What’s New In Hazmat?

Harvey Waite | Vice President of Compliance and Security, OCEANAIR 

First, a word of warning about Hazmat shipments going to China — we recently experienced several cases where following the regulations, namely IMDG, have not been sufficient. They seem to make up their own rules without providing any prior notice and this leads to severe delays and unanticipated expenses. This behavior is not illegal on their part, and China may do what it wants. Be wary!

This is just a word of warning about possible pending legislation. Lithium Batteries continue to make headlines, and fortunately it does not involve crashes, but rather regulatory news. In January, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) recommended a full ban on lithium ion batteries on passenger aircraft. This announcement comes at a time when an influential committee is proposing a new reorganization bill for the Federal Aviation Administration. Included in this proposed bill is a requirement that the Department of Transportation not exceed any standards issued by the ICAO. Whatever the ICAO says, we must follow; be it more or less restrictive than current regulations.

Not to be outdone in the news, an express carrier recently received $455,000 in proposed penalties for a series of Hazmat violations occurring in 2013 and 2014. Where applicable, I am sure that proposed penalties will also be sent to the shippers responsible for the improper packing, marking, labeling or documenting of their shipments.