Explosives Require Approvals
While most dangerous goods are self-classified by the manufacturer or importer, explosives are an exception to this rule. Most explosives are required to be approved by the national competent authority (the regulatory agency in charge), and may not be legally shipped until they receive a written approval. DG Advisor offers a turnkey approach, assisting the client from start to finish of the approvals process.
About the Process
The competent authority in the US is PHMSA, the Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration of the DOT. Before approving a new explosive, PHMSA requires it to be examined by one of a handful of 3rd party test laboratories which they have been certified by PHMSA for the purpose of conducting tests and issuing recommendations. If the explosive is very similar to one which has already been approved, PHMSA may not require additional testing based on their evaluation of the data.
If testing is determined to be required, it typically follows the test agenda laid out by the UN “Transport of Dangerous Goods – Manual of Tests & Criteria” manual. The following UN flow chart (Figure 1) shows the method for determining whether a material or article will be provisionally accepted into Class 1 (explosives):
Upon provisional acceptance into Class 1 (Explosives), the next step is to determine the appropriate division for the material or article. Several possible test series are used to determine the hazard level of explosives. This procedure is presented in a graphical format in the following following flow chart from the UN “Transport of Dangerous Goods – Manual of Tests & Criteria” (Figure 2).
If you care to learn about the test procedures in detail, you may purchase the UN’s Transport of Dangerous Goods – Manual of Tests & Criteria from LabelMaster.
A test laboratory will follow the procedures shown above in the chart. Different tests are prescribed for different materials or articles as applicable. Once the proper tests are determined, your material or article will be tested by the lab, or at your facility and witnessed by laboratory personnel. If all tests are passed, the lab will create a recommendation for the client to submit to PHMSA. Format and content of the report is important. PHMSA’s technical personnel review the recommendation and the client’s request for approval. If all requirements are met, PHMSA issues a written approval including an EX# to be used in shipping the explosive.
DG Advisor’s Role
Let DG Advisor help you avoid the pitfalls which you may find during the process of laboratory selection, test selection, samples shipping, report writing and applying for an approval. We offer a turnkey approach designed for convenience and speed. Choose us to avoid delays and secure the benefit of experience to streamline the explosives approvals process. Contact us now.
If a client wishes to vary from the existing shipping regulations, they may do so if granted a special permit from the competent authority. DG Advisor helps the client assess if the permit request is viable, and assists the client with packaging, gathering safety data and pursuing the permit.
Special Permits require specific training in the use of the permit. This is a key focus for enforcement. If you have a special permit and wish assistance, contact DG Advisor.