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DOT's Annual 49 CFR Hazmat Regulations Update

Posted on 10/20/2015 by James Griffin

Every year on October 1, the Government Printing Office updates and prints a new edition of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, or 49 CFR. 49 CFR contains transportation regulations, including the rules for preparing and offering shipments of hazardous materials. Often, the Department of Transportation issues a Final Rule in the Federal Register to officially make corrections and technical revisions.

As of this writing, USDOT has yet to issue a Final Rule describing this year's changes to the 49 CFR. US DOT has, however, issued a number of changes to the hazmat shipping regulations in the past 365 days, and a number of pending rulemakings are still in the works for 2015–16.

New Hazmat Final Rules Since October 2014

September 10, 2015: Special Permit Approvals Standard Operating Procedures and Evaluation Process—PHMSA formally defines its procedures for issuing special permits and approvals; especially the process for evaluating the "fitness" of persons to receive special permits and approvals. Read about this Special Permits Final Rule in Lion News here.

May 8, 2015: Enhanced Tank Car Standards and Operational Controls for High-hazard Flammable Trains—New standards for tank cars and operating controls for railroads carrying large consignments of flammable liquids are listed. Read more on DOT's new rules for High-hazard Flammable Trains here.

January 8, 2015: Harmonization with International Standards—maintains alignment with international standards; incorporates amendments to Hazmat Table, packing groups, special provisions; etc. Find out more about the DOT's HM 215M Hazmat Harmonization Rule here.

49 CFR hazmat regulations and hazmat package


2016—17 Hazmat Shipping Deadlines

January 1, 2016: The old-style identification number inside a square-on-point marking for limited quantities can't be used after this day. [49 CFR 172.315(d)(1)]

January 1, 2016: As of this date, small lithium batteries must be marked with watt-hour rating by the manufacturer. [49 CFR 173.185(c)]

January 1, 2017: As of this date, identification numbers marked on packagings must meet minimum size requirements. [49 CFR 172.301(a)(1)(i)] International, air, and vessel shipments already follow this rule.

January 1, 2017: The transitional period for numerous minor technical modifications to marking and labeling specifications ends. [49 CFR 172, Subparts D and E]

January 1, 2017: Additional recordkeeping provisions for Class 7 hazmat are phased in. [49 CFR 173.415]

No international harmonization rules are expected this year.

Hazmat Final Rules to Watch for in 2016

Over the next twelve months, shippers expect PHMSA to issue final rules on a number of hazmat transportation issues. Here's what to look for in 2016: To stay up to speed on the latest hazmat shipping rules that affect your staff and shipments, subscribe to Lion News. Sign up and customize your subscription to receive only the industry news and notes that interest and affect you—hazmat shipping, hazardous waste management, environmental compliance, and workplace health and safety.

49 CFR, IATA, and IMDG Hazmat Shipper Certification Training

To prepare safe, compliant hazmat shipments in 2015 and beyond, you need the knowledge and confidence to work with the latest 49 CFR, IATA, and IMDG regulations. Join experienced hazmat professionals from your area for an engaging learning experience led by instructors who help uncover the real-world meaning of the regulations that affect your job.

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Tags: DOT, hazmat shipping, new rules

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