[ID] => 8274
[post_author] => 34
[post_date] => 2017-07-14 11:35:50
[post_date_gmt] => 2017-07-14 10:35:50
[post_content] => The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) held the second of two meetings of the working group of the Dangerous Goods Panel (DGP) this past April in Montreal. Decisions taken at those two meetings will now go forward to the DGP’s session in October for adoption and inclusion in the 2019-2020 edition of the Technical Instructions (TIs).
This article provides a summary of the discussions and decisions taken; a full report on the April session can be found on the ICAO website
A paper presented by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) proposed that Special Provision A67 should be removed from the entries for engines, machinery and vehicles (UN 3166, 3171, 3528 and 3529). A67 excepts non-spillable batteries subject to certain conditions and its removal would align the TIs with the UN Model Regulations. The paper suggested that the battery is only one component of a vehicle so whether the battery is subject to the requirements is academic - other components would mean the vehicle must be treated as dangerous goods.
The working group agreed to make the change for three of the UN entries but not for UN 3171, which covers smaller vehicles such as mobility aids, where the battery may be the only dangerous component. As such, the TIs will still remain out of line with the Model Regulations.
Another paper seeking alignment with the UN Model Regulations related to the packing requirements for UN 2590 asbestos, chrysotile. Unlike the TIs, the Model Regulation allow single packagings and the use of the limited quantity provisions. It was also queried whether UN 2212 asbestos, amphibole should be forbidden for carriage on both passenger and cargo aircraft. After discussion, it was decided that a revised paper would be brought to the DGP meeting in October.
Other proposals achieved less support. One paper proposing the state of the operator to allow shippers not to label packages within an overpack, providing the overpack is fully labelled, received some sympathy but the majority were concerned that such a provision could result in the practice becoming the norm.
Similarly, a proposal to introduce a requirement for labels to be removed from packages that do not contain dangerous goods with hazards to which those labels refer was withdrawn as the idea was deemed unenforceable.
The TIs require the ‘Cargo Aircraft Only’ mark to be affixed on the same surface of a package as the hazard warning labels. In practice, that means that it may be necessary to use a larger packaging than is otherwise needed. A proposal to allow the mark(s) and label(s) to appear on different surfaces was defeated, with many concerned that the ‘Cargo Aircraft Only’ mark might be missed.
It had been noticed that, while the TIs have for some time included a requirement for freight forwarder personnel to receive awareness training irrespective of whether they handle dangerous goods, there is no similar provision in Annex 18 to the Chicago Convention, the requirements of which are amplified in the TIs. It was proposed to address this apparent anomaly.
While there was agreement on the issue of undeclared dangerous goods shipments and the role that freight forwarders play, some delegates opposed the change as they believed it would not be legally enforceable in their state. Others said that this was no reason not to press ahead with the change. It was also pointed out that any states that do not already require training for freight forwarders are in breach of Annex 18, which requires training programmes to be established and maintained in accordance with the TIs.
In the end a majority supported the proposal. However, it seems likely that there will be much debate within ICAO – and in particular its Legal Bureau – before the change can be made.
When UN 3528 was adopted, it moved internal combustion engines (flammable liquid powered) from Class 9 to Class 3; as such, they are now subject to requirements to segregate them from dangerous goods of Division 5.1 in accordance with Table 7-1. A proposal to except UN 3528 from the segregation requirement drew some objections, largely on the grounds that it went against the general principles, but it was eventually agreed.
It was pointed out that the terms ‘hold’ and ‘compartment’ are used interchangeably in the TIs to refer to the same thing – a place on an aircraft where baggage is stored. It was agreed that ‘hold’ should be replaced by ‘cargo compartment’.
A change was agreed to the requirements for magnetised material in Table 7-9, to clarify that magnetised material with a field strength sufficient to make it fully regulated as dangerous goods is subject to the requirement of being fully notified to the pilot in command.
The TIs allow the state of operator to permit an operator to carry dangerous goods as articles of replacement (e.g. spares or items that have been removed from the aircraft) without them having to comply with all the provisions of the TIs. The presenter expressed concern that the current requirement did not provide for other states, particularly those of origin and destination, to have a say in how such dangerous goods would be carried. However, the working group failed to see that this is a problem and the change was denied.
PASSENGERS AND CREW
A proposal to merge the entries for self-inflating personal safety devices, avalanche rescue backpacks and small gas cartridges for other devices failed to achieve full support. The proposer noted that there are differences in the requirements, the reasons for which were unclear, and a generic entry would make more sense. There was general support for the proposal but several issues arose that will be taken into account in a revised proposal for the October meeting.
A similar fate befell a proposal seeking to ensure that any item of dangerous goods permitted for carriage by passengers and crew, and which meets the description of more than one entry, would need to comply with the applicable requirements of each.
A proposal to simplify the provisions related to those dangerous goods that are permitted for carriage by passengers and crew will also need more work before the DGP meeting in October.
A paper drew the attention of the working group to ‘laser plasma’ cigarette lighters, a novel product that is powered by lithium batteries. A new entry was proposed for the passenger and crew provisions to avoid them being regarded as portable electronic equipment, which would not provide sufficient safeguards for their carriage. This was agreed in principle but needed to be reviewed in light of the previous paper on the simplification of the passenger and crew provisions.
There was strong support for a proposal to make it explicitly clear that ‘power banks’ must be treated in the same way as spare lithium batteries, i.e. they must be carried in carry-on baggage only and not as checked (hold) baggage. It was also proposed that they must not be charged in flight, nor must they be used to charge another device. As there have been a number of incidents involving power banks, it was felt that this should be the subject of an addendum to the 2017-2018 edition of the TIs, rather than waiting for the next edition.
Three papers dealt specifically with battery-powered mobility aids. These will be reviewed by a dedicated working group ahead of the October meeting.
Concerns were raised that, since the applicable requirements were introduced in the TIs in 2013, only 26 of the 190 member states of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) had been listed on the UPU website as being approved to accept lithium batteries contained in equipment. Lithium batteries are now widely available from online resellers, many of which seem prepared to send them by post in contravention of the requirements.
It was also surprising that the requirement for state authorities to review and approve Designated Postal Operators’ procedures to control the introduction of dangerous goods into the mail was seen by some Panel members as being a one-off exercise. It seemed quite clear that further work and closer cooperation between UPU and ICAO is required.
A further paper proposed revisions to the TIs to clarify which requirements apply to dangerous goods in the mail. During the discussion it became apparent that, although the TIs permit dry ice in air mail, UPU provisions had recently been amended to forbid it. The issue will be taken to the ICAO/UPU working group for further consideration.
Previous amendments to Packing Instruction 952 had been made to require small, lithium battery powered vehicles to be packed in an outer packaging; at the time, the need to include a provision on the prevention of accidental activation had been omitted. Additional text was agreed to rectify the omission.
Additionally, it was agreed to clarify that when a lithium battery is removed from a vehicle but packed in the same package (e.g. an e-bike) the batteries must be classified as UN 3481 or 3091 ‘packed with’ equipment.
A paper addressing the packing of lithium batteries in the same package or overpack as other dangerous goods also sought to require segregation of packages of fully regulated lithium batteries from other, flammable, dangerous goods. The working group agreed that:
- a) lithium ion and lithium metal batteries packed in accordance with Sections IA and IB of Packing Instructions 965 and 968, respectively, would not be permitted to be packed in the same package or overpack as articles or substances of Class 1 (other than Division 1.4S), Division 2.1, Class 3, Division 4.1 or Division 5.1;
- b) lithium ion and lithium metal batteries packed in accordance with Section II of Packing Instructions 965 and 968, respectively, would not be permitted to be packed in the same package or overpack as any other dangerous goods; packages would not be permitted in the same overpack as articles or substances of Class 1 (other than Division 1.4S), Division 2.1, Class 3, Division 4.1 or Division 5.1; and
- c) packages of lithium ion and lithium metal batteries packed in accordance with Sections IA and IB of Packing Instructions 965 and 968, respectively, would need to be segregated from other packages containing articles or substances of Class 1 (other than Division 1.4S), Division 2.1, Class 3, Division 4.1 or Division 5.1.
The Section II provisions were originally envisaged as being primarily for use by private individuals, for whom training would be inappropriate, so included mention of “adequate instruction”. However, since their introduction, the Section II provisions are being widely used by commercial enterprises and it was suggested that such entities should be subject to the training requirements in the same way as other shippers of dangerous goods. However, some in the working group believed that this would be overly onerous and others pointed out that there would then be an argument to delete the Section II provisions completely as there would be very little difference between them and those for fully regulated batteries. The proposal was not agreed.
Also not agreed was a proposal to require lithium batteries shipped under the Section II provisions to be notified to the pilot in command. Many felt that the goal could only be achieved if the Section II provisions were deleted completely. Also, Section II shippers are not required to provide all the information that is notified to the pilot in command.
Another proposal sought to clarify that lithium batteries that are acceptable for transport under the Section IB provisions of Packing Instructions 965 and 968 because of their watt/hour rating, but which exceed the quantity limitations of Section IB, could be shipped under the Section IA provisions. In other words, Section IB is an exception that shippers can take advantage of but are not compelled to do so. The general intent of the proposal was supported but there were questions. For instance, Section IB batteries are excepted from certain classification requirements and this would need to continue if they are shipped as Section IA merely because of the quantity involved. A revised proposal will be put to the October DGP session.
A proposal to expand Special Provision A154, which forbids the transport by air of damaged and defective lithium batteries having the potential of producing a dangerous evolution of heat or fire, will also reappear in October after receiving general support. Such batteries are sometimes subject to a recall and the paper proposed to give some structured guidance to manufacturers and suppliers on a recommended process for managing the recall to ensure aviation safety is not compromised.
A paper sought clarification on the number of spare lithium cells and batteries could be transported in a package with the equipment they power. The TI’s allow for “two spares” but does this mean two ‘sets’ of cells or batteries? The working group agreed with the intent of the paper but not the proposed wording. This will be clarified at the October session.
A late paper from the Secretariat sought the views of the working group as to whether any actions needed to be taken in respect of the recent decision by some states to require portable electronic devices (e.g. laptop computers) to be carried as checked (hold) baggage. It was agreed that if such a restriction were introduced, devices must be protected against damage and unintentional activation and they must be completely switched off i.e. not in ‘sleep’ mode. These amendments would be brought into the Technical Instructions by way of an addendum.
A number of papers reflected the amendments contained in the 20th revised edition of the UN Model Regulations; these will be reviewed by a dedicated working group, with any issues being raised at the DGP meeting in October.
An exception to the requirements of the TIs was introduced for dangerous goods used in connection with a new remotely operated avalanche control system that had been developed for carriage by helicopter.
A paper queried the need for radioactive materials being carried under a state exemption to also be approved by the competent authority, when their activity is higher than normally permitted. This seemed overly bureaucratic, not least since the conditions imposed are likely to be the same. Furthermore, it is not clear which agency would have overall authority. It was agreed that the issue would be raised by ICAO with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
*Geoff Leach was formerly head of the UK CAA’s Dangerous Goods Office and chair of the ICAO DGP. After 32 years he left CAA in 2014 to form of The Dangerous Goods Office Ltd, offering dangerous goods training and consultancy worldwide. He now attends meetings on behalf of the Dangerous Goods Advisory Council.
[post_title] => ICAO: Pre-flight check
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[post_modified] => 2017-07-14 11:35:50
[post_modified_gmt] => 2017-07-14 10:35:50
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