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Shippers have been strongly encouraged to check the International Air Transport Authority’s 2021 manuals so as to avoid delays, fines and customer dissatisfaction.

Every 12 months the International Air Transport Authority (IATA) Manuals are updated with the latest regulations and best practices. In order to adhere with the new rules and maintain safe and efficient air cargo transportation, the IATA have stressed that shippers need to refer to the 2021 manuals.

David Brennan, the IATA’s Assistant Director of Cargo Safety and Standards, has warned that anyone who doesn’t have the latest information may not do things properly. That in turn can result in costly mistakes.

Key regulation changes are present in the manuals referring to dangerous goods, while the guidelines for the shipping of lithium batteries and infectious substances have also changed.

The IATA have summarised the key changes as follows:

Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR)
  • Complete revision of Subsection 1.5 – Training Requirements to implement competency-based training and assessment for dangerous goods
  • Revision to the requirements applicable to post items when dry ice is used as a refrigerant for UN 3373
  • Additions and revisions to the list of dangerous goods
  • Revisions requirements in special provisions and the addition of new special provisions
  • Amendments to packing instructions to revise the types of packagings permitted to better align to the UN; clarify the packagings for batteries
  • Identify that it is mandatory for operator to perform a safety risk assessment to address the carriage of dangerous goods
  • Implement the changes to section 10 – Radioactive Materials arising from the revision to IAEA SSR-6
Lithium Battery Shipping Guidelines (LBSG)
  • Revisions to special provisions A88 and A99 to require the approval of the authority of the State of the operator in addition to the authority of the State of origin. These special provisions address the approval for the transport of prototype lithium batteries that have not passed the UN 38.3 tests and approval for the transport of lithium cells or batteries that have a net mass exceeding 35 kg
  • Special provisions A88 and A99 have also been revised to identify that when lithium batteries are shipped in accordance with an approval that the packing instruction number shown on the Shipper’s Declaration must be PI 910 or PI 974, respectively
  • The format of the lithium battery mark has been revised to now be a square with minimum dimensions of 100 mm x 100 mm. This may be reduced to be not less than 100 mm x 70 mm where the size of the package prevents the application of the full size mark. The wording in the provisions for the application of the mark identifies that mark must be a square or rectangle, which permits the continued usage of the current mark which is 120 mm x 110 mm
Infections Shipping Substances Guidelines (ISSG)
  • Addition of a new entry and conditions for solid medical waste containing Category A pathogens
  • Update to identify that the mark in the diamond applied to packages containing biological substances, Category B (UN 3373) and genetically modified organisms and microorganisms (GMO, and GMMO) (UN 3245) must be applied on one side of the package
  • A change to renumber the packing instruction applicable to medical waste from PI 622 to become PI 621 to align to the number in the UN Model Regulations and to provide for a consistent PI for the new Category A waste. There is a 3-month transition provided during which time the old PI number may be used

The manuals, which will be available from September 21st, can be pre-ordered now on the IATA website in both paper and digital format.  The links to each manual are as follows:

Photocredit: IATA website

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