FAA Raises Hazmat Air Shipping Civil Penalties

Posted on 4/10/2017 by Roger Marks

For hazmat or dangerous goods air shippers, mistakes just got more expensive.

US FAA published a Final Rule in the Federal Register this week to raise the civil penalties for violations of FAA rules and the US DOT Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR). The Federal Rail Administration published its own updates to the civil penalties for hazmat rail shippers. Because these adjustments are carried out using a very specific formula, the new civil penalty amounts are identical across all modes of transport (once adjusted by the controlling Federal agency).

We expect that the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) will follow suit soon and raise its civil penalties for hazmat highway shipping violations. 

For hazmat air and hazmat rail violations, the adjusted civil penalties are as follows:

DOT Hazmat Training Violations for Air Shippers ($8 increase)

For hazmat training violations, the penalty is up $8, from $463 per day, per employee to $471 per day, per employee. An $8 increase may seem insignificant, but the “per day” and “per employee” multipliers can add up fast, especially in industries with high-turnover or at facilities where employees often take on new hazmat job responsibilities.

Questions about who needs hazmat training to prepare air shipments? Watch the explainer video here.

US DOT requires all hazmat employees to complete training once every 3 years. [49 CFR 172.704] For employees involved in preparing air shipments, the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) requires training once every 24 months. [IATA DGR 1.5]

Hazmat employees must receive general awareness, security awareness, and function-specific hazmat training. Some employees may also need hazmat safety training or training on their workplace’s hazmat security plan, when applicable to the employee’s job functions. 

Maximum Hazmat Air Shipper Civil Penalty ($1,262 increase)

For non-training hazmat violations, FAA raised its maximum civil penalty from $77,114 per day, per violation to $78,376 per day, per violation.

Aggravated Maximum Hazardous Materials Civil Penalty ($2,994 increase)

For “aggravated” hazmat violations—those that result in death, serious illness, severe injury or substantial destruction of property—FAA raised the civil penalty from $179,933 to $182,877 per day, per violation. 

Shipping Lithium Batteries by Air

Higher civil penalties are of special concern for lithium battery shippers, who at this time face major changes to the regulations that may make compliance more of a challenge. The updates for air shipments include new labeling requirements, stricter size limitations and quantity restrictions, and more.
To get up to speed on the latest new rules for shipping lithium-ion or lithium-metal batteries by ground, air, or vessel, join a full-time Lion instructor for the LIVE Shipping Lithium Batteries Webinar on May 9 or June 27.

Tags: DGR, DOT, fines and penalties, hazmat shipping, IATA

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