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DOT’s HM 215M Hazmat Harmonization Rule

Posted on 1/6/2015 by Roger Marks

Every two years, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) revises its Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) to harmonize them with changing international standards from the UN Model Regulations, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Technical Instructions, and the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code.

PHMSA’s HM 215M rule will appear in the Federal Register in the coming days, and voluntary compliance is expected as soon as possible. Unless otherwise noted, mandatory compliance with the revised hazmat shipping regulations starts January 1, 2016. US DOT requires all hazmat shipping employees to complete update training when the regulations change that affect the employee’s job.

The new HM 215M rulemaking, to be published in the Federal Register, includes the following changes that will affect hazmat shippers:
  • Adopts and incorporates latest IATA DGR and IMDG Code editions
  • Revises the definition of “Non-bulk packaging”
  • Adds a definition for “absorbed gases” and seventeen new entries to the 172.101 Table
  • Revises rules for air bag inflators and modules, and seat-belt pretensioners
  • Revises rules for lithium batteries, in addition to major changes made in August 2014
  • Adds a minimum size requirement for OVERPACK and SALVAGE markings
  • Adds 62 new entries to the list of Marine Pollutants, and provides additional relief for shippers
  • Revises standards for manufacturer’s specification markings for IBCs and large packagings
Harmonizing US rules with international standards is meant to simplify regulatory compliance for US businesses that ship hazmat by ground, air, vessel, and rail.

The origin of US harmonization with international standards dates back to a final rule published in December 1990, when the predecessor to PHMSA–the Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA)—revised the HMR to harmonize them with international standards. The new HM 215M rulemaking is the eleventh harmonization rulemaking the US DOT has published since 1990.

Read a pre-publication version of the rule now.

Expert Training on the Latest Rules

To help hazmat shippers fulfill the US DOT’s training requirement and stay up to date on the latest hazmat shipping rules, Lion Technology will present the Hazardous Materials Transportation Certification Workshop in cities nationwide in 2015, starting with two-day workshops scheduled in Hartford, Albany, Boston, Central New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. For air and vessel shippers, Lion also presents workshops on the latest IATA air and IMO vessel shipping regulations.

Tags: DOT, hazmat shipping, IATA, IMDG, new rules

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