On July 26, 2022, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published the final ruling on Hazardous Materials: Harmonization with International Standards rulemaking, HM-215P. This memo provides a high-level overview of the changes. PHMSA also published an article related to this ruling which can be found HERE.

PHMSA is amending the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) to incorporate by reference the newest versions of various international hazardous materials (hazmat) standards, including:

  • the 2021-2022 Edition of the International Civil Aviation Organization Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (ICAO Technical Instructions);
  • Amendment 40-20 to the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code);
  • the 21st Revised Edition of the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (UN Model Regulations); and
  • the International Atomic energy Agency (IAEA) “Specific Safety Requirements Number SSR-6: Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material 2018 Edition” (SSR-6, Ref.1). While they propose to adopt this regulation, they state under proposals they are not proposing as Issue #3: various Radioactive transportation requirements amended by the various international regulations (i.e., ICAO TI, UN Model Regulations, IMDG Code) as PHMSA plans to address domestic radioactive harmonization issues in a future rulemaking (HM-250A) in coordination with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

PHMSA is also incorporating by reference several new or updated International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards as well as an updated version of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for the Testing of Chemicals Test No. 431: In vitro skin corrosion: reconstructed human epidermis (RHE) test method related to the classification of corrosives (Class 8).

Additionally, PHMSA will authorize rail or motor carrier hazmat transport under a temporary certificate issued under Transport Canada’s Transport of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDGR).

HMR updates include:

The Hazardous Materials Table (HMT; § 172.101) is being amended to add, revise, or remove certain proper shipping names, hazard classes, packing groups, special provisions, packaging authorizations, bulk packaging requirements, and passenger and cargo aircraft maximum quantity limits.

  • For example, they are updating UN3171, Battery-powered vehicle or Battery powered equipment assigned to SP 134 to clarify that batteries designed to provide power external to the transport unit must be described as UN3536, Lithium batteries installed in cargo transport units and not as a vehicle.

Data loggers: PHMSA is adding an exception for lithium batteries in equipment that are attached to or contained in packagings, large packagings, intermediate bulk containers (IBCs), or cargo transport units as equipment in use or intended for use during transport, such as data loggers. Additionally, in response to the COVID–19 public health emergency, and consistent with revisions to the 2021–2022 ICAO Technical Instructions, PHMSA is providing an exception specific to the air transportation of these items used in association with shipments of COVID– 19 pharmaceuticals, including vaccines. See the new section §173.14 discussed below in the section reviews for hazardous materials in equipment that will be in use during transport.

PHMSA is removing the metal wall thickness requirements for certain metal IBCs (capacity of 1500 L or less); see additional details below.

The transportation of Stabilized fish meal or fish scrap (UN2216) by air is now authorized. Stabilization requirements are also being expanded for vessel shipments.

There is a new entry for UN3549 Category A Medical Wastes, Category A, Affecting Humans, solid or Medical Waste, Category A, Affecting Animals only, solid.’’ PHMSA is not adopting certain packing provisions in the UN Model Regulations, however it is assigning SP 131 which directs shippers to request a special permit prior to transport. Amendments to § 173.134 will include references to this new UN number and PSN.

Additional packagings will be authorized for ‘‘UN2211, Polymeric beads, expandable, evolving flammable vapor’’ and ‘‘UN3314, Plastic molding compound in dough, sheet or extruded rope form evolving flammable vapor’’.

Lithium batteries miscellaneous revisions of requirements:

  • Minimum size markings of 100 mm x 100 mm for the lithium battery mark (minimum 100 mm x 70 mm for smaller packages)
  • Modification of stowage requirements to add stowage code 156 to UN3090, UN3091, UN3480 and UN3481.
  • Additional notation on the shipping paper for lithium batteries being shipped as Damage/defective or disposal/recycling

The definition of SADT (Self accelerating decomposition temperature) and SAPT (Self accelerating polymerizing temperature) were amended to clarify the lowest temperature.

The periodic inspection for chemicals under pressure is being expanded from five to ten years for cylinders filled with UN3500, Chemical sunder pressure, n.o.s. that are used as fire extinguishing agents.

The provisions related to the addition of technical names for marine pollutants have been amended. See Special Provision 441 below for full details.

There are new stability tests for nitrocellulose. See new Special Provisions 196 and 197.

Section overviews and other items of interest:

  • 172.101 | New HMT Entries
  • UN0511 Detonators, electronic programmable for blasting
  • UN0512 Detonators, electronic programmable for blasting
  • UN0513 Detonators, electronic programmable for blasting
  • UN3549 Medical Waste, Category A, Affecting Humans, solid or Medical Waste, Category A, Affecting Animals only, solid

Column 2 of the Hazmat Table

  • The proper shipping name for UN3363 now has a third option of “Dangerous Goods in Articles” in addition to “Dangerous Goods in Apparatus” or “Dangerous Goods in Machinery”. They will be adding the Articles entry option to “Fuel system components” proper shipping name in the table.

Column 7 special provisions:

  • SP 134 has amended language to clarify its use in connection with lithium batteries installed in cargo transport units, UN3536, provided the unit is designed only to provide power external to the transport unit.
  • New SPs 196 and 197 were added to outline thermal stability testing requirements for Nitrocellulose.
  • SP 360 assigned to UN3481 and UN 3091 to instruct those vehicles only powered by lithium batteries must be assigned the identification number UN3171. SP 360 will now also clarify that lithium batteries that are installed in cargo transport units which are designed only to provide power external to the transport unit must be transported as UN3536.
  • New SP 430 was assigned to UN3549, specifies the appropriate use of the proper shipping name only for solid medical waste of Category A transported for disposal.
  • New SP 441 was assigned to marine pollutants transported under UN3077 or UN3082 to allow the use of a technical name in association with the basic description to be a proper shipping name listed in the hazmat table provided the name chosen does not also include an n.o.s or is one that is assigned a “G” in column (1) of the table. For example, the proper shipping name “Paint” would be acceptable as a technical name for EHS materials.

Column 10 Vessel Stowage:

  • Multiple amendments to stowage codes including for UN3135, UN2900, UN2814
  • Stowage code 52 (separated from) is now assigned to UN1289, UN1431, UN3206, UN3274
  • Added stowage code 156 to the lithium battery entries (UN3090, UN3091, UN3480, UN3481); and
  • Added stowage code 157 to UN1950, UN2037 requiring aerosols, small receptacles containing gas, or gas cartridges transported for recycling or disposal to be stowed in accordance with stowage category “C”. These align directly with the 40-20 Amendment to the IMDG Code.

Section §172.203 | shipping papers

  • Vessel transport – clarify the flashpoint requirement is only for liquid hazmat that have a primary or subsidiary hazard of Class 3 and a flashpoint of 60°C or below (in °C closed-cup (c.c.)).
  • Adding paragraph (i)(4) for damage/defective/disposal/recycling lithium batteries to have an appropriate notation. The statement “DAMAGED/DEFECTIVE”, “LITHIUM BATTERIES FOR DISPOSAL”, or “LITHIUM BATTERIES FOR RECYCLING” would be needed on the shipping paper as appropriate.
  • Marine pollutant technical name clarification (see special provision 441).
  • Adding paragraph (q) to require documentation of the holding time for refrigerated liquefied gases transported in portable tanks.

Section §172.315 | Limited Quantities | PHMSA added a new paragraph (b)(3) to require, for air transport, the entire LQ mark must appear on one side of the package. This harmonizes with the existing requirement in the ICAO TI.

Section §173.14 | NEW SECTION | Hazardous materials in equipment in use or intended for use during transport (e.g. cargo tracking devices, data loggers attached to or place in packages, overpacks, containers, or load compartments)

  • By ground: Exempted from the regulations if intended for use during transportation, limited to equipment that meets conditional safety requirements (test requirements, construction, etc.), capable of withstanding the normal transport conditions.
  • By vessel: the requirements of §176.76(a)(9) apply.
  • By air: exemption from marking and documentation for lithium batteries contained in equipment such as data loggers and cargo tracking devices attached to be placed in packages containing COVID-19 pharmaceuticals and the same package for the purpose of use or reuse.

Section §172.406 | This section prescribes the placement of labels on a package. The ICAO TI’s have required for some time that all hazard communication (marks/labels) not be folded around corners and on one face of the package. PHMSA is harmonizing with ICAO to add specific restrictions on wrapping marks around corners of packages (i.e. those applied with a self-adhesive label, LQ, and EQ marks) and hazard class labels for shipments that are transported by air be on one side of the package.

Section §173.306 | This section provides exceptions from HMR requirements for limited quantities of compressed gases.

  • Paragraph (f) UN3164, Articles, pressurized pneumatic or hydraulic. PHMSA revised paragraphs (f)(2) and (f)(3) to allow robust accumulators to be transported unpackaged, in crates, or in overpacks that provide equivalent protections to the hazardous material transported.
  • They added a new paragraph (n) to include provisions for the transport of UN2037 for recycling or disposal.
  • 178.705 | Metal IBCs

PHMSA revised the minimum wall thickness requirements for metal IBCs with a volume of 1500 L or less to provide additional design and construction flexibility with regard to IBC designs. This amendment harmonizes with the 21st revised edition of the UN Model Regulations.