PHMSA Publishes HM215-K, International Harmonization Rule
On January 19, 2011 (76 FR 3308), the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published a final rule incorporating into the Hazardous Material Regulations changes based on the 16th Revised Edition the UN Model Regulations, Amendment 35-10 to the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code, and the 2011-2012 edition of the International Civil Aviation Organization Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air.
By adopting this rule, the Department of Transportation continues its efforts to increase the uniformity of domestic regulations with international standards in order to promote efficiency and harmony for international business.
This final regulation is the result of a public consultation process that began on October 21, 2009 (74 FR 53982) with an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and continued through August 24, 2010 (75 FR 52070), when an official Proposed Rulemaking appeared in the Federal Register.
Staggered Compliance Period
Although this rule did not appear in the Federal Register until January 19, PHMSA authorized a voluntary compliance period to begin on January 1. This was necessary to accommodate shippers and other regulated persons who began complying with the new editions of the IMDG Code and IATA DGR on that date.
Furthermore, while the rule is legally "effective" on January 19, 2011, compliance with these amendments is NOT mandatory until January 1, 2012.
New International Standards
Whenever appropriate, PHMSA incorporates by reference (IBR) existing international and industry standards as part of the Hazardous Material Regulations (HMR). In order to keep up with evolving standards, the DOT added or revised many entries in the IBR list (49 CFR 171.7), including:
- The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and International Organization for Standardization’s test methods for determining flash points
- The 2011-2012 Edition of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air
- Amendment 35-10 to the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code, 2010 Edition
- Clear Language Amendments 1-7 to the Transport Canada, Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations
- The United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, Model Regulations Sixteenth Revised Edition
- The United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, Manual of Tests and Criteria Fifth Revised Edition
Limited Quantities & Consumer Commodities Completely Changed
Traditionally, the domestic provisions for limited quantities and consumer commodities have been very different from international standards. PHMSA is doing away with the ORM-D classification and other domestic idiosyncrasies in order to significantly improve international harmonization.
Materials which were previously transported as ORM-D or ORM-D Air materials will instead be transported as Limited Quantities and receive nearly as much relief from regulation as they did under the old system. The DOT is also recognizing the Proper Shipping Name “ID 8000, Consumer Commodity” from the IATA/ICAO regulations for transporting consumer commodities by aircraft.
For ground transportation, hazardous materials prepared under the new rules for limited quantities will no longer require shipping papers and must display the new limited quantity symbol (See Figure 1.), rather than the Proper Shipping Name and/or identification number.
For air transport, limited quantity packages must display the new limited quantity symbol with a “Y” (see Figure 2), as well as the Proper Shipping name and Identification number. Shipping papers are still required for aircraft and vessel shipments of limited quantities.
Air shipments of limited quantities must also comply with the additional quantity restrictions set forth in Table 3 of the newly revised 49 CFR 173.27.
Because these changes are very significant and affect a wide swath of the regulated community, PHMSA has enacted an extended phase-in period for these new regulations.
For transport by aircraft, the old ORM-D AIR markings, rather than the new limited quantity markings, may remain in use until December 31, 2012.
For transport by other than aircraft, the old ORM-D markings may be used until December 31, 2013.
In-Vitro Testing for Class 8 Corrosives
Under the current HMR, the only official method of classifying a corrosive material and assigning it to a packing group is to perform a lethal test on live animals. In 1993, the Department of Transportation issued Special Permit 10904, authorizing an alternative test method for determining corrosivity, which uses an in vitro synthetic skin rather than live animals.
Similar, non-animal test methods are prescribed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and were adopted into the UN Model Regulations. The Department of Transportation has decided to adopt these test methods into the HMR, and all comments on the proposal supported the adoption of the in vitro test methods on the basis of reducing the number of tests requiring live animals.
Other Amendments in This Rulemaking Include:
- Proper Shipping Names for Mixtures with Trace Elements: The DOT revises 49 CFR 172.101(c)(10) to harmonize with new international standards for selecting the most specific Proper Shipping Name for hazardous materials that contain trace amounts of other materials.
- Revisions to the Hazardous Material Table: The DOT revises the 49 CFR 172.101 Hazardous Materials Table by removing and revising obsolete entries, and adding new entries such as nickel-metal hydride batteries, consumer commodities, and Petroleum sour crude oil.
- Revisions to Provisions for De Minimis Quantities: The DOT revises 49 CFR 173.4b to exclude from full regulation the transport of non-infectious laboratory specimens preserved with Class 3 material.
- New Type 6(d) test for Division 1.4S explosives
- Clarification of the term "repair" as it applies to IBC rebottling.
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