[ID] => 10308
[post_author] => 34
[post_date] => 2018-11-05 09:07:59
[post_date_gmt] => 2018-11-05 09:07:59
[post_content] => The UN Sub-committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (TDG) held its 53rd session in Geneva from 25 June to 4 July 2018. The meeting was chaired by Duane Pfund (US) with Claude Pfauvadel (France) as vice-chair. It was attended by experts from 20 countries, observers from three others, and representatives of the EU, the Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail (OTIF), the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and 32 non-governmental organisations.
The packed meeting room at the UN building in Geneva was matched by a very hefty agenda. This was the third meeting of the current (2017-18) biennium and, as has proved to be the usual pattern, this is the one where a lot of business gets finalised so that the fourth and final meeting of the biennium, taking place this month, can concentrate on dealing with last-minute changes and refinements to the amendments that will appear in the 21st revised edition of the UN Model Regulations (the ‘Orange Book’). Those amendments will in turn be picked up by the various modal, regional and national regulators and appear – with some revisions and additions – in the rulebooks that will take effect from 2021.
Participants were welcomed by Yuwei Li, director of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) Sustainable Transport Division, who stressed the importance of the work of the TDG Sub-committee within the overall strategy of promoting sustainability in inland transport.
The TDG Sub-committee has developed the practice of assigning proposals of a very specific nature to a number of working groups, which meet in parallel to the plenary session and report back on their deliberations. For this session, a working group on fibre-reinforced plastics portable tanks (in other words, tank containers) had been arranged. A number of experts expressed regret that this had been announced rather late and this had made it difficult for them to organise the participation of the appropriate personnel or to develop a formal position. They stressed the need for such working groups to be announced well in advance.
One of the regular side-meetings involves the Working Group on Explosives (EWG), which met over four days under the chairmanship of Ed de Jong (Netherlands). This is one area where the work of the TDG Sub-committee collides with that of its sister body, the UN Sub-committee of Experts on the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). Now that the GHS Sub-committee is examining the inclusion of explosives in the GHS document (the ‘Purple Book’), proposals relating to the review of Chapter 2.1 of GHS were held over for discussion by an intersessional working group and for further detailed deliberations by the joint session of both Sub-committees towards the end of the TDG Sub-committee’s session.
Ammonium nitrate There were nevertheless a great many other proposals for EWG to consider, beginning with an informal document from the Institute of Makers of Explosives (IME) on the Koenen Test (UN Test 8(c)) and its unsuitability for use on ammonium nitrate emulsions (ANEs). At the 51st session of the TDG Sub-committee, IME had been asked to lead work to investigate the possibility of modifying the Koenen Test. In its paper it noted that ANEs are comparatively inert during a fire, due to their high water content, whereas the substances used in the development and validation of the Koenen Test were far more energetic. Thus, when used with ANEs, the Koenen Test runs for a longer period. This weakens the steel tube used in the test and, IME said, results in false positive results.
IME proposed the use of the minimum burning pressure (MBP) test as being more appropriate. Its paper suggested that substances that fail the current 8(c) Koenen Test should be subjected to an MBP test as Test 8(c)(ii). There was some support for this idea, at least as an interim measure while further work was carried out. It seemed, though, that a consensus would be unlikely and the chair suggested that IME work up a formal proposal for the next session; Canada offered to help with the work. Prompted by IME, there was no support for modification of the Koenen Test itself.
Definitions In another informal document, Sweden contended that the phrase “a practical explosive or pyrotechnic effect”, introduced as part of the definition of Class 1 in 184.108.40.206(c) and referenced elsewhere in the Model Regulation and Manual of Tests and Criteria, is confusing and of no help to industry or regulators. EWG debated whether to delete the word “practical” and/or to define “explosive effect” and “pyrotechnic effect”. Sweden listed to the comments made during discussion and will consider them when deciding what action, if any, to take.
Detonators The Australian Explosives Industry Safety Group (AEISG) returned to the idea of adding a new entry in the Dangerous Goods List for electronic detonators. There are currently various entries for electric and non-electric detonators, as well as for non-electric detonator assemblies and, during earlier discussions, it had been suggested that electronic detonators could be accommodated by re-wording the existing entry for electric detonators. AEISG stressed, however, that the two types are very different and “cannot reasonably or legitimately” be included within the existing entries.
After some discussion and fine-tuning of AEISG’s proposals, it was decided to adopt the proposed changes; these proposals were agreed by plenary. Three new entries were adopted in the Dangerous Goods List, UN 0511 to 0513, with the proper shipping name DETONATORS, ELECTRONIC programmable for blasting. These are assigned to Divisions 1.1B, 1.4B and 1.4S, as appropriate. In the table in 1.4.1, “0512 and 0513” is added at the end of the list of UN entries against Class 1, Division 1.4.
Reference to electronic detonators is added to the definition of ‘Detonators’ in Appendix B and a new definition is added:
DETONATORS, ELECTRONIC programmable for blasting
Detonators with enhanced safety and security features, utilizing electronic components to transmit a firing signal with validated commands and secure communications. Detonators of this type cannot be initiated by other means.
Nitrocellulose The European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) and the Worldwide Nitrocellulose Producers Association (Wonipa) returned with a formal proposal after previous discussion on the testing of the stability of nitrocellulose mixtures. After making some amendments, EWG agreed the proposals, which were confirmed in plenary.
Two new special provisions will be added in Chapter 3.3:
393 The nitrocellulose shall meet the criteria of the Bergmann-Junk test or methyl violet paper test in the Manual of Tests and Criteria Appendix 10. Tests of type 3 (c) need not be applied.
394 The nitrocellulose shall meet the criteria of the Bergmann-Junk test or methyl violet paper test in the Manual of Tests and Criteria Appendix 10.
The new Appendix 10 agreed for the Manual of Tests and Criteria is a lengthy piece of work that explains the two tests specified, the assessment of their results and the equipment required to carry out the tests.
In two related informal documents, Cefic further proposed another Appendix on the use of classification results for industrial nitrocellulose in relation to supply and use in accordance with Chapter 2.17 of GHS. However, as the texts were adopted on the basis of informal documents and only available in English, they were held over by the Secretariat for confirmation by the Sub-committee at its next session.
Airbags Germany returned with a formal proposal to amend the reference to ISO 12097 relating to the performance of fire tests on airbags components and inflators. It had already been agreed at the previous session that the newer ISO 14451 standard was more appropriate. The Sub-committee agreed the amendment of the Note in 220.127.116.11.4(b) to read:
Where the integrity of the article may be affected in the event of an external fire these criteria shall be examined by a fire test. One such method is described in ISO 14451-2 using a heating rate of 80 K/min.
Fireworks In a similar vein, the US returned with a formal proposal following discussion at the previous session, this time relating to the extension of the default fireworks classification table in 18.104.22.168.5 to cover UN 0431 Articles pyrotechnic for technical purposes. The reasoning, which had largely been accepted, was that such articles present a very similar hazard. However, some experts remained unconvinced by the argument that fireworks meeting the Division 1.4G criteria in the default table could be assigned to UN 0431 if they were to be used for theatrical effects, while others felt that the US proposal was not the right way to deal with the issue. The US will take account of those comments and will review the matter further before deciding whether or not to submit an amended proposal at a later session.
Electrostatic The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI) offered a thought-starter on the need for a method for determining the sensitivity of explosives to electrostatic discharge, bearing in mind that 22.214.171.124 contains a provision that plastics packagings should not generate or accumulate a charge large enough to initiate any explosives they contain. The Allegany Ballistics Laboratory has developed an electrostatic sensitiveness discharge (ESD) machine to do just that. SAAMI’s paper did not garner much support and its representative said he would take note of the comments made and decide whether to proceed with a new proposal.
Unapproved explosives Another paper from SAAMI generated more support. It proposed creating new entries in the Dangerous Goods List to allow for the use of specialised containers for the transport of small quantities of unapproved explosives for evaluation, testing, and research and development. SAAMI seemed keen to leverage the support to get the idea accepted in the current biennium but the general feeling was that more time would be needed. SAAMI was asked to come up with a revised proposal taking a number of observations into account. ICAO also asked SAAMI to provide further information to its Dangerous Goods Panel.
Energetic samples A similar fate befell a Cefic suggestion that provisions be included in the Model Regulations to allow energetic samples to be transported for testing. While the idea was not dismissed, EWG wanted more time to confer with stakeholders and to determine how industry copes at the moment. Cefic was encouraged to prepare a formal proposal to allow for further review of the subject.
Ammonium nitrate An informal document from IME raised the question of UN 0222 ammonium nitrate, Division 1.1D. This product is not manufactured commercially and it has been indicated that UN 0222 is assigned to contaminated ammonium nitrate or for ammonium nitrate fertilisers that have failed test series 2. IME’s proposal to delete UN 0222 was opposed by some experts on the basis that it is useful in such cases. IME was concerned that the entry could be misinterpreted, especially as ammonium nitrate is regarded as a security-sensitive material, and sought some changes to special provision 370 that would make its purpose clear. There was a difference of opinion on IME’s proposal and its expert said that the group’s comments would be taken into account in the preparation of a formal proposal for the next session.
Large explosives The UK returned with a revised proposal to extend the number of UN entries assigned to large packaging provision LP101, following generally positive discussions at the previous session. There were further questions raised by EWG, which will be considered in a revised proposal to be submitted at the next session.
GHS and MTC The EWG chair had drawn up an extensive paper detailing the changes that would need to be made to the Manual of Tests and Criteria to make it relevant to the classification of explosives in GHS. EWG made some amendments and the Sub-committee endorsed its recommendations. EWG will make further proposals for amendment at the next session, while the European Industrial Gases Association (EIGA) is working on other proposals.
GHS revision A joint meeting of EWG and the GHS Chapter 2.1 Informal Correspondence Group was charged with reviewing and refining proposed changes to Chapter 2.1. Papers from Sweden on the one hand and the US, with the support of IME and SAAMI, on the other revealed that there is are differing philosophies regarding the classification of explosives in GHS. However, those appear to have largely been resolved, opening the way for work on final details.
LISTING, CLASSIFICATION AND PACKAGING
Viscous liquids Spain had noticed an inconsistency between the Model Regulations and the Manual of Tests and Criteria. According to 126.96.36.199.1 of the Model Regulations, viscous liquids are not subject to the regulations if they fulfil a list of conditions, one of which is that they have a flash point of 23˚C or above and less than or equal to 60˚C. Another one is that they meet the requirements of the solvent separation test in the Manual of Tests and Criteria. The issue is that the solvent separation test is used to determine the extent of solvent separation in viscous liquids with a flash point of less than 23˚C.
The Sub-committee agreed with Spain’s observation and also accepted its proposed remedy, the deletion of the words “with a flash point of less than 23˚C” from the end of 188.8.131.52 in the Manual of Tests and Criteria. While doing so, it was noticed that 184.108.40.206 contains references to other paragraphs in the Manual that no longer exist and the Cefic representative felt that the description of the solvent separation test in 32.5.1 could be improved. This should be the subject of a separate proposal, the Sub-committee decided.
Articles Germany proposed some changes to the text of packing instruction P907 that it felt were necessary following the adoption of new entries for dangerous goods in articles and the revised description for UN 3363. The Sub-committee agreed to replace the words “machinery or apparatus” by “article” throughout P907 and to replace the introductory sentence by the following text:
This packing instruction applies to articles, such as machinery, apparatus or devices of UN No. 3363.
Recovery devices Germany returned with a list of options to permit the inclusion of self-inflating recovery devices into the Model Regulations, following discussion at the previous session. Opinion was divided as to which of the options offered would be preferable and the US came up with its own ideas. However, the Sub-committee is alert to the need to address the classification of these devices and the expert from Germany was invited to develop a proposal for the next session.
Modal regulation The Council on Safe Transportation of Hazardous Articles (COSTHA) had been looking at special provisions 117 and 123, which are assigned to entries that are either only regulated when transported by sea (SP 117) or when transported by sea or air (SP 123). It had found that, of the seven entries assigned to SP 117, six are identified in the Dangerous Goods List in the ICAO Technical Instructions as being forbidden for transport by air; the seventh (UN 3496) is allowed in air transport but there are specific packaging and documentation requirements. COSTHA believes that this means all seven entries are in effect regulated in air transport.
COSTHA’s concern is that identifying these entries as only being regulated for transport by sea is misleading and potentially unsafe. It proposed that SP 123 should replace SP 117, at least for the first six entries. While on the topic, Germany noted that UN 3166 and 3171 are now included in ADR and RID and it is therefore no longer appropriate for SP 123 to be assigned to them.
In discussing COSTHA’s proposal, some experts felt that both special provisions should be deleted as there is little or no value in indicating within the Model Regulations when a substance is only regulated in a specific mode and when the modal authorities have the discretion to decide whether or not certain substances are to be regulated. This was not a unanimous view, however, and it was decided that further review was needed.
In the meantime, the Sub-committee did accept COSTHA’s argument and has changed “117” by “123” for UN 1372, 1387, 1856, 1857 and 3360. A decision on whether to amend UN 2216, 3166 and 3171 may be taken in the future.
Organic peroxides Cefic proposed the amendment of one existing entry in the list of organic peroxides in 220.127.116.11.4 and the addition of two new entries to packing instruction IBC520, all of which were accepted by the Sub-committee. The amendment, relating to di-(4-tert-butyl cyclohexyl) peroxydicarbonate, involves a change from packing method OP7 to OP8 based on new test data and also a change from UN 3116 to 3118. The two new entries in IBC520 are both under UN 3119 and relate to tert-amyl peroxypivalate and tert-butyl peroxypivalate.
Editorial corrections Canada had been comparing the French and English texts and found a few inconsistencies. To remedy these, it proposed some changes in both versions. The experts were wary of accepting those changes on face value and the Secretariat was asked to dig out the original proposals associated with the current texts so that the Sub-committee could determine the original intent. For the time being, it was accepted that the reference to 18.104.22.168 in the Note to 22.214.171.124.4.1 in the English version should be to 126.96.36.199 and this was adopted as a correction to the 20th revised edition of the Model Regulations.
Environmentally hazardous substances COSTHA and the Dangerous Goods Advisory Council (DGAC) appealed for an extension to the scope of special provision 375, which exempts small packages containing environmentally hazardous substances (UN 3077 and 3082) from the provisions of the Regulations other than the general packaging requirements. They stated that industry is unaware of any transport incidents involving small packages of UN 3077 or 3082 since SP 375 was introduced in the 2015 edition of the Model Regulations but said that the 5 kg/L limit is unnecessarily restrictive. Raising the limit to 30 kg/L would aid efficiency in the supply chain and reduce the volume of waste packaging.
The Sub-committee, while expressing some sympathy, wanted to see some hard data and also felt the proposal would not be suitable for sea transport. The COSTHA representative withdrew the proposal, saying that more data would be gathered from industry and that a new proposal could be forthcoming in the future.
Metals Following an inquiry from a shipper, Austria asked the experts’ opinion on the correct classification of strontium, which is not listed by name in the Dangerous Goods List. While looking into the issue, Austria had also noticed that other alkali and alkali earth metals are assigned to Division 4.3 but that GHS identifies them as not only being hazardous in contact with water but also having a corrosivity hazard. Should this not be reflected in their classification in the transport regulations?
The Sub-committee confirmed the general point in 188.8.131.52 that substances – such as strontium – that are not specifically mentioned in the Dangerous Goods List should be assigned to the most appropriate generic or nos entry. As to the issue of corrosivity, Austria was sked to provide more data to support a possible change. The EU offered to help in the gathering of data.
Machinery The International Air Transport Association (IATA) had noticed what when the former UN 3166 entry for engines and machinery had been amended, with the introduction of three new entries in the 19th revised edition of the Model Regulations, special provision 356, which relates to metal hydride storage systems, was not assigned to UN 3529, which covers engines and machinery powered by flammable gas-based fuel cells. The Sub-committee agreed with IATA’s reasoning and added “356” in column (6) of the Dangerous Goods List against UN 3529. It also took the opportunity to tidy up the text of SP 356.
Pyrophoric solids In an informal document, Cefic drew attention to an issue industry is experiencing with the use of packing instruction P404 for pyrophoric solids, which includes specific requirements for threaded closures for metal or glass receptacles used as inner packagings. While experience has shown that this requirement ensures an adequate level of safety during transport, it is causing problems in supply and use, especially when receptacles are re-sealed using the threaded closures. Cefic proposed an alternative wording to allow other means of preventing back-off or loosening of closures during transport.
There was general support for Cefic’s position and the Council was invited to work its ideas up as a formal proposal for the next session.
Technical names The International Paint and Printing Ink Council (IPPIC) appealed for the deletion of special provision 274 from the generic entries for environmentally hazardous substances, UN 3077 and 3082. SP 274 requires the proper shipping name to be supplemented with the technical name of the substance or substances involved. In the paint industry, these technical names can be very long. In practice, this causes problems with IT systems, where the length of the required text often exceeds the space available, provides little or no useful information to emergency responders, and fails to indicate what the product actually is – i.e. paint. That can cause delays to shipments in ports and during customs clearance.
The Sub-committee did not support the proposal as it stood. Most experts felt that the technical name does provide useful information, especially when determining the appropriate containment and clean-up measures. It was also pointed out that the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code requires the technical name to be shown for all marine pollutants, whether or not SP 274 is assigned.
It was also pointed out that the Model Regulations allows the use of generic or chemical family names, rather than the detailed technical name. It was suggested that the use of generic names such as “ink” or “paint” might be considered in this context. The IPPIC representative took note of this interpretation and said a revised proposal may be presented so as to provide greater clarity in the Model Regulations.
Barium carbonate Spain contended that barium carbonate, which is a barium compound and therefore by default is classified as UN 1564 Barium compound, nos, Division 6.1, does not justify that classification. Tests have shown that its level of toxicity does not warrant assignment to Division 6.1. It proposed that barium carbonate should be treated in the same was as barium sulphate which is exempted from the regulations by SP 177.
Some experts felt that there was no need for action as, if the data shows that barium carbonate does not meet the classification criteria, it is not subject to the regulations. That raised the question of why SP 177 exists. Spain reiterated that there is a problem in international transport as some countries require its carriage under UN 1564. It is likely that an official document will be presented at the next session with additional data.
Polymerising substances Cefic returned to the topic of introducing exemptions for polymerising substances, introduced to the Model Regulations in the previous biennium, in line with those already in place for self-reactive substances and organic peroxides. This had been discussed two years previously and Cefic had been asked to provide more details, which it now offered. Its proposals centred on the ability of packages to contain the effects of spontaneous polymerisation, similar to those in 184.108.40.206.4 for explosives.
The Sub-committee was not totally convinced by Cefic’s paper and some experts made specific comments that Cefic will take into account in the preparation of a revised proposal.
Infectious substances Canada proposed modifications to the performance tests for packagings for use with infectious substances in Chapter 6.3. It pointed to some inconsistencies, particularly regarding additional drop tests on packagings containing dry ice. After some discussion and input from the UK, the Sub-committee adopted some changes. In 220.127.116.11.2 there will no longer be a requirement to drop a container with dry ice five times, and amendments have been made to 18.104.22.168.1 and 22.214.171.124.2 for greater clarity.
P801 Another paper from Canada returned to the long-running discussions to improve packing instruction P801, which applies to batteries of UN 2794, 2795 and 3028. Its proposal contained detailed changes to the text of P801 and a revision to special packing provision PP16 in P003.
The proposed revision of P801 was accepted, with some minor modifications, although it was not thought that any change to PP16 was needed. The new text in particular provides more information on the acceptable means of packaging used batteries in stainless steel or plastics bins.
Infectious waste Yet another proposal from Canada related to the classification and packaging of Category A infectious waste, again after discussion at previous meetings. The paper included proposals for a new UN number for solid medical waste, two new packing instructions and other consequential amendments throughout the Model Regulations. There was general support for the proposals but some experts asked for more time to consult with their public health authorities. As such, the amendments proposed have been placed in square brackets pending confirmation at the next session.
Infectious substances Another paper on this topic from Canada proposed amendments to the definitions of infectious substances in the Model Regulations to align them with current scientific terminology used worldwide, based on the work of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses. The experts were not convinced of the need to make changes to the table of indicative examples in 126.96.36.199.2.1, although they did agree to remove specific references to rickettsiae and mycoplasmas in 2.6.1(b), 188.8.131.52 and Note 3 to 184.108.40.206.2.2 as these are types of bacteria, and bacteria are already mentioned.
The second part of this two-part report on the UN TDG Sub-committee’s June/July session in next month’s HCB will cover discussions on electric storage systems, the transport of gases, marking and labelling, packaging, portable tanks, cooperation with other agencies, and other miscellaneous proposals.
Meanwhile, the 54th session of the UN TDG Sub-committee was due to be held in Geneva from 26 November to 4 December. A report on that meeting will follow as soon as is feasible.
[post_title] => UN Model Regulations: Line 'em up!
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UN Model Regulations: Line ’em up!
The volume of amendments agreed by the UN TDG Sub-committee at its June/July session point to some significant changes in the modal regulations in 2021