American Coatings Association

IPPIC Participates in 49th Session of UN SubCommittee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods


ACA, as a representative of the International Paint and Printing Ink Council (IPPIC), recently participated in the 49th session of the UN SubCommittee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (TDG) in Geneva, Switzerland. The session, which took place June 27 through July 6, provides a forum for international cooperation for the transport of dangerous goods. Despite this effort, differences in the requirements for transporting dangerous goods continue to exist. These differences generally become known when shipping a dangerous good across country borders. The TDG is charged with maintenance of the “UN Model Regulations,” and through its work, attempts to provide a model for harmonization of all requirements around the globe.

ACA, through its Transportation and Distribution Committee and IPPIC, is proactively engaged in efforts to harmonize these code requirements to eliminate lost time and added costs in cross-border and multi-modal shipments of paint and allied products.

At the 49th session of the TDG, the SubCommittee considered 48 formal proposals and 78 informal discussion papers. While IPPIC did not introduce any formal proposals, there were several papers that were of significant interest to the coatings industry, and IPPIC provided appropriate intervention. Paper 2016/37, “Proper Shipping Names for Mixtures and Solutions,” was introduced by the U.S. delegation as a clarification to the Model Regulations to make plain that generic names based upon intended use or application could be used for a mixture or solution. The proposal generated some good discussion regarding mixtures and solutions that only have one listed dangerous good in the formula. Comments from several experts indicated that this clarification was not necessary because the Model Regulations state that generic names could be used even when the finished good only contained one listed dangerous substance. Other experts indicated that generic names were a “Pandora’s Box” and did not want to support the proposal. While the U.S. proposal was withdrawn, the discussion illuminated the difference of opinion on how to classify these mixtures, and country experts disagree on the use of generic names.

IPPIC also closely followed a proposal, “Corrosivity – Alternative Methods of Classification and Assignment of Packing Groups for Class 8,” which addressed the classification criteria for corrosivity to skin for mixtures. During a previous session, a formal proposal was introduced by Canada, which essentially sought to embrace the criteria adopted for the UN’s Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) Purple Book, including the principles of bridging, additivity and extreme pH. An informal paper authored by CEFIC (the European Chemical Industry Council) recommended that a “classification sequence” or hierarchy should be adopted. This issue generated significant discussion among the country experts and NGOs, and was continued in a lunchtime working session where Working Group produced the agreed upon language for determining classification and packing groups for Class 8 substances and mixtures (skin only – corrosivity to metal and/or eye is not the issue here). Of note, this issue has been a source of discussion for the last several years of TDG sessions due to the text that was ultimately adopted in the Purple Book. This revised proposal, which was unanimously adopted in the plenary session, includes a step-wise approach that embraces both bridging principles and a calculation method. The final proposal was introduced as INF.65/Corr.1 (Note: there are brackets in INF.65/Corr.1 because it is understood that there will be some changes proposed at the next TDG meeting).

ACA, through IPPIC, will continue to participate in the UN TDG SubCommittee meetings. The next meeting will take place in December 2016 in Geneva.

Contact ACA’s Heidi McAuliffe for more information.