DG Digest: IMO releases corrigendum for the 39th IMDG Code

Ships and trains are both affected by regulatory activity this week, with the IMO releasing a new IMDG Code corrigendum for Amendment 39-18 and the FRA issuing its 2020 Emergency Relief Docket.  A BNSF coal train rolls by a passing freighter in Puget Sound’s Commencement Bay south of Tacoma in March of 2019.  Photo © 3/2019 by Nikki Burgess; all rights reserved.

It’s the end of the first full week of the New Year and as far as such things go, it was relatively quiet, although the IMO released a newsworthy corrigendum for the IMDG Code.  We’ll discuss that in a bit more detail below.  An FRA notice rounded out the week’s news.  The country is entering what is typically the most active and difficult portion of the winter months now, with all of us preparing to “gut out” January and February.  Be sure your company’s safety plan takes into account not only the slippery snow and ice but also the cold—employees working outside sometimes lose track of time and it’s important to make sure they don’t suffer from exposure or frostbite.  Keep two eyes open for employee winter safety!  Here’s the latest:

IMO

As noted above the IMO released a new corrigendum modifying the IMDG Code Amendment 39-18—the organization’s manual for shipping dangerous goods via marine transport.  Here’s a rundown of some of the more notable inclusions:

  • Minor changes to Part 2 classification criteria, including the ever present lithium battery zone, in this case offering an ancillary to the proper shipping name for UN3536 
  • The usual raft of edits to the DGL in Part 3, in this case focusing mostly on Columns 15 – 17, as well as some shuffling of language in several SP’s (see in particular SP 188—lithium batteries)
  • Changes to Part 4 packing provisions, including IBC’s, portable tanks, and large packagings
  • Very minor text edits in Part 5 Consignment Procedures, Part 6 packaging specifications, and Part 7 transport operations
  • Minor edits to the appendices, glossary, and index to bring them into line with any relevant changes in the major text

While nothing in the corrigendum is especially earth-shattering in its impact, it’s nevertheless important if your company uses this resource to carefully review its contents, update your text as applicable, and ensure that anything applicable to your operations is changed or implemented.  Click here for the new corrigendum.

FRA

The agency published a notice establishing its Emergency Relief Docket (ERD) for 2020.  The docket contains rules and procedures for the request and granting of various potential waivers of safety and other rules in the case of emergency situations involving the national railroad infrastructure vital to the public good.  See the new 2020 docket here

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