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The Hazmat Air Shipping Rule-makers

Posted on 11/18/2014 by Marc Kleinman

Shippers who offer hazmat for air transport must follow specific international regulations. For US shippers, these air rules go above and beyond the basic requirements of Title 49 of the US Code of Federal Regulations (49 CFR) for ground shipments. The majority of these hazmat air rules comes from two organizations: ICAO and IATA. Knowing the difference between these organizations and their standards can help shippers get a clear view of who's in charge when hazmat shipments leave the runway.

What Is ICAO?

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) was created in 1949 as a specialized agency of the United Nations. Its purpose is to establish standards and practices to ensure safety, security, and efficiency in aviation. ICAO's Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods produces the Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air.

The US DOT authorizes the use of the ICAO Technical Instructions for international dangerous goods air shipments and for the ground portion of the trip to or from the airport when certain conditions are met. When a shipper signs the declaration of dangerous goods for an air shipment, he or she certifies that the shipment was prepared in compliance with all domestic and international requirements from ICAO's Technical Instructions. [49 CFR 171, Subpart C]
 
What Is IATA?

In contrast, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is a commercial organization comprised of 240 airlines (84% of world air traffic). IATA's purpose is to maximize the social and economic benefits of aviation. Shippers have to follow the Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) to get airline operators to transport their materials. The DGR combines the ICAO Technical Instructions, the IATA airlines' procedures, and some additional requirements. For example, some hazardous materials require stronger packaging when shipped by air, per SP A803 and SP A804.

The IATA DGR changes each year. It's crucial that hazmat air shippers have the current edition at all times, because the variations between different countries and different operator airlines often change when the DGR changes. Knowing these variations before your packages leave your loading dock could prevent lengthy shipping delays, unnecessary costs from time spent in foreign customs' storage areas, and fines. The 56th edition is available now, and mandatory compliance starts January 1, 2015.
 
loading hazmat for IATA air transport
 
Expert Training on the 56th Ed. DGR Rules for 2015

To help air shipping managers and employees prepare for compliance with the 2015 IATA rules, Lion will present the Air Shipper Certification Webinar on December 9. The live, instructor-led webinar covers the latest IATA rules under the 56th edition DGR and is designed to provide function-specific training for personnel involved in preparing hazmat for shipment by air.

Tags: hazmat, IATA, shipping

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