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Transport of Hazardous Materials (HazMat) and Dangerous Goods -- U.S./EU/International

Overview:

Crucial to the production and marketing of industrial chemicals, fuels, and agricultural chemical products is the ability to move the precursors and products safely and compliantly through the supply chain. The transport of such goods is governed by a complex network of national and international regulations, programs that have extremely broad applicability across many industries. Any company involved in transporting dangerous or hazardous materials, even at very small quantities, is required to comply with the regulations or seek a waiver. Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.'s (B&C®) regulatory experts help clients identify, classify, label, and ship all manner of dangerous goods by land, air, or sea, and manage the sometimes bewildering cross-border inconsistencies in international regulatory requirements. As a complement to B&C's capabilities, our consulting affiliate The Acta Group (Acta®), with offices in the U.S., European Union (EU), and China, offers additional international expertise so that our clients are well-served by an extensive network of support globally.

U.S. Standards for Transporting HazMats:

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has primary responsibility for overseeing the transportation in commerce of hazardous materials, commonly called "HazMats." DOT is comprised of a number of administrating agencies, such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The administration responsible for the transport of HazMats is the Office of Hazardous Materials Safety (OHMS), which is housed under the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). DOT's regulations govern the transport of HazMats by ground, air, rail, inland water, and sea. The scope of DOT's regulatory reach is broad: thousands of products and tens of thousands of businesses are regulated under the DOT HazMat program.

Each day, U.S. businesses transport over one million HazMats shipments, and every one of them is subject to the DOT standards. The regulations establish standards for HazMats identification, training, labeling, use of proper containers, recordkeeping, reporting, placarding, and vehicle safety. Any business that offers HazMats for shipment must train its HazMat employees and adhere to the stringent standards DOT has established. The regulations are complex and businesses often require the assistance of seasoned and experienced professionals to navigate the regulatory maze to ensure compliance.

EU Standards for the Carriage of Dangerous Goods:

Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations (CDG) and the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road ECE/TRANS/225 (Vol. I & II) (ADR) together regulate the carriage of goods by road within the EU, whereas the International Air Transport Association Dangerous Goods Regulations (IATA DGR) set forth the international standard for shipping dangerous goods by air. (International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is the regulation; IATA is the ICAO interpretations with individual contributions from airlines.)

Council Directive EC Directive 96/35/EC of June 3, 1996, on the appointment and vocational qualification of safety advisors for the transport of dangerous goods by road, rail, and inland waterway requires from January 1, 2000, that all companies involved in the consigning and carriage of dangerous goods appoint a qualified Dangerous Goods Safety Advisor (DGSA).

Employers (including the self-employed) who load or transport dangerous goods beyond the thresholds set forth in the regulations must appoint a safety advisor to guide them on the legal, safety, and environmental aspects of the transport of dangerous goods. Companies have the option to appoint a person within their employment or to use the services of a DGSA consultant; whichever is chosen, the DGSA must be certified by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA).

The ADR specifies that persons other than the driver involved in the carriage of dangerous goods, shall receive training in the requirements governing the carriage of dangerous goods. This training takes the form of general awareness training, function-specific training, and safety training.

Our Experience:

B&C and Acta professionals have decades of involvement in the manufacture, handling, and transport of chemicals. They are scientists, business leaders, and regulatory experts with a wealth of experience at global chemical companies, government agencies, and regulatory bodies; they employ the broad perspectives gained from working across the full regulatory stakeholder spectrum to the benefit of our international client base. Our global presence, with offices in North America, Europe, and Asia, ensures we have experts certified and credentialed in local markets, an invaluable resource for companies that operate across national borders. We understand the complexities of international shipments and the nuances required when dealing with competent authorities. When a client faces a HazMat or dangerous goods issue, we resolve the matter quickly, efficiently, and with minimal disruption to our clients' operations.

Christopher Bryant, operating from Washington, D.C., provides consulting services on hazardous waste, hazardous materials transportation, clean air, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulatory programs for many industry leaders. In the HazMat arena, Mr. Bryant provides assistance to our clients in ensuring that their products are shipped in accordance with appropriate DOT regulations. He also develops and delivers training programs that help our clients ensure their daily operations are conducted in compliance with the DOT HazMat programs.

Karin Baron, M.S.P.H., based in the U.S., provides consulting services on classification and labeling requirements under various international and national legislations, including U.S. DOT, IATA, International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code, OSHA, Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) (United Nations (UN) model as well as international adaptations), and ADR. In the area of HazMats, Ms. Baron assists in navigating the nuances between the various classification criteria and the correlations that can impact local and international shipping particularly with respect to labeling and Safety Data Sheet (SDS) generation.

R. David Peveler, Ph.D., located in the U.S., is a chemist with expertise in Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) product registration and labeling matters, DOT classification and labeling issues, and product safety (OSHA/GHS and Canada's Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) compliant SDSs and labels).

Yang Ni, Director of Acta-PLS based in China, serves as clients' on-the-ground guide to expanding their markets to China. His office provides research and development testing as well as regulatory support to multinational industrial chemical conglomerates. Mr. Ni's team in China provides timely, accurate, and cost effective regulatory assessment support services globally.

What We Do:

  • HazMat and Dangerous Goods Services
    • Conduct compliance audits and develop and assist in implementing corporate compliance programs
    • Assist in product classification and evaluation of whether a shipper, carrier, or shipment is subject to HazMat/dangerous goods regulations
    • Ensure compliance for shipping documentation, labeling, packaging, and marking
    • Prepare and review SDSs
    • Assist in the understanding of the correlation of GHS in relationship to shipping HazMats and dangerous goods
    • Provide DOT mandated HazMat training
  • Training
    • Dangerous goods/HazMat transportation
    • Hazardous goods handling
    • Packaging requirements for dangerous goods/HazMats
    • ADR awareness training
    • Classification and identification of dangerous goods/HazMats
    • Dangerous goods/HazMat documentation
    • Security
    • Basic chemistry and chemical naming
    • Chemical awareness training

Representative Engagements:

  • Designed and implemented a HazMat management program for a U.S. steel manufacturer and conducted audits to assess overall compliance and program implementation.
  • Classified the products of a Fortune 50 U.S. chemical company per DOT HazMat regulations. Was responsible for the management of product HazMat classifications in the corporate Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system.
  • Implemented a HazMat training program and trained HazMat employees at various plant locations.
  • Reviewed the transport classification of products manufactured by an international company with sites in the EU to assess any irregularities in classification and labeling when moving product globally.
     

 
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