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PHMSA Looking at the Definition of Reverse Logistics

September 26th, 2014 by Howard Skolnik

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

As recently reported in Specialty Transportation and Regulatory Services, PHMSA is proposing a revision to the Hazardous Materials Regulations in regards to return shipments of certain hazardous materials by motor vehicle. The revision would include a definition for reverse logistics for hazardous materials that are being returned to, or between, a vendor, distributor, manufacturer or other person for the purpose of returning for a credit, product recall, product replacement or similar reason. PHMSA would like to establish a new section within the regulations that would provide an exception for materials that are transported in a manner that meets the definition of reverse logistics. The exception would clearly identify the hazardous materials authorized, packaging, hazard communication and training requirements applicable to reverse logistics shipments. The rule making would also expand an existing exception for reverse logistics shipments of used automobile batteries that are being shipped from a retail facility to a recycling center. PHMSA will be accepting comments on this proposed rule until October 10, 2014. Read the entire proposed rule and view the instructions to submit your comments at:
Federal Register — Hazardous Materials: Reverse Logistics (RRR)

—Howard Skolnik

Once again, companies are paying the price for improper shipping of dangerous goods. The U.S Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing civil penalties ranging from $63,000 to $91,000 against three companies for violating Hazardous Materials Regulations, and resolved a case against another company for $54,000. In each case, the FAA alleges the companies did not declare the hazardous materials, and the shipments were not properly classed, described, packaged, marked, labeled and in proper condition for shipment. Additionally, the FAA alleges the companies did not ensure their employees had received the required training for shipping hazardous materials, and did not provide emergency response information with the packages.

The cases include the following:

  • $91,000 against Kuehne & Nagel, Inc., of Jersey City, NJ for offering a cardboard box containing one 3.78 liter can of Carboline Part A paint and one can containing a liter of Carboline Urethane Converter paint to FedEx for shipment by air from Pharr, Texas, to Broussard, La.
  • $78,000 against Pantropic Power, Inc., of Miami, FL for shipping 11 12-ounce cans of aerosol paint on a FedEx aircraft from Miami to Puerto Rico. Workers at Luis Munoz Marin International Airport in San Juan discovered the package emitting an odor, and found a can had burst and leaked through its packaging. Aerosols are considered to be hazardous flammable gas.
  • $63,000 against Superior International Industries of Carrollton, GA for offering an unmarked box containing two, 12-ounce cans of Cardinal Acrylic Aerosol Enamel spray paint to FedEx for shipment by air from Carrollton to Anacoco, LA. Under Hazardous Materials Regulations, spray paint is considered a flammable aerosol. The contents of the shipment were discovered after one of the cans leaked yellow paint in transit.

To avoid these types of fines, always confirm the packaging requirements of your contents before they enter into transportation.

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