[ID] => 9882
[post_author] => 34
[post_date] => 2018-07-26 08:53:36
[post_date_gmt] => 2018-07-26 07:53:36
[post_content] => The Annual Forum of the Council on Safe Transportation of Hazardous Articles (COSTHA) provides an excellent opportunity for the Council’s members and other interested delegates to get up to speed on what is happening in their backyard in North America. This year’s event was no exception, as detailed in the first part of this report (HCB August 2018, page 52).
But many of COSTHA’s members operate internationally and it is just as important for them to be kept informed of regulatory developments in the rest of the world. This year COSTHA had brought speakers from as far afield as Brazil, Germany and China to update the audience in Weston, Florida this past 22 to 26 April.
The international regulatory briefing session was kicked off by Shane Kelley, acting director of the Standards and Rulemaking Division at the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), the unit within the US Department of Transportation (DOT) that has multimodal oversight of the transport of hazardous materials. He was aided by Kevin Leary, transportation regulatory specialist at PHMSA, who explained to delegates the system of global multimodal regulation of the supply, use and transport of dangerous goods and the calendar of meetings for 2018.
December 2018 will mark the end of the current regulatory biennium and the agreement of the next, 21st revised edition of the UN Model Regulations; these are the recommended rules that are transposed to a large extent into the various modal, national and regional regulations.
The major areas of activity during the 2017/2018 biennium have included:
- Work to amend the Manual of Tests and Criteria to make it relevant for both transport and use
- Work on Chapter 2.1 of the Globally Harmonised System (GHS) of classification and labelling of chemicals to accommodate the categorisation of explosives
- Continuing work relating to infectious waste of Category A
- Development of a hazard-based classification system for lithium batteries in transport, and
- Provisions relevant for packages that conform to multiple design types.
The changes that will be adopted this coming December will be transposed into the regulations that will start to enter force at the beginning of 2021.
THEORY TO PRACTICE
The extent to which those model regulations are transposed does, though, vary considerably. Volker Krampe, corporate safety adviser for Beiersdorf in Hamburg and a regular trade association representative at meetings of the UN Sub-committees on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (TDG) and GHS, explained how and why Germany’s domestic rules do not always follow the model.
Germany is a member of the EU and, as such, it applies the modal European rules – ADR for road, RID for rail and ADN for inland waterways – to its domestic transport as well as international movements. This is done through the Federal Law on Hazardous Materials, Gefahrgutbeförderungsgesetz
, and the various federal ordinances for road/rail/inland waterway transport, sea transport, safety advisers and federal exemptions. A federal ordinance for air transport is a work in progress.
But Germany, like other EU states, is permitted to vary from the UN model if the additional requirements are mandatory and are more strict than the international standards. The downside of this is that those additional provisions may not be globally transparent.
For instance, Krampe said, two incidents led to additional national requirements. The first of these was the propylene tanker explosion at the Los Alfaques campsite in Spain in November 1978; more than 200 people were killed, many of them German tourists. In response, Germany toughened the requirements for driver training and examination and began to introduce requirements for the routeing of dangerous goods and to require dangerous goods to be carried by rail or inland waterway, wherever possible, as an alternative to road.
The second incident took place in July 1987 in Herborn, when six people died after a tanker accident and explosion. The German federal government responded with additional requirements for speed limiters and braking systems and introduced the concept of the dangerous goods safety adviser (DGSA), which was subsequently introduced across the EU.
Those who need to know the different rules in place for surface transport in Germany can find out by looking at the relevant ordinance, GGVSEB, although this is a lengthy document and the provisions are not highlighted. Derogations from the surface mode regulations are, though, notified to the EU commission in accordance with the requirements.
Krampe looked specifically at the DGSA requirements which, as noted, were invented by Germany and were originally applicable to all transport modes. The requirements were adopted into ADR, RID and ADN but Germany still applies them to maritime transport. The good news is that it has removed them from air transport.
Krampe said that it is, in his view, imperative that all countries apply a consistent set of regulations for the transport of dangerous goods. Insofar as that is not possible, he urged the publication of all deviations from those regulations, ideally in English, available to all at a single point.
WHERE NOW FOR THE UK?
A slightly different perspective was provided by John Mairs, soon-to-be-retiring deputy head of the Dangerous Goods Division in the UK Department for Transport (DfT). The UK faces some similar challenges, he said, and it is his department’s task to face those within the framework of the existing regulations.
Many of those challenges are what Mairs described as ‘traditional’. Of late these have included:
- Facilitating the destruction of chemical weapons
- Disposing of material potentially infected with the Ebola virus
- Handling and disposal of materials contaminated with nerve agents, and
- Balancing public safety and the supply of gasoline when it emerged that a significant portion of the UK tank truck fleet was non-compliant.
Industry, though, is nothing if not innovative and DfT has also been faced with the question of how to deal with some novel challenges, such as the rise in internet sales and the corresponding increase in courier van services, the use of autonomous vehicles and what this means for ‘driver’ training, the platooning of trucks, new packaging materials, alternatives to traditional inspection techniques, innovative fuels and energy storage systems, and the emergence of hydrogen as a viable alternative to carbon-based fuels.
But no presentation on the UK could these days be complete without at least some mention of the country’s intention to leave the EU – ‘Brexit’ is not far away. The date for that exit is 29 March 2019, at which point the UK will also leave Euratom; the position with regards to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) is still unclear.
In broad terms, though, not much will change: the UK will still apply the existing modal regulations for dangerous goods transport, though domestic legislation will need to be amended to link directly to ADR and ADN rather than via the European Directive.
More problematic is likely to be the situation with regard to transportable pressure equipment – gas cylinders and the like. If done properly, there will be mutual recognition of notified bodies but, in the case of what Mairs termed a “bad divorce settlement”, it may be that the EU would not recognise UK notified bodies, which would create a lot of work for UK industry (and DfT) to maintain the ability to use UK-sourced equipment in the rest of the world.
The UK plays a significant role in the development of the UN model regulations and has in recent years taken the lead in solving some problematic issues. The latest of these, as Mairs explained, concerns dangerous goods in articles.
There were a number of problems. Firstly, manufacturers of articles may well be unaware that the rules for the transport of dangerous goods should apply and they can often be shipped undeclared; alternatively, they have often been mis-declared as UN 3363 dangerous goods in apparatus. Secondly, articles containing dangerous goods for which there is no limited quantity value always require competent authority approval, which is both time-consuming and can result in unpredictable results. There was also a feeling that a plethora of new, unrelated UN entries were being agreed to cope with the number of new articles being developed; in recent years these have included items as diverse as asymmetric capacitors, neutron detection devices and confetti shooters.
The solution offered, which after a great deal of horse-trading has largely been accepted, was to adopt a set of 12 new UN entries, one for each UN Class or combination thereof, excluding explosives and radioactives. There is a new special provision that details when competent authority approval of the packaging of such articles is required, and a new Packing Instruction that is generally applicable to articles, based on the Packing Group II standard. A new Large Packing Instruction is also included. UN 3633 and special provision SP 301 have been retained, despite proposals to amend the latter.
This new approach was adopted by the UN TDG Sub-committee in December 2016 and included in the 20th revised edition of the Model Regulations. The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has adopted the system into the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code as from 2019; the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has done the same for its Technical Instructions, other than for those articles that contain lithium ion batteries. Europe, however, has decided to delay full implementation, with the new entries having a two-year transition period.
The UN will be keeping an eye on how the new system performs in use and, as confidence grows, may review the requirements for competent authority approval.
WHAT’S HOT IN BRAZIL
Brazil is one of a number of countries in Latin America that applies some or all of the provisions of ADR in its domestic regulations for the land transport of dangerous goods. Rodrigo Amorim, regulatory specialist at the National Land Transport Agency (ANTT), provided an update on where Brazil stands now.
Brazil’s Regulations for the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Land are based on the UN Model Regulations, in respect of classification, limited quantities, packing and tank provisions, documentation requirements, and the construction and testing of packagings. It uses the 2017 edition of ADR in respect of limited quantities per transport unit, the placarding and marking of vehicles, and the certification of tank-vehicles.
The latest update was started by a consultation and public hearing in April 2016, which involved the participation of the competent authorities, carriers, consignors and trade associations. Amendments were adopted that took into account the 18th and 19th revised editions of the UN Model Regulations. The amendments were published as ANTT Resolution 5.232 in December 2016, taking effect on 16 December 2017.
Amorim highlighted some specific requirements that overseas shippers need to be aware of. There is a minimum set of equipment that must be carried on the vehicle for use in emergency, including personal protective equipment, warnings signs and fire extinguishers. Provisions for the marking, labelling and placarding of consignments are found in Chapters 5.2 and 5.3 of Resolution 5.232; these include an orange plate bearing the hazard identification code and UN number, as per ADR.
Shippers should also be aware of the documentation requirements, particularly the provision that all documents must be written in Portuguese! As well as the usual transport document, consignments must also be accompanied by an Emergency Form showing information for use in an emergency; including the chemical properties of the product(s) being carried, any chemical incompatibility, measures to be taken in the event of leakage from the package/vehicle or human contact with the substance, and a contact number. The format of this form is specified in the national standard ANBT 7503.
The Land TDG Regulations also include very specific exemptions for dangerous goods carried in limited quantities, which can be found in sections 3.4.2 and 3.4.3 of Resolution 5.232.
“Brazil has made meaningful changes in this latest update and the Brazilian government aims to keep these updates as close as possible to international provisions in order to facilitate dangerous goods transport in the country and avoid barriers to the global movement of dangerous goods,” Amorim said. He also said the government is open to discussions and keen to hear from the international community with ideas as to how its national regulations can be improved.
Amorim’s update on Brazil’s regulations was supplemented by a presentation by Tatiana Alvim, also a regulatory specialist at ANTT, on the roadside enforcement of those regulations. Enforcement inspections mainly take place at weigh stations, she explained; enforcement personnel are authorised to levy fines for non-compliance, both on the carrier and consignor. The main issues that are found relate to documentation, the availability of safety equipment and personal protective equipment, and placarding; many in the audience recognised the same issues in their own territory.
SMALL IN CHINA
For those shipping dangerous goods to China, the big news is that the country has at last begun observing international standards on limited (LQ) and excepted quantities (EQ), which was the focus of a joint presentation by a delegation from the Ministry of Transport (MOT) featuring Xiaonan Guan, Qiu Meng and Li Donghang. They started with some astonishing figures: there are more than 11,500 road carriers handling dangerous goods in China, with more than 1.5 million people employed in the sector; last year more than 1.1bn tonnes of dangerous goods were moved within the country.
Although LQ and EQ are seen as newcomers to Chinese regulations, things have been moving in that direction for some time. MOT and other ministries have extended small volume exemptions for pesticides, wet cottons and a few other dangerous goods in road transport since 2009, for instance, and two national standards were published in 2012: GB 28644.1 on EQ and GB 28644.2 on LQ.
These standards are now being translated into regulation, firstly through the Hazmat Road Transport Safety Management Measures, which provides LQ/EQ exemptions from requirements for packaging, marking and package testing. The shipper must still provide either a packaging performance test report or a written statement of compliance. The exemptions do not apply to ‘hyper-toxic’ chemicals, Class 1 explosives or Division 6.2 infectious substances, nor to LQ shipped in a mixed load with fully regulated materials. The upper limit for EQ per consignment is 1,000 pieces and for LQ a mass of 8 tonnes. These measures are expected to be adopted and published later in 2018.
Two guides have been prepared to explain the LQ/EQ exemptions and will be published as supporting guidance once the measures are implemented. MOT is working on adding details in the dangerous goods list, based on the quantity limits in the 2015 edition of ADR.
The 2019 COSTHA Annual Forum will take place on 7 to 11 April in Long Beach, California; full details can be found at www.costha.com.
[post_title] => COSTHA: All over the world
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[post_modified] => 2018-07-25 08:57:40
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