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Hazmat Regulations to be Harmonized with International Standards

Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is accepting through Jan. 28 comments on a proposed rule that would harmonize the Hazmat Regulations with recent changes to 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—Model Regulations. Additionally, PHMSA is proposing several amendments that result from regulatory coordination with Canada. PHMSA anticipates that most of the proposed amendments would result in cost savings and ease the regulatory compliance burden for shippers engaged in domestic and international commerce, including trans-border shipments within North America.

According to PHMSA, the more noteworthy changes in this proposed rule include the following.

- amend the Hazardous Materials Table to add, revise, or remove certain proper shipping names, hazard classes, packing groups, special provisions, packaging authorizations, bulk packaging requirements, and passenger and cargo aircraft maximum quantity limits

- add a classification system for articles containing hazardous materials that do not already have a proper shipping name

- a lithium battery test summary requirement that would include a standardized set of elements that provide traceability and accountability

- require the segregation of lithium cells and batteries from certain other hazardous materials, notably flammable liquids, when offered for transport or transported on aircraft

- include non-testing alternatives for classifying corrosive mixtures that would afford offerors the ability to make a classification and packing group assignment without the need to conduct physical tests

- extend the sunset dates for provisions concerning the transportation of polymerizing substances from Jan. 2, 2019, to January 2, 2021

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