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PHMSA to Harmonize 49 CFR Hazmat Regs with New International Requirements

Posted on 8/31/2016 by Roger Marks

Updated 09/07/16: Rule HM 215N to harmonize US DOT hazmat regulations with changing international requriements was officially proposed in the Federal Register today, September 7, 2016

US DOT Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration last week announced a Proposed Rule to harmonize US hazmat shipping regulations with international standards. Now awaiting publication in the Federal Register, US DOT’s HM 215N rulemaking will keep US hazmat shipping rules in line with standards developed at the United Nations.

The United Nations Modal Regulations are updated once every two years. PHMSA typically posts a Final Rule to keep US rules in line with the Model Regs shortly after the UN releases its updated edition.  

Once finalized, changes proposed in the HM 215N rulemaking will take effect on January 1, 2017.
Updates to the 49 CFR hazmat rules in the HM 215N rulemaking include:
  • Incorporating-by-reference new editions of international rules like the 58th Edition IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) and the 2016 IMDG Code (Amendment 38-16).
  • Making updates and changes to the Hazardous Materials Table at 49 CFR 172.101 in line with changing international standards
  • Updating the hazard communication (marking and labeling) requirements for lithium batteries
  • Amending the packaging requirements for vessel transportation of water reactive substances (consistent with the IMDG Code)
  • Updating the Hazardous Materials Table entries for transportation of engines, machines containing engines, and polymerizing substances
  • Amending certain requirements for hazmat cylinder requalification, repair, and inspection

Previous DOT Hazmat Harmonization Rulemaking

The last DOT hazmat harmonization rulemaking, HM 215M, included many major changes as well and took effect on January 1 this year.

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Tags: 49CFR, hazardous materials, hazmat shipping, new rules

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