Hazardous Materials Administration Defines Reverse Logistics in Proposed Amendment

reverse-logistics1The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) proposed a new section under the Hazardous Materials Regulations that singles out reverse logistics and outlines unique transporting and training requirements for the industry segment.

The rule states that field operations investigations determined several instances of damaged/compromised hazardous materials coming from retail locations back to the distribution centers, due to a lack of education of the retail employees.

According to the Federal Register, the goals of this proposal are:

  • Define the term “reverse logistics”;
  • Establish regulations for the shipment of hazardous material in the reverse logistics supply chain;
  • Establish clear applicability to the training requirements associated with “reverse logistics” shipments;
  • 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.

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

Battery recycling is also addressed in the ruling, as the current rule prohibits the pick-up of lead acid batteries from multiple locations. PHMSA took several comments into consideration in designing the proposed rule to allow a single shipper to pick up batteries from multiple locations given “batteries shipped under this section must be blocked, braced, or otherwise secured to prevent contact with or damage to batteries.”

The IWLA Chemical Council is reviewing the proposal and will decide on further action before the comment period deadline October 10, 2014. To review the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in full click here.  This topic will also be discussed during the IWLA Legislative Fly-in & IWLA Chemical Council Meeting, Sept. 17-19 in Washington, D.C. Register here. 

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