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Important Updates in the 57th Edition IATA DGR

Posted on 11/17/2015 by James Griffin

Every year, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) issues a new edition of its Dangerous Goods Regulations, or DGR, as it's commonly known by hazmat air shippers. The DGR contains the international standards for hazmat air shipments. IATA published the 57th Edition DGR this fall, and mandatory compliance starts on January 1, 2016.

In addition to changes to State and operator variations, new rules for dangerous goods (DG) carried by passenger and crew, and restructuring of some tables, the 57th edition DGR will include some important new and modified rules for hazmat air shippers. Below you'll find the significant changes to the DGR for 2016.

Have questions about shipping hazmat by air? This FAQ is a great place to start.

Packing Dangerous Goods for Air

IATA will expand the exception from the prohibition to load DG packages in a unit load device to align it with the list at IATA DGR 9.1.4 (Acceptance of Freight Containers and Unit Load Devices).

IATA added a paragraph to IATA DGR to clarify that an overpack containing DG may also contain non-dangerous goods.

Packing Instruction Y963 for Consumer Commodities

This packing instruction has been expanded to identify substances permitted to be classified as "ID 8000, Consumer Commodities" under Special Provision A112. Also, IATA added text to clearly identify that other dangerous goods must NOT be packed in the same outer packagings with substances classified as consumer commodities.

Shipping Lithium Batteries by Air

As expected, the 2016 DGR will include more changes for lithium battery shippers.57th Edition IATA DGR manual

Under Packing Instructions 967 and 970, IATA has clarified its lithium battery handling label requirements. Previously, lithium batteries contained in equipment were excepted from the handling label requirement when the shipment included no more than 4 cells or 2 batteries. For the 57th edition, IATA will tighten this exception to include only consignments of fewer than two packages. A 12-month transition period will be provided for shippers to get up to speed with the new labeling requirement.

IATA has added text to the lithium battery packing instructions to require "rigid" outer packaging. IATA will modify the permitted packagings tables for lithium batteries to include descriptions of outer packagings permitted for these shipments.

Packing Instructions 966 and 969 have been amended to identify what may be considered "equipment" with respect to shipping lithium batteries.

Future Changes for Lithium Battery Shippers

In addition to the changes codified for 2016 in the 57th Edition DGR, lithium battery air shippers should be aware of new restrictions recently adopted by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The ICAO rules regularly filter down into the IATA DGR and are likely to appear in an Addendum that is expected to be issued by IATA in spring 2016.

Click here to read about new ICAO lithium battery air shipping rules, including new limitations on state-of-charge and number of packages allowed.

Also, on October 30, the US DOT Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published a Final Rule to ban the carriage of battery-powered electronic smoking devices in air travellers' checked baggage. This may be a prelude to further restrictions on lithium batteries aboard aircraft. Primary lithium batteries are already prohibited from passenger aircraft, and most other lithium battery shipments are severely restricted when shipped on passenger planes.

Documenting Hazmat Air Shipments: The Shipper's Declaration

The 57th Edition DGR includes text to clarify that it is acceptable to indicate the number of packages on a Shipper's Declaration with numbers (1, 2, 3, etc.) or words (one, two, three, etc.). [IATA DGR]

Damaged or Leaking GHS Packages

While IATA already sets requirements for actions to take on dangerous goods packages found to be damaged or leaking [IATA DGR 9.3.6], a new paragraph has been added to IATA DGR 9.4.4 to address non-DG cargo that may display GHS hazard communication markings.

Appendix H: What to Expect for 2017

The 57th Edition Dangerous Goods Regulations will include an Appendix H, which offers a preview of new IATA regulations that will take effect in 2017. New air shipping standards IATA adopts for the 58th Ed. DGR (2017) will be based on changes adopted from the 19th revised edition of the UN Model Regulations and changes agreed to by the ICAO Dangerous Goods Panel.

Get Your Copy of the 57th Edition DGR for 2016

Order your copy of the 57th edition Dangerous Goods Regulations today and be ready for a smooth transition to the 2016 hazmat air shipping requirements. Failure to comply with these new regulations can result in rejected shipments, re-packaging, incidents in transit, and US FAA fines up to $75,000 per day, per violation.

Hazmat Air Shipper Workshops (IATA)

Get comfortable navigating the unique rules that apply to your hazmat air shipments! Starting in December, the Hazardous Materials Air Shipper Workshops will cover the 2016 rules to help shipping managers prepare for seamless, complete compliance. Join other shippers from your area for an interactive, fully engaged training experience led by an expert instructor. View the 2016 schedule of nationwide IATA workshops now.

For personnel who package, mark, label, and handle hazmat air shipments at your facility, the Shipping Hazmat by Air—Ops online course is a convenient option that offers flexible, 24/7 access and interactive lessons to keep personnel engaged with the rules. Plus, support is available seven days a week to help employees fit training into their busy work schedule.


Tags: hazmat shipping, IATA, new rules

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