DG Digest: Regulatory news from PHMSA, FMCSA, EPA and more as 2018 ends with partial government shutdown.

The end of the year finds portions of the federal government shut down, including the Department of Transportation. At press time, there was no specific information or guidance on either the DOT or PHMSA websites as to the exact impact that this shutdown will have on regulatory schedules or other departmental activity. This column will continue to monitor the situation and will bring news of change to the readership as soon as it may become available. Meanwhile, there is a variety of regulatory news to wrap the year up. The Labelmaster family certainly hopes you had a great 2018, and is looking forward to working with you in the coming year. Have a safe, prosperous, and happy 2019!


On December 18th the agency announced new enforcement guidance for its field officers that instructs them to take into account the fact that many shippers will be using the new international regulations based on the 20th Edition of the UN Model Regs to ship to destinations outside the United States. This includes shipments based on the IMDG Code and ICAO TI, as well as the TI’s IATA DGR operational derivative. The US still has not fully harmonized it 49 CFR Parts 100 – 185 to reflect the 20th Edition; the rule that will do this, HM-215O, remains in a comment phase at this writing. The new guidance gives leeway to field officers to allow for the discrepancy of rule versions until the US regulations is finalized. See the guidance right here:


Transport Canada

The agency has extended its comment period for its “What we heard” program that asks for feedback on its proposed registration requirement for Dangerous Goods industry stakeholders. The new comment deadline is January 23rd. Here’s your revised comment portal:


UN Transport News

The body released its initial report on its work towards establishing a unified program to formally identify the risks involved with the transport of lithium batteries. The idea is that this will lead to an agreed upon framework for reduction of risk and mitigation of any that may be irreducible. See the report here.


The agency published a final rule that gives individual states the authority (but does not mandate) to issue commercial driver’s license learner’s permits that are valid for up to one year following issuance. The action is intended to allow for a longer learning period for new drivers. See the change here:


The agency published an information collection of import to makers of electronic logging devices, or ELD’s, for commercial drivers. The agency requires that makers self-certify that the devices comply with the applicable requirements the FMCSA has set for operation and data collection. See the collection here:


FMCSA proposes to amend its Hazardous Materials Safety Permits regulations to incorporate by reference the updated Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) handbook. The Out-of-Service Criteria provide uniform enforcement tolerances for roadside inspections to enforcement personnel nationwide, including FMCSA’s State partners. Currently, the regulations reference the April 1, 2016, edition of the handbook. Through this notice, FMCSA proposes to incorporate by reference the April 1, 2018, edition. See the NPRM here:


US Coast Guard

The USCG published required random drug testing rates for covered professional mariners for 2019. See the new rates here:



The agency announced a public listening session for comments on its proposed revision to the “Waters of the United States” rule. This rule forms an important part of how the federal government designates and regulates American waterways for private, commercial, and industrial uses. The session will be in Kansas City on January 23rd. See more information here:



The agency announced its 2019 required testing rates for random drug screening of covered industry employees. Here’s the new rate:


Labelmaster is a full-service provider of products, shipping and training software, and professional consulting services to assist the DG and HS&E professional to comply with national and international regulations. See our full line of solutions at www.labelmaster.com.

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