The Bible, Shakespeare and Transport Regulations
“Woe is me” is a phrase heard by many. It basically means someone is unhappy or distressed. The Bible uses this phrase in several locations including Job 10:15, Isaiah 6:5 and Psalms 120:5. Shakespeare later used this same expression when writing for his tragic character Ophelia in “Hamlet”. Existing and operating in the world of regulations can also bring on this feeling. It is difficult enough learning the basics of any regulation, but to truly “know” it takes time, patience and work. This process is complicated by the fact that many regulations change. Is it really necessary to have the newest, latest regulation? To answer that question it is time to look to the regulations.
International Air Transport Association (IATA):
For many, these are the Air Regulations. In this instance, the regulation is updated YEARLY. A new edition goes into effect on January 1st of any given year and ends on December 31st of that same year. The Regulation is currently on its 56th Edition. To showcase some of the changes that could apply to a variety of shippers, please read the following:
- The List of Dangerous Goods has new entries and/or updates to existing substances
- Packing Instructions for Lithium Batteries was updated to include not only a change but also a new addition
- Section 7 – Marking and Labeling for Limited Quantities has new information
International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG):
For many, these are the Ocean Regulations. In this instance, the regulation is updated every two years, but there is overlap between editions that can be confusing. The Regulation is currently on its 37th edition. This edition was published in 2014 and overlaps the previous 36th edition. The 37th edition is optional for use starting on January 1, 2015 and during this time compliance with either edition is allowed (View this transition chart for a visual representation of how this works). The 37th Edition is truly in force starting on January 1, 2016. To showcase some of the changes that could apply to a variety of shippers, please read the following:
- The Dangerous Goods List, special provisions and exceptions table has new entries and/or updates to existing substances
- The Classifications have at least one new/updated subsection
49 CFR Parts 100-185 Hazardous Materials Regulations:
Here is the United States Department of Transportation Regulations (DOT). This regulation is different from the rest. It has NO schedule for updates. It could be updated every day. To stay current, ICC carries updated versions of these regulations twice a year in March and October. Some changes within the past six months include the following:
- The Reference Materials has updated/revised text
- The Hazardous Materials Table has new entries and/or updates to existing substances
- Lithium Batteries have a specific section in Subpart E
Given these update schedules and the changes within each regulation, be sure the most recent copies of the regulations are on hand. Some of the changes mentioned here can have a big impact on daily transport operations. It is a good practice to be “in the know” in order to avoid the “woe”.
As always, ICC Compliance Center is here for all of your hazard communication needs.