  The date of last refrigerant replacement shall be included in the maintenance record of the refrigeration system.

Note: Contamination can be checked by using flame halide lamp tests, gas sniffer tube tests or gas chromatography.  Replacement refrigerant gas cylinders may be marked with the test result and the date of testing.”

Harmonization of Symbols Used on Labels and Placards

The E&T Group adopted amendments to more clearly specify marking, labeling and placarding specifications.  In addition it was noted that the symbols on labels for a number of hazard include different symbols compared to those used in the UN Model Regulations.  It was agreed that the IMO Secretariat would align all label specifications with those in the UN Model Regulations.  The E&T Group also agreed to incorporate text similar to that specified in the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Technical Instructions on the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods (ICAO TI) to allow for minor deviations.  The agreed text was included as a note in and reads as follows:

“Note: Labels shall satisfy the provisions below and conform, in terms of colour, symbols and general format, to the models shown in Corresponding models required for other modes of transport, with minor variations which do not affect the obvious meaning of the label, are also acceptable.”

Some delegates indicated that notes are not considered mandatory regulatory text, so the entire note was placed in square brackets to remind the group to revisit that matter at their next meeting. It was also agreed to ask the UN TDG Sub-Committee to add similar text.

Portable Tank Markings, Labels and Placards

The European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC) proposed to adopt a provision in the 49 CFR to allow alternative placarding and marking of portable tanks that have a capacity of less than 3,785 litres (1,000 gallons).  The group felt that 3,000 liters, which is the maximum capacity for IBCs, should be used and agreed to amend chapter 5.3 appropriately. Since this is a multimodal issue, the UN TDG Sub-Committee will be asked to consider the proposal.

Limited Quantity Marks

Limited Quantity GroundIt was agreed to add the text adopted by the UN TDG Sub-Committee that clarifies the use of the limited quantity air transport mark.

The paragraph was reorganized as follows: – Multi-modal recognition of marks – Packages containing dangerous goods bearing the marking shown in with or without the additional labels and markings for air transport shall be deemed to meet the provisions of section 3.4.2 and need not bear the marking shown in” – Packages containing dangerous goods in limited quantities bearing the marking shown in and conforming with the provisions of the ICAO Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air, including all necessary marks and labels specified in Parts 5 and 6, shall be deemed to meet the provisions of section 3.4.1 as appropriate and of section 3.4.2.”

Transport of Packaging Waste with Residues of Dangerous Goods

The E&T Group agreed not to adopt UN 3509, a new entry for transport of packaging waste with residues of dangerous goods.  This entry was included in the UN Model Regulations in order to establish transport conditions for European land transport.  The E&T Group agreed that the new entry should not be used for the maritime mode and included a new special provision, SP 969, indicating that the entry is prohibited for sea transport.

Reorganization of Column 16 of the Dangerous Goods List

Column 16 of the DGL is being revised and new stowage and segregation codes will be included in two new columns, “16(a)” and “16(b).” The E&T Group generally agreed and requested that the Secretariat issue a document that shows examples of the reorganization for consideration at the next meeting of the DSC Sub-Committee. Additionally, the group asked that a document containing a completely revised DGL be prepared for their next meeting.

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UN Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods Issues Report on Latest Session

The United Nations Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (COE) has issued a report on its sixth session, which was held this past December in Geneva, Switzerland.  The function of the COE is to ratify the work of the two sub-committees it oversees: the Transport of Dangerous Goods Sub-Committee and the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals Sub-Committee. With the 2011-2012 biennium concluding, both of these sub-committees issued a number of recommendations to the COE, which included developing amendments to:

Why should you be interested in the reports?

The reports included amended texts for the next editions of the UN Model Regulations, GHS and Manual of Tests and Criteria. The amendments are very likely to appear in a number of regulatory texts, most notably the 2015-2016 International Civil Aviation Organization’s Technical Instructions on the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods (ICAO TI); the 2014 Edition (Amendment 37) of the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code), the U.S. Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) and the European Agreements Concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Rail and by Road. If you are a dangerous goods manager, I strongly recommend that you review these amendments to determine their potential impact on your company’s operations.

The various bodies responsible for regulating the transport of dangerous goods will be working to incorporate the amendments into their respective regulatory texts during the next year. Issues concerning these potential changes can be raised at the meetings of regulatory committees.  If an amendment has an impact on your company, it may not be too late to address it before it comes into force. If you are unfamiliar with the process for submitting comments to a regulatory committee, our team can assist you with communicating relevant issues appropriately.

The new 2013-2014 two-year work program will begin with the first meetings of the TDG and GHS Sub-Committees:

  • June 24-28, 2013: Transport of Dangerous Goods Sub-Committee, 43rd Session
  • July 1-3, 2013: Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals Sub-Committee, 25th Session

The following is a first in a series that will provide an overview of the changes included in the COE report. Today’s article will cover the UN Model Regulation, while future articles will tackle the GHS and Manual of Tests and Criteria.

Expected Changes to the UN Model Regulations

Chapter 1

  • There is a new section ( that addresses lamps (light bulbs) containing dangerous goods. Broad exceptions have been provided for these lamps, provided that they do not contain radioactive material and do not contain mercury in quantities above those specified in Special Provision 366.
  • There are several new or revised definitions in Chapter 1.2, including “Exclusive use, Freight container, Large Salvage Packaging and Neutron radiation detector.”
  • There are a number of amendments to Chapter 1.5 related to the general requirements for transporting radioactive materials. These were developed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and subsequently will be included in the 18th revised edition of the UN Model Regulations.

Chapter 2

  • It was clarified in Chapter 2.0 that “articles (e.g. shock absorbers, air bags, etc.) are not assigned packing groups. For packing purposes, any requirement for a specific packaging performance level is set out in the applicable packing instruction.”
  • Also in Chapter 2.0, amendments were made to the precedence of hazards table to clarify the primary and subsidiary hazards associated with uranium hexafluoride in excepted packages. Since this is the only Hazard Class 7 material that can be transported in excepted packages, other hazard designations would not take precedence.
  • A note was added in Chapter 2.1 to clarify the meaning of “flash composition,” which primarily applies to the classification of fireworks.
  • In Chapter 2.2, the definition for Class 2 gases was revised to include a new category, “Adsorbed gas.” Adsorbed gas is a gas that, when packaged for transport, is adsorbed onto a solid porous material resulting in an internal receptacle pressure of less than 101.3 kPa at 20 °C and less than 300 kPa at 50 °C.
  • The exception in Chapter 2.3 that allows viscous flammable liquids with a flash point less than 23 °C to be re-classified as a Packing Group III flammable liquid was revised. The change consolidates the criteria to include a table with the applicable flow times and flash points.  In addition, the exception to flammable liquids transported in quantities of note more than 450 liters has been limited.
  • In Chapter 2.4, the self reactive substance (SRS) classification flow chart in figure 2.4.1 was revised to include additional considerations for determining whether a SRS can be transported in IBCs or portable tanks, and whether it can be excepted from classification as a SRS.
  • Similarly, the flow chart for classifying organic peroxides in Chapter 2.5 was revised.  Significant changes to the defining criteria and packing group assignment criteria for oxidizing solids were also made.
  • In Chapter 2.6, the exceptions for dried blood spots, faecal occult blood screening specimens, and blood intended for transfusion were clarified.  The major change here is that several products are no longer subject to the Model Regulations, including blood drawn in connection with transfusions, the preparation of blood products to be used for transfusion or transplantation, and any tissues or organs intended for use in transplantation.
  • Numerous amendments were adopted relative to the work of the IAEA in relation to the criteria and classification of radioactive materials.  The amendments include changes to the table for individual radionuclides in section; transport of fissile materials, classification of uranium hexafluoride; consumer products that either have received regulatory approval or do not individually exceed the activity limits for an exempt consignment; and exceptions for instruments or articles too small to bear the marking “RADIOACTIVE,” provided that they are transported in a package that bears the marking “RADIOACTIVE” on its internal surface in such a manner that a warning of the presence of radioactive material is visible on opening the package.
  • There were no changes to the criteria for corrosive substances but the discussion on this topic is ongoing within the TDG and GHS Sub-Committees.
  • In Chapter 2.9, amendments were adopted to account for revisions to the proper shipping name changes for asbestos and safety devices (previously air bags). Additionally, new proper shipping names were added for “Asymmetric capacitors” and “Packaging discarded, empty, uncleaned.”
  • A new note was added to section 2.9.4 to address lithium battery testing. The note reads:“Cells and batteries manufactured according to a type meeting the requirements of sub-section 38.3 of the Manual of Tests and Criteria, Revision 3, Amendment 1 or any subsequent revision and amendment applicable at the date of the type testing may continue to be transported, unless otherwise provided in these Regulations. Cell and battery types only meeting the requirements of the Manual of Tests and Criteria, Revision 3, are no longer valid. However, cells and batteries manufactured in conformity with such types before 1 July 2003 may continue to be transported if all other applicable requirements are fulfilled.”
  • A note was added highlighting and reinforcing the fact that batteries shall be of a type proved to meet the testing requirements of the Manual of Tests and Criteria, part III, sub-section 38.3, irrespective of whether the cells of which they are composed are of a tested type.

Chapter 3

As usual, there were numerous amendments to the Dangerous Goods List (DGL). While I won’t list all of the changes here, there are some worth highlighting:

  • A significant number of entries, mainly articles, have been assigned an “EO” designation in column 7b of the DGL, indicating that they are not authorized to be transported as Excepted Quantity shipments.  This was mainly a result of the fact that the entries are not authorized to be transported as excepted quantities in the ICAO TI, which does not authorize articles to be shipped as excepted quantities.
  • The packing group was deleted in column 5 for a number of entries because they are articles, which are not assigned packing groups in the DGL.  This includes the four lithium battery entries.  While this was decided a number of years ago, one has to wonder whether this really makes sense, and whether it has resulted in more confusion, frustrated shipments and frivolous violations without any improvement in safety.
  • The proper shipping name for UN 3268 was changed from “Air bag inflators, air bag modules or seat belt pretensioners” to “Safety devices, electrically initiated.” Doing so will allow a much wider array of articles used as safety devices to be shipped as dangerous goods.  It is important to note that Special Provision 280 was revised to clarify which articles can be transported under this entry. One has to question whether this amendment actually enhances hazard communication for emergency responders.
  • There is a total of 3526 dangerous goods entries in the 18th revised edition of the UN Model Regulations, including 20 new entries:
    • UN 3507 is a new uranium hexafluoride excepted package entry.
    • UN 3508 is a new asymmetric capacitor entry.
    • UN 3509 is a new entry for packaging materials that previously contained dangerous goods and have remaining residues.
    • 17 of the new entries accommodate adsorbed gases.

Special Provisions

  • A number of special provisions (SP) were added or amended.
  • SP 172 was revised to clarify when a primary or subsidiary risk label is required for a radioactive material.
  • SP 225 was amended to clarify the types of fire extinguishers covered (e.g. portable fire extinguishers for manual handling and operation).
  • SP 367 through 377 are new special provisions.
  • SP 367 explains that the proper shipping name “Paint related materials” may be used for consignments of packages containing both “Paint” and “Paint related material.” However, the proper shipping name “Paint related materials” cannot be used for shipments that contain only paint.
  • SP 372 applies to asymmetric capacitors with an energy storage capacity greater than 0.3 Wh.
  • SP 375 will provide significant relief for many shippers on UN 3077 and UN 3082, which are both environmentally hazardous substances.  These substances will not subject to the regulations when they are transported in single or combination packagings containing a net quantity per single or inner packaging of 5 liters or less for liquids or having a net mass of 5 kg or less for solids.
  • SP 376 addresses the transport of lithium cells or batteries identified as being damaged or defective.
  • SP 377 addresses lithium cells, lithium batteries and equipment containing such cells and batteries when they are transported for disposal or recycling.

Limited Quantity and Excepted Quantity Markings

  • limited-quantity-airThe primary change in Chapter 3.4 relates to the overall initiative to enhance the clarity of the way that markings and labels are specified in the UN Model Regulations.  In a nutshell, a number of marking descriptions and illustrations were assigned figure numbers, dimensions were added to the graphics, and the minimum width of the line forming the diamond was specified as 2 mm.  Considering that the amendments were intended for clarity and not substantive, a grandfather provision was added stating “the provisions from the 17th revised edition of the Model Regulations may continue to be applied until 31 December 2016.” Paragraph 3.4.9 was amended and 3.4.10 was added to clarify that the limited quantity mark with a “Y” can be used for land and sea transport while also bearing additional marks and labels required by the ICAO TI.
  • The only changes in Chapter 3.5 involved language enhancing the clarity of specifications for the “Excepted Quantity” mark and adding a grandfather provision in the same manner as the limited quantity mark.

Chapter 4

  • In Chapter 4.1 a new paragraph ( was added to address the use of supplementary packagings within an outer packaging (e.g. an intermediate packaging or a receptacle inside a required inner packaging) in addition to what is required by the packing instructions.  This clarifies the fact that a shipper may always use supplemental packaging to provide additional protection that helps contain dangerous goods.
  • UN3373There were a number of amendments to various packing instructions that revise the types of packagings authorized.  Markings specified in the packing instructions, such as the Category B UN 3373 mark, were revised to include more specific information concerning the size and dimensions of the labels.
  • Packing Instruction P901 was amended to clarify the performance level for packaging intended for the transport of chemical kits.  The performance level is now more specifically tied to the packing group assignments of the contents.
  • Several new packing instructions have been added. They include:
    • P208, for adsorbed gases;
    • P505, for ammonium nitrate emulsions;
    • P805, for uranium hexafluoride excepted packages;
    • P908, for damaged and defective lithium batteries; and
    • P909, for lithium batteries transported for recycling or disposal.
  • There were a number of amendments to IBC04 through 06 to authorize certain IBCs intended for solids (e.g. replace “and 21H2” with “, 21H2, 31H1 and 31H2”).
  • A new large packaging packing instruction, LP903, was added for large format lithium batteries, such as those used in electric and hybrid vehicles. LP904 was added for damaged and defective lithium batteries.
  • In chapter 4.2 some editorial amendments were introduced.
  • A new portable tank provision, TP 41, was added. This provision for organometallic substances states that the two-and-a-half year internal examination can be waived or substituted by other test methods or inspection procedures specified by the competent authority or its authorized body.

Chapter 5

  • The most substantial changes in Chapter 5 involve specifications for marking, labeling and placarding.  All of the changes are afforded a transition date of December 31, 2015. Labelmaster will be making any necessary adjustments to our product line to ensure compliance for our customers.
  • Readers should pay careful attention to the new requirements in paragraph, where the lettering of the “OVERPACK” marking must now be at least 12 mm high.  The lettering of the “SALVAGE” marking is also required to be at least 12 mm high.
  • In  paragraph, the size of the UN number and the letters “UN” was clarified so that it now reads “the size of the UN number and the letters ‘UN’ shall be at least 12 mm high, except for packages of 30 liters capacity or less or of 30 kg maximum net mass and for cylinders of 60 litres water capacity when they shall be at least 6 mm in height and except for packages of 5 litres or 5 kg or less when they shall be of an appropriate size.” This was amended to clarify the packaging thresholds for determining the appropriate size of the marking.
  • Fumigation Warning MarkThe dimensions for the fumigation warning mark in Figure 5.5.1 have been enlarged to 400×300 mm.  Currently, the dimensions are 300×250 mm.
  • It will no longer be required to mark fumigated freight containers with the words “DANGEROUS CO2 (DRY ICE) INSIDE. VENTILATE THOROUGHLY BEFORE ENTERING” when solid carbon dioxide (CO2-dry ice) is used for cooling purposes. When substances presenting a risk of asphyxiation are used for cooling or conditioning purposes, such as dry ice (UN 1845), refrigerated liquid nitrogen (UN 1977) or refrigerated liquid argon (UN 1951), the container/vehicle must be externally marked with the new warning mark detailed in Additionally, the specifications for this warning mark were clarified but no substantial changes were introduced.  A clarification of when the documentation must identify the coolant was introduced. now reads, “Documents (such as a bill of lading or cargo manifest) associated with the transport of cargo transport units that contain or have contained substances used for cooling or conditioning purposes and have not been completely ventilated before transport shall include the following information:”

Chapter 6

  • The applicability of Chapter 6.1 was clarified by amending paragraph to read “Packagings for liquids, other than combination packagings with a capacity exceeding 450 litres.” This is not entirely harmonized with DOT’s definition of non-bulk packagings in 171.8 of the HMR, which states that non-bulk packaging means a packaging which has:
    • A maximum capacity of 450 L (119 gallons) or less as a receptacle for a liquid;
    • A maximum net mass of 400 kg (882 pounds) or less and a maximum capacity of 450 L (119 gallons) or less as a receptacle for a solid; or
    • A water capacity of 454 kg (1000 pounds) or less as a receptacle for a gas as defined in § 173.115 of this subchapter.

    It will be interesting to see if PHMSA proposes any revisions to the non-bulk definition in the next HM-215 harmonization rule.

  • The required marking that indicates the year and month during which 1H, 3H and for plastic inner receptacles of composite IBCs was amended to provide flexibility in how the last two digits of the year of manufacture may be displayed in (e). Also, a new note was added that reads: “NOTE: Other methods that provide the minimum required information in a durable, visible and legible form are also acceptable.”
  • In Chapter 6.2, amendments were made to clarify when updated ISO standards for the construction of gas receptacles must be used.  Generally the new standards will apply to new construction receptacles. Previously manufactured receptacles will be authorized so long as they continue to meet the periodic inspection and test requirements.  Grandfather provisions for continued manufacture under existing standards were included and several standards were updated to the latest revisions.
  • An alternative to the water bath test for “Receptacles, small, containing gas” (UN2037) and “Fuel cell cartridges containing flammable gas” (UN3478) was included in 6.2.4. The alternative method mirrors the method already provided for aerosols in the UN Model Regulations.
  • Numerous amendments were incorporated in Chapter 6.4 based on work conducted by the IAEA TRANSCC Committee, including new “excepted package” requirements for uranium hexafluoride in a quantity of less than 0.1 kg per package.
  • Minor amendments were introduced related to the IBC and large packaging stacking symbol in Chapter 6.5 and 6.6.

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Labelmaster staff attend international dangerous goods transport meetings in order to keep our customers abreast of developments to international, regional, modal and domestic regulations. Our attendance also supports the organizations that we participate in, including the Dangerous Goods Advisory Council (DGAC), the Council on Safe Transportation of Hazardous Articles (COSTHA) and the Dangerous Goods Trainers Association (DGTA). Should you have any questions about the amendments outlined above, please don’t hesitate to contact me.