DG Digest: Listing the Significant Changes to the 60th Edition of the IATA DGR

Welcome to Fall!  The nation celebrated Labor Day and the unofficial end of the summer season this last Monday; hopefully our readership had a safe and enjoyable last summer fling.  The regulatory world’s summer ended with a bit of a bang, as IATA published its list of significant changes to the upcoming 60th Edition of the DGR.  Certainly that constituted THE news of the week.  See below for further details, as well as what the rest of the week had in store:

IATA

As noted above, the International Air Transport Association published its list of changes to the 60th edition of the Dangerous Goods Regulations, or DGR.  As we all know, the DGR is a reflection of the ICAO Technical Instructions and forms the practical basis for the regulated transport of dangerous goods by air throughout much of the world and virtually all commercial carriers.  The 60th Edition will take effect beginning on January 1st, 2019; the regulatory text itself should be available soon, but in the meantime, the “Significant Changes” document outlines the things that IATA considers to be of the most importance to DGR users.  These include:

  • The word hazard replaces risk in the text
  • Classification changes to dangerous goods carried by passengers and crew
  • Updated variations
  • Class 8 classification changes to reflect the 20th Edition of the UNMR
  • New classification criteria for “hybrid” lithium batteries, and additional requirements regarding the availability of the test summary as specified in 38.3.5 of the Manual of Tests and Criteria;
  • New provisions for the classification of articles containing dangerous goods
  • New entries in the DGL
  • Changes to Special Provisions A59, A67, A79, A90, A107 and A 201;
  • Replacement of Special Provisions A21, A134, A203 and A207 by A214;
  • New Special Provisions A213, A334, A806  and 807
  • Revised packing instructions
  • New note on the application of GHS pictograms; this may well be the first of many such changes
  • New lithium battery hazard class label and lithium battery mark become mandatory; the older labels and marks finally retire
  • The new provisions for competency-based training are planned to come into effect January 1st, 2021, with a two-year transition period
  • Sundry changes to the appendices

If you’d like to see the full document from IATA itself, here’s your link

PHMSA

The agency released a Letter of Interpretation in reference to Lithium Batteries installed aboard so-called “smart” luggage and other such fairly new and somewhat ambiguously classified personal items.  These devices have raised question as to their status aboard aircraft as checked or carry-on items brought by passengers.  PHMSA’s response sets some clarified rules in this respect.  Here’s your link to the interpretation

FRA

The agency relaxed the regulatory requirement for electronic record-keeping under certain circumstance for railroads that have less than 400,000 documented employee hours-of-service under the 49 CFR operating rules for train crews.  The main benefit will fall to what are known as “Short Lines” or Class 3 railroads that operate only limited and localized services.  The regulatory changes will allow these operators to document their hours in ways that they claim are more cost effective and less administratively burdensome.  See the changes here


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