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Final Rule Alert: PHMSA HM 215-O Hazmat Harmonization Rule

Posted on May 11, 2020 by Roger Marks

On Monday, May 11, US DOT PHMSA finalized a long-awaited rulemaking (HM 215-O) to harmonize the 49 CFR regulations with evolving international standards. Except for specific provisions noted below, the Final Rule takes effect immediately
 


Proposed in November 2018, Final Rule HM 215-O revises the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) and incorporates-by-reference the current versions of international shipping standards, including the:
 
  • 2019-20 ICAO Technical Instructions
  • 2018 IMDG Code (Amendment 39-18)
  • 20th Revised Edition of the UN Model Regulations
  • Amendment 1 to the 6th Revised Edition UN Manual of Tests and Criteria
  • 7th Revised Edition of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS)
The Final Rule revises the 49 CFR Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) as follows:
  • Amends the 172.101 Hazmat Table to 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.
  • Add a lithium battery test summary requirement to demonstrate appropriate UN design testing and proper classification (effective January 1, 2022)* 
  • Add segregation requirements for lithium cells and batteries shipped by passenger aircraft with flammable liquids and other hazardous materials. 
  • Creates non-testing alternative criteria for classifying corrosive materials.
  • Adds a classification system for articles containing hazardous materials that do not already have their own Proper Shipping Name.
  • Extend the sunset dates for provisions concerning the transport of polymerizing substances (from Jan. 2, 2019 to Jan 2, 2023).** 
  • Amend the rules for aircraft passengers carrying baggage equipped with lithium batteries, i.e., “smart luggage.”

PHMSA also adopted various ISO standards and updated its reference to Transport Canada’s Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) regulations. You can read the Final Rule in the May 11, 2020 Federal Register. 

Keep your hazmat certification up to date! The next Recurrent Hazmat Ground Shipper Certification Webinar happens on June 2.

Ship by air or vessel? Join us for IATA Air Shipper and Vessel Shipper webinars on June 3 and 4.  

*What is the Lithium Battery Test Summary?

Required under the IATA DGR and the IMDG Code since January 1, 2020, the lithium battery test summary is a document that manufacturers and distributors must make available by posting it to a company website or preparing a paper document. 

The Test Summary requirement applies to lithium batteries and cells manufactured after June 30, 2003. The Test Summary provides critical safety information about their batteries to downstream shippers and consumers. 

For a list of what must be included, check out What's in the New Lithium Battery Test Summary Document? 

**Sunset Dates: Polymerizing Substances

When PHMSA introduced the HM 215-O harmonization rule eighteen months ago in November 2018, they proposed to extend the sunset dates for provisions concerning the transport of polymerizing substances from January 2, 2019 to January 2, 2021.

In the Final Rule, PHMSA extends those sunset dates until January 2, 2023.

PHMSA put the sunset dates in place with the previous harmonization rule, HM 215-N, which overhauled the rules for shipping Division 4.1 hazmat and polymerizing substances. Changes include revised classification criteria, new testing requirements, and definitions, UN numbers, and Proper Shipping names for polymerizing substances that do not meet the definition of any hazard class.

What Took So Long?

PHMSA's HM 215-O harmonization rulemaking was proposed in November 2018 and is final as of May 11, 2020 (18 months). Industry groups advised PHMSA that the long delay to this Final Rule made hazmat compliance more challenging for those who ship and carry hazardous materials across US borders.

For comparison, 215-N—which was waylaid by a freeze on new regulations—took six months and three weeks to progress form proposal to Final Rule. HM 215-M took four months and one week (Aug 25, 2014 to Jan. 1, 2015).

In December 2018, PHMSA produced a Notice of Enforcement Policy Regarding International Standards which stated that the agency would take enforcement action against shippers who use the appropriate ICAO TI and IMDG Code requirements for air or vessel shipments, respectively.

As PHMSA says in the Final Rule, they recognize “that a delay in the publication of this final rule may have presented challenges for shippers and carriers.” (see 85 FR 91, 5/11/20, p. 27812)

Hazmat and RCRA Webinars in May & June 2020 

If you’re reading this, you play an essential role in employee and supply chain safety. Keep your hazmat and hazardous waste training on track with live, instructor-led webinars. These webinars combine experienced trainers, interactive learning, and robust resources to create a powerful training experience.

Join from anywhere and get the reliable, up-to-date information you need to ship hazardous materials, manage hazardous waste, and keep your operations moving forward in full compliance with the latest 49 CFR, IATA DGR, and IMDG Code standards and revised Federal and State hazardous waste regulations. 

MAY 2020 WEBINARS AT LION.COM 

May 27 RCRA Hazardous Waste Management Refresher
May 28 New York Hazardous Waste Management 
 
June 2 California Hazardous Waste Management Refresher
June 2 Recurrent Hazmat Ground Shipper Certification (49 CFR) 
June 3 Hazmat Air Shipper Certification (IATA) 
June 4 Hazmat Vessel Shipper Certification (IMDG) 
June 9 RCRA Hazardous Waste Management Refresher
June 10  New York Hazardous Waste Management 
June 16 RCRA Hazardous Waste Management Refresher