Significant Changes to the IATA DGR 54th Edition (2013) in Blog Posts

New Dangerous Goods regulation updates in the IATA DGR 54th Edition will take effect on January 1, 2013. Below is a summary of the important changes for your reference. As always, the IATA DGR should be consulted for details:

Appendix A     New Definition of “Net Quantity”

Net quantity is the weight or volume of the dangerous goods contained in a package, excluding packaging material and the weight of the packaging itself (tare weight). This is not new; what is new is that the net quantity of the dangerous good is the weight or quantity of the item as described by the proper shipping name.   

For Example:  the net weight for a Fire Extinguisher, UN 1044, is the actual weight of the fire extinguisher --- not the net weight of the gas inside. This is a big change from what it has always been because we do not have to determine the net weight of gas anymore; we simply weigh the extinguisher, a nice removal of a pesky burden.  

This new definition of net quantity also applies to lithium batteries, where the net weight is the weight of the battery itself. This is not such a good change, as the net weight of the lithium may be really small, but the batteries themselves may be dense, and they are in many cases limited by the packing instructions to 5kg net weight per package

2.6.10     DeMinimis Quantities

Dangerous Goods such as lab chemicals that could normally be shipped as Excepted Quantities using E1, E2, E4, or E5 may now be authorized to be shipped as non-regulated.  If the quantity per inner container is limited to 1 ml for liquids and 1 g for solids, and the package contains no more than 100 ml or 100 g, it is good to go as non-hazardous and does not need any Dangerous Goods paperwork.     Contaminated Medical Devices

Medical devices contaminated with human blood or other secreta/excreta, including Category B substances but excluding Category A substances, are considered non-hazardous, not restricted if:

- they are being shipped for disinfection, cleaning, evaluation, and so forth in packages that meet the requirements set out in this section, and
- the package is marked: “Used Medical Device” or “Used Medical Equipment”

A51     Inclusion of Lithium Ion Aircraft Batteries in Weight Exception

Allows for the carriage on passenger aircraft of acid and alkali-based aircraft spare batteries exceeding the 30 kg weight limit.  It has now been expanded to include packages containing one lithium ion aircraft battery, UN 3480, not exceeding 35 kg net weight per package

A189     Clarification of Formaldehyde Requirements

Formaldehyde solutions containing 10%-24.9% formaldehyde must be shipped as Aviation Regulated Liquid, n.o.s. while solutions containing 9.9% or less formaldehyde are not subject to the Dangerous Goods regulations, in other words, not hazardous

New Lithium Batteries Regulations     Lithium Batteries Quality Management Program

Sets out a new requirement that cells and batteries must be manufactured under a Quality Management Program.  Shippers must ensure that the batteries they ship have complied with such a program and that there is a written record that can be shown to authorities upon demand. 

P.I. 965-970     Lithium Ion and Lithium Metal Batteries

The packing instructions have changed and have become complex.  The shipper must now classify the batteries in accordance with new sections 1A, 1B, and associated tables or section II and its table.  If you look at PI 965-970 at first it will appear confusing and overwhelming, but in fact the shipper can easily navigate through these instructions if the batteries are first classified in accordance with their characteristics.  These include lithium content, watt-hr rating, and quantity of batteries per package.  The essence of the changes is that different content and watt-hr ratings have different packaging, marking, and labeling requirements, all of which are detailed in each packing instruction.

About the author

HAZMAT Training & Compliance
Michael Gotz has developed IATA-certified Dangerous Goods training programs and has been a panelist in numerous IATA Dangerous Goods international conferences. He is the author of published journal articles on the subject of the air... Read more.