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New Limited Quantity Rules to Phase-out Consumer Commodities

Posted on 2/21/2012 by James Griffin

Update: The last day to ship hazardous materials consumer commodities classed as Other Regulated Materials–Domestic (ORM-D) by ground is December 31, 2020. Read more.

If you ship limited quantities of hazmat, including consumer commodities, it’s important to learn the new procedures, because the DOT has already begun phasing out the old procedures. The phase-out period is planned for the end of next year. Shippers need to make sure they know how the new rules will affect their shipments, as well as ensure their employees are properly trained.

Why are there new limited quantity rules?

The new rules for shipping limited quantities are based on harmonized international standards, and their full adoption is directed at further smoothing international commerce. The new markings for limited quantities are language neutral to eliminate any confusion caused by the “LTD QTY” markings.
Part of the DOT’s harmonization effort is eliminating the ORM-D and ORM-D AIR classifications. For those of you who ship internationally, getting rid of the ORM-D class and marking will eliminate hassle from customs agents. Having a single packaging method for domestic and international shipments will save time and money in the long run. Outside the United States, where there never was an ORM-D class, the adoption of uniform standards for limited quantities and exclusion from shipping paper requirements actually opens up options for businesses.

What is changing under the new limited quantity rules?

The biggest change is a regulatory relief that will affect the shipping papers of limited quantity shipments being sent by ground. The second major change is a new package marking to replace the current UN# in a diamond. Lastly, the DOT is phasing out the ORM-D packaging classification.

How will air shipments of limited quantities be affected?

Limited Quantity Hazmat Packages with LabelUnder the new rules, there are more complicated material restrictions, quantity limits, and packaging requirements for air shipments than for other modes. The big difference between air and ground shipments under the new rules is that a package going by air must display the “Y” variation of the limited quantity symbol. The “Y” indicates that the package is eligible for transport by air, but may be used by other modes as well, as long as the package meets the requirements for air transport. [49 CFR 173.27]

What are the compliance deadlines for the new limited quantity rules?

Shippers were allowed to start using the new limited quantity packing rules at the beginning of 2011, and the international regulations (IMDG, ICAO, IATA, etc.) have already switched over to the new ways. For domestic shipments in the United States, shippers can continue to use the old markings for air shipments until the end of 2012. The old markings for ground and vessel shipments remain in place until the end of 2013.

Where can I get training on the new limited quantity rules?

Lion Technology will be hosting a special live web seminar on the new consumer commodity and limited quantity packaging rules on March 15, 2012. During the seminar, we will discuss the critical elements of the rules, best management practices to ease your company’s transition, and essential deadlines for compliance.

Tags: DOT, hazmat shipping, limited quantities, new rules

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