Industrial Packaging for Critical Contents

Drum It Up! Steel Drum Industry News, Trends, and Issues

Archive for December, 2017

Shipper Alert for New Packaging Approval Numbers in 2018

December 26th, 2017 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, Industry News, Skolnik Newsletter

PHMSA issued a notice to holders of manufacturer and reconditioner approvals that they are proposing to terminate all M-Number and R-Number approvals that were previously issued without an expiration date that those approvals will be terminated one year after publication of this notice, i.e. November 17, 2018. If a holder wishes to continue use of either of these approvals, they must show why the approval should not be terminated or apply for a modification of their approval prior to the effective date. If an approval is terminated, the holder must submit a request for reconsideration within 20 days of the termination.
M-Number Approvals are issued to companies that manufacture or recondition packaging. An M-Number is used as part of the packaging certification mark in place of the company’s name and address, as authorized in § 178.503. R-Number Approvals have not been issued for a period of time, but are active and allowed to continue to be used. PHMSA states that standardization of the M-Number and R-Number Approvals will allow them to regularly review the approval documents and track changes, ensuring that the information submitted by the holders remains current and accurate.
Current holders of R-Number Approvals will be issued M-Number approvals, but will be allowed to continue to use their previously issued R-Number. All new and reissued M-Number Approvals will be issued with a 5-year expiration date.

Shipper’s should also maintain validation of their packaging manufacturer and reconditioner expiration dates.
Effective date of termination of these approvals is: November 17, 2018

Who Certifies the UN Certified Packaging?

December 19th, 2017 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: DOT/UN, HazMat

Here at Skolnik, every material, design, and production process is carefully engineered to meet the safety standards set forth by the various regulatory bodies that keep a watchful eye on our industry. One such organization is the UN’s Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, the group in charge of the UN Certified Packaging label seen on many of our barrels. While we have written articles translating label components and even unpacking  specific elements, we have not yet examined who dictates these stringent standards.

The UN’s Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods is a subsidiary the UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Established in 1946, the ECOSOC is one of the six principal organs of the UN, along with such bodies as the General Assembly and Security Council. The ECOSOC has under it number of commissions which it coordinates, such as the Commission on Human Rights and the Commission on the Status of Women. One of the region-focused agencies is the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE). The ECE actually works with many countries not only in Europe, but across North America and Asia as well. It is within this commission that you’ll find the Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods and on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals, aka the people in charge of the certified packaging label.

Quite a circuitous path through bureaucracy, but the committee is important for transportation regulations. In fact, the other major document they’re in charge of, the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS), is an important building block for UN Certified Packaging. The GHS is the UN’s document that puts forth a set of consistent classifications and labelings for chemicals that is used internationally so that countries working with one another can communicate efficiently and accurately across geographic and lingual borders.

In turn, this common chemical language comes in handy when it comes to classifying and categorizing the packaging in which they can be stored. So, while there is plenty that the committee does, it all is in the service of ensuring the safe transportation of potentially dangerous products.

Despite the relative obscurity of the organisation behind UN Certified Packaging, they play a very important role in the everyday operation of many different industries. We here at Skolnik certainly are grateful for the time, energy, and expertise they’ve put into giving our customers the peace of mind with the label we put on our products. Thanks UN!


December 19th, 2017 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, Skolnik Newsletter

Proper closure of a steel drum is the final regulatory detail to shipping compliance. Even though you may be purchasing a drum that meets the United Nations criteria for shipping hazardous materials, the proper closure of the drum is the most critical part of the regulation and Closure Instructions are not generic. In fact, the US Code of Federal Regulations, Title 49, paragraph 178.2(c), requires that packaging manufacturers give current written instruction to the fillers about the proper closure procedure for their “manufacturer-specific” packaging. While every SKOLNIK order is shipped with written Closure Instructions, you can now view new videos of the:

In addition, written Closure Instructions are also available in Spanish. Check out all our Closure Instruction options at Skolnik.com/closure_instruction and call us if you need further clarification or would like to receive additional information for your record keeping.

Visit Skolinik at the 2018 Unified Wine Symposium

December 12th, 2017 by Dean Ricker

Filed under: Skolnik Newsletter, Wine

Third generation winegrower and artisan winemaker Gina Gallo of E. & J. Gallo Winery will deliver the keynote luncheon speech on opening day of the 2018 Unified Wine & Grape Symposium on Tuesday, January 23, in Sacramento at the Sheraton Grand. “As a member of one of America’s historic winemaking families, Gina embodies a sense of tradition, family legacy, craft and business acumen that transcends generations and inspires future growth amongst colleagues,” says John Aguirre, president of the California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG), a co-organizer of the event along with the American Society for Enology and Viticulture (ASEV). Gina Gallo oversees the Gallo Signature Series and Ernest & Julio Gallo Estate wines. In her role, she is intimately engaged with the Gallo family’s premier estate vineyards in Napa, Sonoma and Monterey counties. As the Senior Director of Winemaking, she views winemaking as both a creative expression of the land and as a demonstration of the unique qualities of a specific vintage. Her values stem from her family’s entrepreneurial history, using her experience and creative vision to craft luxury wines from her favorite blocks from the family’s estate vineyards. Gallo was a 2016 inductee to the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America. Fortune magazine named her one of the “Most Innovative Women in Food and Drink,” and she was named #17 on Decanter magazine’s “Power List” of the most important men and women in wine. She is a board member of the American Farmland Trust, which works to preserve agricultural land, and Taste of the NFL, which raises funds and awareness for food banks and anti-hunger initiatives. The 2018 Unified Symposium will again take place at the Sacramento Convention Center, located in downtown Sacramento, January 23-25. Built with the joint input of growers, vintners and allied industry members, the Unified Symposium serves as a clearinghouse of information important to wine and grape industry professionals. The Unified Symposium also hosts the industry’s largest trade show of its kind, with over 650 vendors displaying their products and services.
For additional information, visit www.unifiedsymposium.org and be sure to visit Skolnik Industries at booth number 1205 to see our complete line of stainless steel wine barrels.