PHMSA Terminates EX Numbers
If you are shipping explosives and recently PHMSA terminated your EX approval number, you are not alone. PHMSA recently announced that they have terminated a long list of explosive (EX) approvals because of changes to testing requirements when shipping certain types of explosives. The result has left EX approval holders scrambling around trying to get their EX approval re-instated.
What are EX Approvals?
EX Approvals are classification documents that give written consent, including competent authority approval from the Associate Administrator for Hazardous Materials Safety, that are issued to ensure the safe transportation of explosives. This approval assigns a proper shipping name, hazard class, UN identification number, and generates an EX Approval number for a new explosive.
When an application is approved, a formal Classification of Explosives letter is issued on behalf of the Associate Administrator advising of any limitations or special requirements that must be observed, signifying that the new explosive is approved for transportation in commerce.
An EX number is typically required for the legal sale, distribution, and transportation of explosives in the U.S. EX numbers help to ensure that explosives meet certain safety criteria and have been approved for use in commercial settings.
Final rule HM–215O amended Special Provision 347 in the 49CFR to require successful completion of UN 6(d) testing. UN 6(d) testing demonstrates that any hazardous effects from accidental functioning of explosives are confined within the packaging while shipping. This change affected explosives classified as Division 1.4S hazardous materials and impacted UN Numbers UN0349, UN0367, UN0384, and UN0481. The testing requirement became effective on May 10, 2021. PHMSA then notified EX approval holders of the new requirement, and that their approvals would be terminated if they failed to provide evidence of successful 6(d) testing, about two years ago. PHMSA officially announced early this summer that those who didn’t provide evidence of compliance officially had their EX numbers terminated. A list of the terminated EX approvals is located here.
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