[ID] => 10511
[post_author] => 34
[post_date] => 2019-01-21 08:55:38
[post_date_gmt] => 2019-01-21 08:55:38
[post_content] => The International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) Dangerous Goods Panel (DGP) Working Group of the Whole held its 18th session (WG/18) in Montréal this past 1 to 5 October. The meeting was chaired by Micheline Paquette (Canada) and attended by representatives of 15 states, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the International Coordinating Council of Aerospace Industries Associations (ICCAIA) and the International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA), and observers from five other states and seven organisations.
The main task of the meeting was to begin work on the 2021-2022 edition of the ICAO Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods (TIs). As such, it was faced with a wide-ranging agenda with proposals for amendments in various sections of the TIs. This report concentrates on issues that made progress during the meeting; there was plenty more business with less immediate impact on the TIs, some of which may reappear later in the year.
Packing Instruction 620, which applies to infectious substances of UN 2814 and 2900, does not contain a list of permissible outer packagings. This seemed to be an oversight, as such a list was added to P620 in the 17th revised edition of UN Model Regulations. On the basis of a proposal from Dave Brennan (IATA), it was agreed to copy over the list of outer packagings from the Model Regulations.
Another apparent editorial error had been spotted in 5;126.96.36.199, which allows smaller text for the UN number and ‘UN’ or ‘ID’ on small packagings. While it is clear that it applies to packages of 30 litres capacity or less, the words ‘or less’ are missing from references to ’30 kg maximum net mass’ and ‘cylinders of 60 litres water capacity’.
There was no opposition to changing the text but it was noted that the UN Model Regulations have the same text as the TIs and therefore it would be a good idea to submit a paper for a similar amendment. It was too late to submit a formal proposal to the last session of the UN Sub-committee of Experts but the chair of that Sub-committee said that and amendment might be accepted through an informal document. The Working Group also noticed that a similar situation exists in 6;2.1.1 and 6;6.4.1; the secretary would ensure that these would be included in the paper to the Sub-committee.
Special Provision A5 identifies that solids with an inhalation toxicity that assigns them to Packing Group I are forbidden on passenger aircraft. This special provision is assigned to all Division 6.1, PG I entries. However, it had been spotted that when the new UN 3535 entry for toxic solid, flammable, inorganic, nos had been adopted in the 2019-2020 edition of the TIs, Special Provision A5 had not been assigned. It was agreed that this was an oversight; a corrigendum to the 2019-2020 TIs would be issued.
Special Provision A87 allows articles, when shipped unpackaged, to be offered for transport without the marks and labels that are normally required in accordance with Parts 5;2 and 5;3. It had not been assigned to the new UN 3530 entry for machinery and engines and this seemed to be an oversight. Again, the argument was accepted and a change will be made by means of a corrigendum.
PROPOSALS FOR AMENDMENT
The inner packaging requirements for non-refillable metal receptacles (aerosols) in 6;188.8.131.52 show a maximum capacity of 820 mL; however, the maximum capacity for non-refillable metal aerosols and gas cartridges in Packing Instructions 203 and Y203 is 1 litre. A proposal was made to revise the packing instructions to align with the 820 mL limit.
While there was support for aligning the quantities, the Working Group generally thought that it would be better to align them to the 1 litre limit in the packing instructions. Some recalled that the 820 mL limit was introduced in the first edition of the TIs on the basis of industry practice at the time; it was also suggested that the provisions might benefit from a more comprehensive review, as the references to codes for aerosols may no longer be needed. The proposer would review the subject with other interested parties with a view to bringing a revised proposal to the next session.
Passengers are allowed to carry one self-inflating personal safety device, with the approval of the operator; it was proposed that this should be increased to four devices. It was argued that the use of such devices is increasing; further, the current provisions do not limit the number of approvals an operator may grant, meaning it is theoretically possible for every passenger to carry a device. There was some support for the proposal but many did not appreciate the justification given, fearing it could set an uncomfortable precedent. A revised proposal is planned for the next session.
Packing Instruction 950, which applied to UN 3166 engines and vehicles powered by flammable liquid, allowed the fuel tank to contain some residual fuel and specified that diesel engines did not need to be drained. Then the new UN 3528 and 3530 entries were adopted in the 2017-2018 TIs, they were assigned to Packing Instructions 378 and 972, respectively; these new packing instructions did not contain the same allowances.
It has become apparent that there are some large machines being transported by air that can only be transported in an upright position; it was proposed that the same fuel allowances should be available for machinery. The proposal was partly successful, and the Working Group agreed to add the following text to the paragraph for flammable liquid fuel tanks (P378) and liquid fuel tanks (P972) under ‘Additional Packing Requirements’:
When it is not possible to handle in other than an upright position, machinery must be drained of fuel as far as practicable, and if any fuel remains, it must not exceed one-quarter of the tank capacity.
An amendment was proposed to introduce more prescriptive separation provisions in the Supplement to assist competent authorities in the granting of approvals or exemptions to transport explosives normally forbidden for transport by air. At present there is no guidance on specific distances or methods of separation, meaning there is inconsistency. Most of the Working Group saw value in the proposal but some difficulties were identified; work will continue via correspondence with a view to a new proposal being brought before the next meeting.
A substantial revision to the training provisions was proposed, to address concerns that had been raised by the removal of Tables 1-4 and 1-5 in Part 1;4. Their removal had been agreed by DGP in October 2017, a decision that was confirmed by ICAO’s Air Navigation Commission (ANC). However, it does present problems when the tables were used as a tool to qualify training and, although some guidance has been developed, the proposer felt the need for more specific action. The proposal also included detailed requirements for instructor qualification.
The proposal received little support; the proposed provisions were seen as being too prescriptive and in conflict with the competency-based approach to training and assessment being adopted by ICAO. Some also expressed disappointment that such changes were being proposed after the many years of effort it had taken to draw up the competency-based provisions. There were, on the other hand, some who saw value in having a standard approach to validating training programmes, something that the competency-based approach will lose. The proposer said the comments raised would be considered and that the matter could usefully be discussed through the DGP working group on training.
Another paper proposed reducing the three-month ‘window’ allowed for recurrent training in 1;4.2.3 with a one-month period. The aim was to align the provisions in the TIs with the window period in other training provisions applicable to pilots, crew and dispatchers.
The proposal did not gain much support; it was felt that the three-month window has been in place for many years and works well. There are also multimodal implications for some parties. It was also noted that individual companies are at liberty to implement a shorter window period if they so choose.
Another proposal suggested adding competencies for state employees responsible for granting approvals and exemptions for shipping dangerous goods normally forbidden for air transport. It was recognised that there is a need for such competencies to be included but the proposed approach did not meet with approval. Instead, the working group on training will take the matter up.
As ever, the Working Group was faced with yet more proposals for amendment to the provisions for the carriage of lithium cells and batteries and other energy storage devices. First, though, it heard from the chair of the SAE G-27 Lithium Battery Packaging Performance Committee with an update on the work being undertaken towards the publication of a standard.
A fifth draft was to be discussed at a meeting early in November and it was hoped that a final draft could be voted on in early 2019. The Committee had identified a need for validating tests to be carried out and plans were in hand.
Some issues that were still being discussed included tests for oversized batteries, generic packaging to allow for a wide variety of cells and batteries to be shipped in a given package without testing each package and cell/battery combination, and packaging containing different configurations of cells from the ones that had been subject to the test standard.
An issue of particular interest to the aviation industry is the threat of an external fire on packages of lithium batteries. There were mixed views on whether or not the threat needed to be taken into account in the standard. An external fire sub-group was established to consider the threat and recommend a course of action.
The Working Group, recognising that the final standard will still need to be evaluated by the DGP, discussed how the standard might be incorporated into the TIs, although there were those who felt this premature. However, it was clarified that the Working Group was at this point just generating ideas. Comments were particularly encouraged with respect to marking, labelling and the need for traceability.
Further discussions by the Working Group related to the carriage of portable electronic devices (PEDs) containing lithium batteries by passengers and crew, the risk of PEDs in checked baggage, the use of power banks, and recommendations stemming from discussions by the Cargo Safety Group (CSG), which had been established to respond to concerns of increased safety risks resulting from security measures that restricted the carriage of PEDs to checked baggage, introduced by some States in March 2017.
While there had been some proposals resulting from these discussions at earlier meetings of the DGP and Working Group, the meeting was not able to agree any amendments. Nevertheless, on the basis of data collected from a questionnaire sent to states and operators, some felt strongly that the incident record and results of tests carried out by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) supported the need for action on PEDs in checked baggage.
After lengthy discussions, the Working Group concluded that there is a need to raise awareness of the risks involved in PEDs and power banks; that there is a need for more data; and that criteria for determining an acceptable level of safety need to be established.
Talk turned to the telephone number that is required on the mark for Section IB and II batteries. Some felt the requirement is vague: who should provide “additional information” and under what circumstances might this information be needed? The Working Group was invited to determine the intent of the requirement.
Most considered that the number would be used to contact the shipper for further information on a particular consignment of lithium batteries, and only during normal working hours. It seems, though, that most large shippers are providing a 24/7 emergency response line. The chair of the UN Sub-committee of Experts reminded the Working Group that this marking requirement reflected an earlier version of Special Provision 188 in the UN Model Regulations, which provided relief from the lithium battery regulations for these consignments. Under SP188 there was no need for a mark but a telephone number was required, though not a 24/7 line. It was clear that there is some confusion over the intent of the requirement and a proposal may be made at the next session to clarify the situation.
Special Provision A88 and Packing Instruction 910 apply to pre-production prototype lithium batteries and cells being transported for testing; by definition, they have not at this point been subject to the 38.3 test in the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria.
There were three proposals for amendment to A88 and P910. The first suggested moving P910 from the Supplement to the TIs, where it provides guidance to states considering granting an approval, to make it more transparent for shippers; this would allow for more efficient processing of approvals. There was little support for the idea, although the Working Group did feel it would be worthwhile to develop a framework to bring more transparency into the process. The DGP Working Group on clarifying state oversight responsibilities will take up the idea.
The second proposal suggested extending the provision in P910 that allows lithium batteries with a mass of 12 kg or greater to be packed in strong outer packagings or protective enclosures, to equipment containing lithium cells or batteries. There was no agreement on the amendment as proposed but the Working Group admitted that P910 could benefit from clarification and that a review was warranted. A revised proposal would be made at the next session.
The third proposal involved the shipment of large batteries, in excess of 400 kg, for testing. This is permitted under A88 but not under P910 and it was proposed that provisions for large packagings should be added. It was felt that, as P910 is taken from the Model Regulations, there needs to be a multimodal discussion of the idea.
Special Provision A154 applies to lithium batteries identified by the manufacturer as being defective; the Panel had already spotted that it does not align with the corresponding SP 376 in the Model Regulations and that the provisions in the TIs were potentially less restrictive. In the meantime, the UN Sub-committee has agreed changes to SP 376 that will require further revision to A154. While there were no objections to this, the chair of the UN Sub-committee said it might be premature to incorporate revisions to A154 as an addendum as the new text of SP 376 would only be finalised at the next session.
Further work will be needed as it was noted that Packing Instructions 965 to 970 also contain provisions for damaged and defective batteries and these would need to be looked at. A proposal will be worked up for the next meeting of the Working Group.
Section II batteries enjoy an exception from the requirement to report undeclared and misdeclared dangerous goods by virtue of P965 to P970. The same applies to Category B biological substances (P650) and genetically modified micro-organisms/organisms (P959). It was suggested that these exceptions be removed, recognising that undeclared and misdeclared items of these UN numbers still pose a risk in air transport and should be reported.
There were no objections to this change and the necessary amendments were agreed. However, one member of the Working Group queried whether the packing instructions are the appropriate place for the reporting provisions: the packing instructions are primarily of interest to the shipper, whereas it is likely to be other parties in the transport chain that identify undeclared or misdeclared dangerous goods. This apparent anomaly will be given future consideration.
Clarification was sought on the applicability of P965 and P968 in cases where the watt-hour rating of the battery falls within the limits of Section IB but the rating for each component cell does not. When the question had been raised (several times) at the UN Sub-committee, the explanation was always that the cell and battery limits were to be applied independently. However, the Working Group recognised the need for greater clarification. A member volunteered to take the issue back to the UN Sub-committee.
The chair of the DGP Working Group on clarifying states’ responsibilities in Annex 18 of the Chicago Convention gave an update on its work, following a meeting in London in July 2018. It is attempting to strike a balance between The TIs, Annex 18 and, with the help of the DGP Working Group on Reporting, Annex 19, which deals with safety management.
It was apparent that states are aware of the eight critical elements identified as the essential components of a state safety oversight system in Annex 19 and the need to establish a state safety programme, but they are not necessarily aware of how these apply to their responsibilities in relation to the safe transport of dangerous goods by air. It was
believed that establishing a relationship between Annex 18 and Annex 19 with respect to state safety management responsibilities would provide clarity.
A draft document had been drawn up, identifying common terminology, inconsistencies and potential ambiguities; work on this will continue, which will include recommendations for amendments to Annex 18.
The DGP Working Group on Reporting was also working on a document, with guidance on reporting and investigating dangerous goods incidents. This again needs further work and the Working Group hoped to be able to have it ready for the DGP meeting in September 2019.
A development that will perhaps have a more direct impact on industry is the potential for freight forwarders to be brought under the scope of the TIs. It is widely recognised that freight forwarders play an important role, not just in moving goods but in preventing undeclared dangerous goods from entering the transport chain. They are not, however, required to be trained.
It was noted that air transport processes have changed substantially since the TIs were first introduced and that freight forwarders are now performing many of the functions that were originally performed by operators. Undeclared dangerous goods are routinely discovered by operators, and it was believed assigning responsibilities to freight forwarders not intending to handle dangerous goods would help reduce these occurrences.
This matter will clearly involve the ANC as well as the Cargo Safety Sub-group of the Flight Operations Panel and a multi-disciplinary approach will be needed.
The Aviation Security Panel had provided DGP with guidance material it had developed on dealing with chemical, biological or radiological events and attacks. That document had been circulated earlier and the Working Group had a number of comments. Some of these had already been addressed and an updated version of the document, taking note of comments made by various groups, would be published internally.
The meeting was invited to consider whether provisions were needed to clarify if operators not approved to carry dangerous goods as cargo could accept dangerous goods that were not required to be formally identified by way of marks, labels or documentation - such as mail - that may contain dangerous goods permitted by the TIs, or other dangerous goods offered as cargo that are not fully subject to the Technical Instructions. The idea generated various comments and queries and further work will be undertaken to draw up firm proposals.
An interesting discussion followed presentation of the draft of new provisions on remotely piloted aircraft. It was noted that drones are sometimes used to move dangerous goods, particularly during responses to humanitarian crises, but also that there are many issues to be considered before such aircraft can be routinely employed to carry dangerous goods. This topic will no doubt generate much more work in the coming years.
The new ICAO/Universal Postal Union (UPU) Contact Committee had held its first meeting in March 2018 in Berne, Switzerland. The chair of the Committee outlined the scope of discussions, which included issues related to the security screening and detection of dangerous goods prohibited in the mail, methods of identifying lithium batteries in the main, and problems in some states arising from national legislation on privacy. ICAO and UPU will continue to collaborate in the development of best practices and training material.
There was a suggestion to provide an exemption for small quantities of low-hazard consumer items such as perfume and nail polish, which might free up resources to focus on more hazardous items, including lithium batteries. However, it was felt that such a move would be premature, as many states are still implementing controls.
The next, 19th session of the ICAO DGP Working Group of the Whole is scheduled to take place in Montreal in the first week of April 2019. A report on that meeting will be carried in a forthcoming issue of HCB.
[post_title] => ICAO: Scramble, scramble!
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[post_name] => icao-scramble-scramble
[post_modified] => 2019-01-18 16:59:02
[post_modified_gmt] => 2019-01-18 16:59:02
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ICAO: Scramble, scramble!
With the latest edition of the ICAO Technical Instructions less than two months old, the Dangerous Goods Panel has already started work on the next update