Proposed Reverse Logistics Rule to Offer Exemption From Some Regs

A proposed reverse logistics rule would offer an exception from existing regulations for certain reverse logistics shipments by highway that will create “opportunities for reduced compliance costs among hazmat shippers and carriers, without any decrease in safety,” federal hazmat regulators said.

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration said its proposal, issued Aug. 11, aims to establish regulations for the shipment of hazardous material in the reverse logistics supply chain and spell out training requirements associated with reverse logistics shipments.

The agency’s proposed definition for reverse logistics is “the process of moving goods from their final destination for the purpose of capturing value, recall, replacement, proper disposal or similar reason.”

The rules would not pertain to individual consumers, PHMSA said.

The agency said the proposed rule also will provide authorized packaging for reverse logistics shipments, establish segregation requirements for reverse logistics shipments and allow more flexibility for the transportation of lead acid batteries.

Boyd Stephenson, director of hazardous material policy for American Trucking Associations, said truckers have concerns that the rule does not require the use of UN numbers, international four-digit numbers that identify hazardous substances; the proper shipping name or packing group; package labeling or truck placarding.

“We are really worried about some of the safety scenarios that might attach to that,” Stephenson said. “You could have batteries, paint, poison in aerosol cans or anything that could be released. There are many concerns about liability.”


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