Sunday, January 6, 2013

PHMSA Publishes Earlier Harmonization Final Rule

Monday’s (available on-line yesterday) Federal Register (78 FR 1101-1118) includes a second final rule from the Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) addressing the harmonization of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) with various international rules and regulations. This rulemaking responds to a number of administrative appeals to two earlier final rules; HM 215K and HM 231.


This rule addresses the following issues from the earlier HM 215K final rule:

• Phase-Out of the ORM-D System

• Overpacks Containing Limited Quantity or ORM-D Material

• Use of the Square-on-Point and ID Number Limited Quantity Marking

• Fuel Cell Cartridges Transported in Passenger Checked Baggage

• Consumer Commodity Transported by Aircraft

• Incident Reporting for Limited Quantity Material

• Materials of Trade Exceptions

This rule addresses the following issues from the HM 231 final rule:

• Shipper responsibilities related to packaging design variation; and

• Manufacturer notification, and recordkeeping requirements for certain packaging types.

Finally the rule addresses recent actions taken by the International Civil Aviation Organization's (ICAO) Dangerous Goods Panel (DGP) regarding certain lithium ion battery-powered mobility aids (e.g., wheelchairs, travel scooters) offered by passengers for air transport and passenger notification of hazardous materials restrictions by operators.

Changes Made to NPRM Proposals

In this rulemaking PHMSA has made the following changes to the language in the proposals from the earlier notice of proposed rulemaking:

• Extended the authorization of the ORM-D classification and the use of packagings marked “Consumer commodity, ORM-D” until December 31, 2020 for domestic highway, rail, and vessel transportation;

• Revised §173.25(a)(6) to clarify that not all limited quantity and ORM markings must be visible and that the marking requirement is only applicable to the limited quantity and ORM mark itself;

• Added §173.25(a)(7) as proposed by DGAC and is added for clarity to separate limited quantity and ORM overpack marking requirements from excepted quantity overpack marking requirements;

• Extended authorization to continue using the square-on-point mark containing the UN identification (ID) number until January 1, 2015, as proposed in the May 25, 2012 NPRM, for other than transportation by aircraft;

• Adopted the language proposed in DGAC's administrative appeal concerning the packaging of certain consumer commodities intended for shipment by air, and revised §173.167 accordingly;

• Clarified that the materials of trade (MOTS) exceptions for limited quantity material also include limited quantity material authorized under §173.63(b) for certain Division 1.4S explosives, §173.306 for compressed gases, and §173.309 for certain fire extinguishers.

• Amended §178.2(c)(1)(ii) of the HMR based on DGAC's request to revert to the original recordkeeping retention duration for manufacturer notification to the 365-day period adopted in the February 2, 2010 final rule; and

• Amended §173.22(a)(4)(ii) as proposed by DGAC to require a shipper who sells or transfers a packaging or closes and offers a package for transportation to retain manufacturer notification (including closure instructions) for a period of 90 days once a package is offered to the initial carrier for transportation in commerce;

Effective Dates:

The effective date of this rule is (actually was) January 1st, 2013

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