Do you remember when you were in school, and you had to memorize definitions for a particular reading, science, or social studies test? No fun if I remember correctly!  

Now that we are all grown up, we no longer have to memorize them. We are older and wiser, and know where to look them up when we need them 😊 

When I teach, I always stress the importance of going back to the definitions or glossary to get a better understanding of what our legislators are trying to say. Regulations are written in “legal talk” or “regulatory speak,” so how are we supposed to understand what it all means? Break it down to the key word(s) and look them up. 

A case in point was a recent helpdesk call. The client was shipping a few boxes at a time from New Jersey to a consolidator in New York. Eventually, the shipment would be sent by air, and my caller was completing the Dangerous Goods Declaration.  

His question was as follows: 

My boxes are sitting on a platform, but they do not and will not have shrink wrap on them, so do I need to use the wording “Overpack used” on the declaration? Interesting… 

I decided the best course of action was to open the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations and look at the definition of an Overpack.  

Appendix A states:  

OVERPACK: An enclosure used by a single shipper to contain one or more packages and to form one handling unit for convenience of handling and stowage… 

An enclosure. The boxes were on a platform, there was nothing “enclosing them,” so unless the consolidator was going to shrink wrap, box, or crate them, there was no Overpack used, and therefore no Overpack statement. 

Did you know that our Helpdesk is available to our customers most days from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm EST? Next time you need help, or want a second opinion, give us a call, we are always happy to help. 

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2022 IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations (63rd Edition), Perfect Bound, English
IATA Publications

Overpack Label, 4″ x 2.75″, Gloss Paper, 500/Roll

Shipping by Air Declaration Forms
Karrie Ishmael, CDGP

Karrie Ishmael, CDGP

Karrie Ishmael has been with ICC since 1988. She has contributed to ICC's growth in various capacities, including customer service, sales, and marketing. In her current role as ICC's Senior Regulatory Expert and SDS author, Karrie conducts hazardous materials training classes in 49 CFR, IATA, IMDG, TDG along with OSHA and WHMIS hazard communication courses. When not training, she writes safety data sheets for customers to comply with North American and European requirements. She actively participates in many associations, including DGAC, COSTHA and is the former chair of SCHC’s OSHA Alliance Committee.