Reminder: Upcoming Transitional Date for Basic Shipping Description Sequence

On December 29, 2006, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published a final rule in the Federal Register harmonizing certain aspects of the U.S. Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) with the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code, the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air, and the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods.

The ruling incorporated various amendments to the HMR (49 CFR Part 171-180), including changes to the shipping description sequence.   With reference to § 172.202 (b), the basic description must include the UN identification number, proper shipping name, hazard class and packing group (when applicable) in this sequential order.

Important Date to Remember – January 1, 2013!

The published ruling established an effective date of January 1, 2007, with voluntary compliance starting on that same date.  The ruling permits use for domestic shipments of the shipping description sequences in effect on December 31, 2006, until January 1, 2013.

Be sure to consider all special HMR shipping paper requirements for hazardous materials.  For example, certain hazardous materials may meet the definition of a hazardous waste or a hazardous substance as defined by § 171.8.  Pursuant to § 172.101 (c) (9), a hazardous waste requires the word “waste” to be placed before the proper shipping name on a shipping paper.  A shipping paper completed for a hazardous substance requires the letters “RQ” appear before or after the basic description as per § 172.203.

As a reminder, it is the shipper’s responsibility to consult the applicable regulations to ensure the shipment meets the appropriate modal requirements.

Further information may be obtained by viewing Docket No. PHMSA–06–25476 (HM–215I)] RIN 2137–AE16.


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