[ID] => 11441
[post_author] => 34
[post_date] => 2019-08-30 08:54:46
[post_date_gmt] => 2019-08-30 07:54:46
[post_content] => For dangerous goods professionals in the UK and Ireland, subject just like their counterparts elsewhere in the world to regular changes in the dangerous goods regulations, the best way to get quickly up to date with those changes – and to have the opportunity to quiz the regulators on why they are making them – is the annual Dangerous Goods Update seminar, organised by the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) on behalf of the UK Department for Transport (DfT).
This year’s seminar was held once again at the Daventry Court Hotel on 4 and 5 June, kindly sponsored by Air Sea Containers, Labeline, Eckert & Ziegler and HCB. As has become the norm, it attracted a large and mixed crowd comprising both hoary old veterans of the game alongside the shiny-eyed newcomers to the world of dangerous goods. And, with them in mind, it kicked off as usual with a ‘primer’ session by Keith White of VCA, who ran through the basics and tried to unravel the tangle of acronyms and abbreviations that the more experienced delegates were already inured to.
Following an introduction by the event’s chair, John Mairs, recently retired from his position as deputy head of DfT’s Dangerous Goods Division under Jeff Hart, Jeff’s successor, Roh Hathlia, picked up on that mix of attendees, saying it was good that around 30 per cent of the audience were there for the first time, as many dangerous goods safety advisers (DGSAs) are now “getting on a bit”.
UK GETS TO WORK
One of the things that both Keith and Roh were very keen to impress on the audience is the potential for industry to influence regulatory change. Roh gave the example of a paper presented to the UN Sub-committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (TDG) at its November 2017 session by Chris Wright of Faradion, who introduced the concept of sodium ion batteries, a technology his company was developing. His presentation compared the risks of sodium ion and lithium ion batteries, leaving the Sub-committee better placed to move forward with developing regulations for the new batteries.
This was taken up at the next session of the Sub-committee in July 2018, where the UK submitted a formal paper proposing the introduction of a special provision to exempt sodium ion cells and batteries from the provisions. There was general support at that session, although some delegates asked for more information. As it stands, the UK was preparing a follow-up paper for the July 2019 session (a report on which will be in a forthcoming issue of HCB).
This provided a useful lesson for industry: organisations developing new technologies should bring them as soon as possible to the regulatory bodies, so that they can prepare to have the regulations in place promptly. At present, the process has now taken three years and its outcome is not yet certain.
Roh continued with some reports of other work that the UK had a hand in during the preparation of the 21st revised edition of the UN Model Regulations. This edition was adopted by the parent Committee in December 2018 and will form the basis of the modal regulations that take effect in 2021.
For instance, on the basis of work chaired by Canada, the UK submitted a series of papers on the transport of Category A infectious waste, following difficulties experienced during the earlier Ebola virus outbreak. This was supported by many delegations and the World Health Organisation and, after some amendments at the July 2018 session, the amendments were adopted. This has introduced a new UN 3549 for solid waste generated from the medical care of humans or animals and new packing instructions P622 and LP622.
The UK was also successful with a proposal to authorise LP101 as a packaging option for 35 additional explosives entries, and with an amendment to allow portable tanks that have missed the timeframe of their scheduled 5- or 2.5-year periodic inspection and test to be filled and offered for transport once a new inspection and test has been performed.
CHANGES IN DETAIL
Roh also listed some of the other important changes in the 21st edition of the UN Model Regulations, most of which, he said, should be useful for industry:
- There are three new entries – UN 0511 to 0513 – for electronic detonators programmable for blasting, which did not fit under existing entries
- A new Packing Group I entry is added for UN 1390 alkali metal amides, after testing work in Germany
- Clear text has been added in 126.96.36.199 to exempt data loggers and other telematics devices that contain lithium batteries from the transport provisions
- Generic names may be used in lieu of technical names for substances carried under UN 3077 and 3082
- Packing instructions P400 and P404, which apply to pyrophoric substances, no longer require threaded closures as these may cause a friction-induced reaction
- Special provision 327 now applies to waste gas cartridges as well as waste aerosols
- A smaller lithium battery mark (50 mm x 50 mm) will be permitted on small packages.
All these changes are still to filter down to the operational level, but Sophie Willis, policy advisor at DfT, provided an update on the work of the European regulators and what industry was to be faced with once the 2019 editions of ADR, RID and ADN came into full effect on 1 July 2019.
On important change that gives dutyholders a little longer to comply is the requirement to appoint a DGSA, which has been extended to cover those companies that consign shipments but are not physically involved in loading, packing, filling or unloading – this basically covers freight forwarders and other parties that play a significant role in the supply chain. These companies will have to appoint a DGSA by 31 December 2022; the other exemptions still apply, so if the organisation concerned only ships dangerous goods in limited quantities, or only occasionally, there is no need for a DGSA. DfT has guidance available on its website.
Some other significant amendments in ADR 2019 are now in force. There are 15 new entries in the Dangerous Goods List:
- UN 3535 toxic solid, flammable, inorganic, nos; Division 6.1; PG I and II
- UN 3536 lithium batteries installed in cargo transport unit, Class 9
- UN 3537-3548 articles containing dangerous goods of various classes/division.
This last change was prompted by work led by the UK to avoid the need to assign specific UN numbers to new articles arriving on the market, and allows shippers to assign them to the most appropriate of these entries or to another entry relating to the specific dangerous goods they contain. The exemption provided in 188.8.131.52(b) has been deleted.
An important change in ADR 2019 arrived after lengthy work to align more closely the UN Model Regulations with the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) in relation to corrosive substances and, in particular, to mixtures. This now allows shippers to classify mixtures using calculation, based on the individual substances in the mixture, rather than having to obtain test data for each mixture. Sophie advised delegates that they may wish to consider whether previously determined classifications are still accurate.
The new Class 9A label and lithium battery mark, which were introduced in ADR 2017 but given a two-year transition period, became mandatory for use on 1 January 2019.
The UN TDG Sub-committee had been alerted to the fact that the Model Regulations had been in the habit of using the words ‘hazard’ and ‘risk’ interchangeably, when in fact they refer to different things; there have been a lot of changes to try and rationalise their use, while Romania and the International Union of Railways (UIC) are leading work to draft definitions of ‘risk’ and ‘hazard/danger’ in the context of RID/ADR/ADN.
Clarification has been provided in 184.108.40.206 that, when a UN entry offers alternative proper shipping names (e.g. UN 1057 LIGHTERS or LIGHTER REFILLS), only the most appropriate name should be shown in the transport document and package marks.
AIR AND SEA
Sophie wrapped up her presentation by reminding the audience that there are very many other amendments included in ADR 2019, many of them small or specific. The UN ECE website now has a ‘track changes’ version of ADR 2019 available, which makes it easier to spot where those changes have been made.
Keith White returned to the stage to give a brief run-through of the changes that have arrived this year for the air and sea modes. He reminded the audience that the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) Technical Instructions and the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) – the former being the legal document, while the latter is generally used in the field – enter into force promptly on 1 January, so those involved in the consignment of dangerous goods by air should already be in compliance.
Many of the changes that have appeared this year are similar to those in ADR 2019, deriving as they do from the 20th revised edition of the UN Model Regulations. However, there are some differences. For instance, the 12 new UN numbers for articles containing dangerous goods are all forbidden for carriage by air, except that some of them are allowed on cargo aircraft under special provision A2.
Similarly, the new UN 3536 lithium batteries installed in a cargo unit are also forbidden for carriage by air. There is a broader change to the Emergency Drill Code for lithium batteries, changing from “No general inherent risk” to “Fire, Heat, Smoke, Toxic and Flammable Vapour”.
ICAO introduced an ID number for disilanes, as it wanted to get the substances into the Dangerous Goods List and, Keith said, the UN Sub-committee is “lagging behind”.
Also specific to air, the format of the Dangerous Goods Note has been modified; there is, however, a transition period to the end of 2014 allowing the use of the previous version. There are also some changes to the segregation provision.
The 2018 edition of the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code also took effect on 1 January 2019 but for sea transport there is a general transitional period until 1 January 2020; the printed version of the Code also provides indications of where the text has changed compared to the earlier edition.
Keith explained some of the major changes, which again mirror many of those in ADR 2019. However, the IMDG Code includes a new definition for what is being termed an IMO Type 9 road gas elements vehicle – essentially the same as what ADR refers to as a multiple-element gas container (MEGC).
The Code has adopted all the new UN numbers for dangerous goods in articles, in alignment with the UN Model Regulations. Packing Instructions P006 and LP03 as well as stowage categories have been assigned to UN 3537, 3538, 3540, 3541, 3546, 3547 and 3548; this specifies the use of packagings tested for Packing Group II.
The IMDG Code has introduced two new special packing provisions in packing instruction P520 for energetic samples, which have been brought into the code. There are also new P911 and LP906 for damaged and defective lithium batteries, and LP905 for prototype and small production runs of lithium batteries.
There have been other changes in the stowage and segregation provisions, which are unique to the sea mode. In 220.127.116.11.5 there are new stowage provisions for jet perforating guns, and the addition of provisions for stabilised dangerous goods (covering polymerising substances) has added stowage provisions in 18.104.22.168. Finally, the Code has added new segregation group codes to assist in stowage planning.
A surprising number of delegates at the VCA seminar were involved in the movement of Class 7 materials, so it was just as well that Anna Mayor, principal inspector at the Office of Nuclear Regulation (ONR), had been asked to come and explain what are some significant changes to the way that the UK regulates the transport of such material.
The amendments, introduced in the 2019 version of the Carriage of Dangerous Goods etc Regulations (CDG), were necessary in order to implement the ‘new’ Basic Safety Standards Directive (BSSD), published in 2013. Regulation 24 and Schedule 2 of CDG 2009 implemented the earlier BSSD in terms of transport emergency preparedness and response, and the notification of loss or theft of Class 7 goods during transport. Most other parts of BSSD were implemented via the Ionising Radiations Regulations (IRR) and the revised IRR17 has already implemented most of the BSSD changes relevant to transport.
Amendments to CDG 2019 were made in Parliament on 12 March 2019 and came into force on 21 April; they will come into effect on 21 April 2020. There is no change to the requirements for emergency planning and the responsibilities of drivers, carriers and consignors to respond to an emergency and to notify the emergency services and ONR.
However, the amendments now more closely align the text of CDG 2019 with the Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations 2019 (REPPIR 19), which applies to fixed facilities. It includes new terms and definitions and more details requirements; these will be challenging to meet, Anna said, especially for smaller carriers and particularly in the area of risk evaluation and emergency planning.
At the time of the VCA seminar, ONR was in the process of preparing guidance on the new requirements now that the regulations have been finalised. Consultation on that guidance took place in June and July 2019 and ONR was expecting to publish the final text in the third quarter, with a review planned once the new rules have been in place for a year.
ONR expects that dutyholders will test their emergency plans every year, although the regulations give a maximum of three years. On the upside, ONR will take over responsibility for providing information to the public from carriers; this will be in the form of generic information available on the ONR website (www.onr.org.uk).
Anna ran through the revisions in some detail, highlighting the explicit link between CDG and IRR and the differences between REPPIR and CDG. She said that this is still a work in progress and ONR does not yet have an idea of what ‘good’ compliance looks like. However, for those involved in the Class 7 supply chain, there is clearly work to be done.
COMING AT YOU
While the papers discussed thus far had all covered regulatory changes that have, at some level, already happened, there was an enlightening presentation from Joe Martin, policy advisor at DfT’s Dangerous Goods Division, looking ahead to the 55th session of the UN TDG Sub-committee, which was due to start on 1 July.
Joe explained the process by which the UK government comes to its views on the papers presented at the UN meetings, and the ways in which industry can play a part. He also noted that the 55th session was due to discuss 37 formal papers, of which 22 represented new business, and that slightly more than half of the total had been submitted by industry representatives. This was not only an unusually large number of papers for what was to be the first of four meetings in the 2019/2020 regulatory biennium, but also a comparatively large proportion of proposals coming from industry.
Joe looked at one of these in more detail: a joint proposal from the European Aerosol Federation (FEA) and the Household and Commercial Products Association (HCPA) to increase the maximum pressure to which an aerosol dispenser can be filled. This follows technical developments by industry. The proposers have offered two options to amend special provision SP63: a ‘streamlined’ provision and a second, more comprehensive version.
It was clear that the ‘streamlined’ version is perhaps a little too streamlined, merely specifying that the internal pressure of aerosol dispensers at 50˚C shall not exceed 1.5 MPa (15 bar); the more detailed version provides for different internal pressures for flammable liquefied gases (1.2 MPa), non-flammable liquefied gases (1.32 MPa), and non-flammable compressed or dissolved gases (1.5 MPa). Joe asked the audience whether they thought this information might be easier to digest if presented in tabular format, rather than as another block of text – perhaps that fact that, as he admitted, the Dangerous Goods Division currently has a very young age profile means that a less traditional way of presentation would be more acceptable.
Joe looked at another two papers for the July 2019 TDG Sub-committee’s attention. The first, submitted by Germany, aims to amend the wording of 22.214.171.124.2, which outlines the circumstances under which alternative service equipment, arrangements and methods of inspection and testing of intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) may be employed. The proposal aims to align the paragraph with related paragraphs, and to provide provisions that are sufficiently flexible to allow for technical progress while maintaining the required level of safety.
During its consideration of the proposal, DfT has had to gauge whether the proposal as it stands would deliver the required outcome, whether there are alternative or better ways of achieving that outcome, whether there would be any unintended consequences, and what effects there might be for industry and for safety.
This is another example of where input from industry would be useful; Joe reminded the audience of the briefing meetings that DfT holds prior to the UN sessions and the opportunity that they provide for those concerned to make their voices heard. He recommended that industry keeps an eye on the papers being put before the TDG Sub-committee and informs DfT of are any issues that need to be highlighted.
The final paper that Joe looked at has been submitted by the Russian Federation and aims to include a new 6.9.4 with requirements for the design, construction, inspection and testing of valves, relief devices manufactured from fibre-reinforced plastics (FRP) and designed for use with portable tanks (i.e. tank containers). His initial thought was that the proposal seems premature; has any data been provided that shows such equipment offers and equivalent level of safety, and is Russia the only state with experience of this equipment? He appealed for anyone in the audience with relevant information to get in touch.
The second part of this report on the VCA Dangerous Goods Update seminar in next month’s HCB will look at the other presentations, which largely dealt with enforcement activity.
[post_title] => VCA: On time, in full
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[post_modified] => 2019-08-30 08:54:47
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