The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued a notice of enforcement discretion that will temporarily relax some of the compliance standards related to hazardous materials packaging regulations.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, PHMSA will provide temporary relief from enforcement actions for packaging manufacturers that are unable to complete the required periodic design qualification retesting as a result of COVID-19 operational disruptions. However, production tests required under the DOT HMR (for example, leakproofness testing) must still be met during the manufacturing process.
Under normal circumstances, manufacturers of UN performance oriented packaging are required to complete periodic retesting every 12-24 months in order to recertify the design type for production.
PHMSA is requiring manufacturers who are unable to complete their periodic retesting to document why compliance isn’t possible and to maintain a copy of the documentation and most recent test reports.
PHMSA added that this only applies to designs tested and certified for PG II and PG III hazardous materials. In addition to not covering PG I packaging, the relief does not cover remanufactured and reconditioned design types.
Notice of Enforcement Discretion for the Continued Manufacturing of Performance Oriented Packaging Designs Exceeding Their Periodic Retesting Date