DOT Harmonization with Recent International Changes
On January 07, 2013 (78 FR 988), the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration (PHMSA) published a final rule amending the Hazardous Material Regulations (HMR) to maintain alignment with the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code, the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (ICAO Technical Instructions) and the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods—Model Regulations (UN Model Regulations). Notable amendments to the HMR in this final rule include the following:
1. Update references to international regulations including the ICAO Technical Instructions, the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, the IMDG Code, the UN Model Regulations, the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria the Canadian Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations and various technical standards.
2. 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 from the Hazardous Materials Table (HMT).
3. Adopt new HMT entries for chemical under pressure and specify acceptable bulk and non-bulk packagings, filling limits and appropriate segregation requirements.
4. Adopt an exception for the transport of aircraft batteries aboard passenger aircraft in excess of the quantity limits specified in column 9A of the HMT.
5. Revise the vessel stowage provisions in column 10 of the HMT.
6. Adopt minimum size requirements for the non-bulk packaging identification number (preceded by “UN”, “NA”, or “ID”) marking as specified in 49 CFR 172.301 (delayed compliance until January 1, 2017 for domestic shipments only).
7. Adopt changes throughout Part 173 (packaging requirements) to authorize the use of wood as a material of package construction for certain explosives; authorize the use of metals other than steel or aluminum for drums and boxes; and where appropriate, permit the use of non-removable head drums in those instances where removable head drums are otherwise authorized.
8. Adopt a new packaging definition, operational controls, performance-oriented standards, and testing requirements for Flexible Bulk Containers (FBCs).
DOT’s response to comments received about the August 15, 2012 (77 FR 49167) notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) are included. The effective date of this final rule is January 1, 2013. Unless otherwise specified, compliance with the amendments adopted in this final rule is required beginning January 1, 2014.