Monday, January 11, 2010

US Coast Guard Requests Comments on Cargo Securing Methods

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) on Friday published in the Federal Register a Notice of request for comments on methods for securing cargo in transport vehicles and freight containers, in order to determine whether a standardized approval or certification process or improvised performance criteria for flexible strapping securing systems is needed. 75 Fed. Reg. 1070-71.

Currently, no certification or qualification standard exists under Federal law for blocking, bracing, or for the use of strapping systems for securing cargo. Under current federal regulation, cargo, including hazardous materials, transported above-ground (either in vehicles, rail, or on vessels) must be secured to prevent shifting of the cargo or damage to the container during transport. 49 CFR Part 176.76. However, the specific method by which the cargo is secured is unregulated. Oftentimes, flexible strapping is used even though it may not always properly secure cargo in transit. The USCG solicits comments while considering whether to implement a standardized certification or approval process for cargo securing systems.

The USCG is requesting comments on:
  • The need for a new approval
    process or certification standard for cargo securing systems;
  • Information on currently used standards for the approval and use of cargo securing systems;
  • Methods for ensuring or verifying that securing systems adequately secure cargo without damaging the container or cargo;
  • Existing test methods for securing systems;
  • Materials used for securing cargo within the container (e.g. wood, plastic, bags, web, wire, chain, etc.);
  • Allowances for movement of cargo within the container when securing systems are used; and
  • Information on cargo securing systems that are currently being used to secure cargo in containers, both domestically and internationally.
Members of the public may submit written comments by March 9, 2010, in one of several ways:
  • Online, through the Federal eRulemaking Portal;
  • Via fax, at (202) 493-2251; or
  • Via mail, to: Docket Management Facility (M–30), U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590–0001.

No comments: