PHMSA Package Tape Enforcement Policy Ends August 31

Posted on 8/22/2022 by Roger Marks

PHMSA’s policy of enforcement discretion regarding use of alternate adhesive tape to close UN rated packagings will end on August 31, 2022. 
The policy allows shippers who are unable to obtain the exact type of tape required by the manufacturer’s closure instructions to use an alternative tape that will provide an equal level of safety, when certain conditions are met. PHMSA released the policy in May, in response to supply chain disruptions and shortages.
Read more: PHMSA Hazmat Enforcement Discretion on Packaging Tape

While the policy of enforcement discretion ends at the end of August, PHMSA recently updated its position on the use of package tape that is not identical to the tape in the UN packaging test report.
In a revised letter of interpretation shared by the Council on Safe Transportation of Hazardous Articles (COSTHA), PHMSA states:
“a change in tape from the originally tested package to tape with verifiable equal or superior properties (e.g., tensile strength of film or adhesion properties) that will perform the same or better when tested does not constitute a change in design that would require additional design qualification testing.”

In the past, PHMSA had maintained that using any tape other than what the manufacturer’s closure instructions require would constitute a change to package design that would require additional testing.
To close a hazmat package using tape other than what’s required by the manufacturer's instructions, the shipper must verify that the tape they use will perform as well or better than what the package manufacturer calls for.

The shipper must be able to prove with available data that the alternative tape will provide an equal or superior level of safety. The shipper must take responsibility if alternate tape is used and the package fails, because the manufacturer’s closure instructions were not followed exactly. 

PHMSA Package Tape Enforcement Policy Ends August 31

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Tags: hazardous materials, hazmat enforcement, hazmat shipping, PHMSA

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