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Since 1987 taking the danger out of dangerous goods

On January 1st 2015, a new edition of IATA's Dangerous Goods Regulations came into effect. Additionally, on January 8th its first addendum was posted. This article will highlight the most significant changes that have been included in the DGR.

IATA DGR 56

 

 

 List of Dangerous Goods

Several new entries have been added, including UN 3507 Uranium hexafluoride, radioactive material, excepted package, UN 3508 Capacitor, asymmetric and 17 entries for adsorbed gases (for which a new definition is included in Section 3).

The Proper Shipping Name has been changed for a few entries). For example, air bag inflators, air bag modules and seat belt pretensioners are no longer used as PSN and must be identified as UN 0503 Safety devices, pyrotechnic or UN 3268 Safety devices electrically initiated. Similarly, asbestos-related entries now only have two acceptable PSN: Asbestos, amphibole (UN 2212) or Asbestos, chrysotile (UN 2590).

Articles (such as batteries or mercury contained in manufactures articles) are no longer assigned packing groups; instead, requirements for specific packaging performance levels are addressed within the applicable packing instruction.

 

Marking & Labelling

The dimensions for labels and marks have been clearly specified; most of them must have a square shape, with a 100 mm side. For hazard labels, the line inside the edge forming the diamond must be at least 2 mm wide. However, keep in mind that labels conforming to the specifications of the 55th Edition of the DGR will still be acceptable until December 31st 2016.

As of January 1st 2016, a new requirement will be added to OVERPACK and SALVAGE markings, which will need to be 12 mm high.

 

Introducing the GHS

Several mentions have been included to bring into attention that the diamond-shape pictograms from the Globally Harmonized System for Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) may indicate the presence of hidden dangerous goods in the passengers’ baggage. A new section has been added to Appendix B where the GHS is thoroughly explained.

 

Special provisions

Several special provisions have been added or revised. Among them, A197 states that environmentally hazardous substances (UN 3077 and UN 3082) may be shipped as “not restricted” when their net quantity doesn’t exceed 5 litres (for liquids) or 5 kg (for solids). A198 indicates that UN 1327 (bhusa, hay and straw) is not restricted when wet, damp or contaminated with oil.

A192 allows the use of a single PSN on the Shipper’s Declaration and package markings for packages that contain certain combinations of dangerous goods (paint and printing related material).

A199 is applied to UN 3496 Batteries, nickel-metal hydride, which are restricted for sea transport but are exempt for air transport as long as they are protected against short-circuit and unintentional activation. A200, which is applied only to UN 3509 Packaging discarded, empty, uncleaned, states that packagings that still contain residues of dangerous goods and no longer meet the provisions of Section 6 are forbidden for air transport.

 

Packing

The previously existing restrictions applicable to overpacks containing packages bearing the Cargo Aircraft Only label have been deleted. Also, the use of supplementary packagings within an outer packaging, additional to what is required in the packing instructions, is now allowed as long as all relevant requirements are met. If necessary, suitable cushioning to prevent movement within the package will be used.

New packing instructions have been added for the new entries in the Dangerous Goods List. Furthermore, a few of them have been revised, such as PI 203 and PI 7203 (for aerosols and gas cartridges) or PI 213, which now includes the criteria under which large fire extinguishers may be transported unpackaged.

 

Lithium batteries

Lithium metal batteries (UN 3090) are now restricted to Cargo Aircraft Only shipments. However, following a new special provisions (A201), the State of Origin and the State of the Operator may authorize its transportation on passenger aircraft. ICAO must be informed of the conditions of this exemption (quantity limitations, packing requirements, etc.).

This has also been reflected in its correspondent packing instructions. Additionally, packing instructions 966 and 969 (applied to lithium ion and lithium metal batteries packed with equipment) have been updated to clarify that the number of lithium batteries in a package must not exceed the number required for the equipment’s operation plus two spares.

The provisions concerning portable electronic devices and spare lithium batteries carried by passengers or crew have been restructured (chapter 2.3). Depending on their lithium content (lithium metal or lithium allow batteries) or their Watt-hour rating (lithium ion batteries), they will be allowed in carry-on or checked baggage, and they might require the approval of the operator.

 

Documentation

It’s been clarified that, when viscous flammable liquids are assigned to Packing Group III in accordance with the provisions in Section 3 (3.3.3.1.1), the following statement must be included in the Additional Handling information part of the Shipper’s Declaration: UN XXXX assigned to PG II in accordance with 3.3.3.1.1.

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Regarding the NOTOC, it’s been clarified that technical names (in association with the PSN) are not required, while number and content of overpacks and “all packed in one” packages are recommended.

On the Air Waybill, it is recommended to include the phrase “not restricted” for substances that do not meet the criteria for classification as dangerous goods, but whose packages bear the diamond-shape pictograms of the GHS.

 

Acceptance checklist

The acceptance check is only mandatory when the dangerous goods are first accepted for carriage by air. However, on transfers between aircraft or different operators, the operator concerned should still verify that the packages meet the requirements of the Regulations. An inventory of dangerous goods that are not subject to acceptance check requirements has been added.

Meanwhile, loading restrictions for toxic and infectious substances with animals, foodstuffs and feed have been deleted.

 

Radioactive materials

Several paragraphs have been updated in Section 10 to align to the new provisions in the IAEA Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material. Changes to other sections include a new special provisions (A194) and packing instruction (PI 877) for the newly added entry UN 3507 (Uranium hexafluoride, radioactive material, excepted package).

The transport of radioactive material by post has been limited to excepted packages of UN 2910 and UN 2911 only; the radioactive material must not have a subsidiary risk and the packages must be marked and labelled as specified.

 

Exemptions

Some lamps are not subject anymore to IATA DRG, provided that they do not contain radioactive material, don’t exceed certain quantities of dangerous goods, and comply with certain managing and packing requirements.

 

Information to passengers

Operators must ensure that information about which dangerous goods are forbidden to transport aboard an aircraft is available on booking and check-in websites.

 

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