COSTHA Membership Committees & Initiatives
As a member of the Council on Safe Transportation of Hazardous Articles, you have the opportunity to shape the future of your industry by serving on one of COSTHA's committees or roundtables.
For more information about how to get involved, click here.
Enhancing the Image of the Hazmat/DG Professional Membership Initiative
COSTHA members are working to enhance the image of Hazardous Materials/Dangerous Goods Professionals. The mission is to elevate recognition for this critical function within companies, the industry, government, and the general public for the professionals involved in ensuring the safe transportation of dangerous goods.
Reverse Logistics Membership Initiative
Reverse logistics, or the return of hazardous materials from wholesale and retail outlets, has been identified as a key concern for all members. COSTHA members work with the US DOT and EPA to ensure the safe transportation of these product returns as well as the safety of the persons engaged in packaging the products for return. We also provide important information to the regulatory community
Working Groups & Committees
Aerosol Working Group
Manufacturers and shippers successfully petitioned the DOT to update the US regulations to harmonize with the UN Modal regulations and allow for alternatives to the hot water bath test.
We continue to work with DOT for greater alignment with international regulations.
Air Carrier Roundtable
This group actively represents air carriers from all segments of the industry. In addition to addressing a number of key issues, the Air Carrier Roundtable Group (ACRT) petitioned the US DOT for regulatory clarification, extensions and alignment of regulations with the UN Model Regulations and the International Civil Aviation Organization.
Among its successes was the extension in the passenger notification requirements, saving the industry millions of dollars and placing the responsibility for clear guidelines on the FAA.
Battery Working Group
Battery manufacturers and shippers meet regularly to discuss current issues, regulations, and questions, and are represented at the UN Battery Working Group. Key issues identified include:
- Communication between regulatory authorities and industry (UN, UCAI, FAA, PHMSA, ICAO, SAE)
- New technology
- Approval process for large format batteries
- Damaged and defective lithium batteries
- Battery testing techniques
Brazil Working Group
Brazil has long been identified as an important area in Latin America where information about current regulatory requirements and harmonization with the UN Model Regulations would enhance commerce and safety. The Working Group has engaged well known consultants to make presentations at various meetings. Brazil has indicated that they will be publishing new regulations in the near future that harmonize and the Brazilian delegation to the UN will present at the annual forum.
China Working Group
The China Working Group has engaged with the US DOT and sponsors a delegation to participate at the US DOT / China Minister of Transport Transportation Forums and host Chinese delegations in the US. Top priorities include access to China’s regulations and the addition of formal avenues of communication for the review of current and proposed regulations. The group has successfully engaged in-country consultants to assist with the work.
COSTHA's Finance Committee develops the budget for the association and meets monthly to ensure that the association's operations run smoothly and stay on target. The diligence of this committee enables COSTHA to continue to grow and take on new projects and add services for the members. The Committee is comprised of volunteer members from the Board of Directors.
Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals
The implementation of this far-reaching workplace safety scheme is important for members to track to ensure different country requirements do not lead to frustrated shipments, incorrect classification, marking and labeling.
Legislative Affairs Committee
Industry faces new regulatory and legislative challenges every day.
Many of the successes we have enjoyed over the years regarding regulatory harmonization, leadership in new technology, and the economic benefits of providing innovative products and services are the result of our proactive legislative efforts. Members of this committee are asked to engage their legislative affairs counterparts and identify and involve as many other trade groups, companies and individuals as possible to educate elected representatives.
COSTHA members are committed to continuing these efforts for the safe, secure and efficient transport of our products in the complex global supply chain.
Life Sciences Roundtable
The Life Sciences industry includes many fields such as pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, biomedical technologies, cosmetics, food processing, and biomedical devices. The Life Sciences industry faces many issues during global transportation beyond hazardous materials/dangerous goods. These include packaging, classification, cold chain logistics, chain of custody, and trade compliance. Other types of regulations may also apply to global shipments, including chemical control and customs regulations such as Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), and customs. This interactive roundtable will explore these common issues and the mechanisms that companies employ to cover this maze of regulations facing global transportation.
Mexico Working Group
Many members have facilities in Mexico and have questions and concerns about reciprocity and how the Mexican government aligns with the UN Model Regulations. In response, COSTHA has developed this working group and engaged a well-known consultant and organized meetings with The Secretariat of Communications and Transportation of Mexico.
North American Automotive HazMat Action Committee (NAAHAC)
NAAHAC is an issue-driven, action-oriented, voluntary working group of individuals employed by North American automotive companies and their key suppliers.
With the safe transport of industry products as its primary focus, NAAHAC examines pending and current hazmat/dangerous goods regulations and develops concise, informed responses for submission to the regulatory entities. NAAHAC desires to educate regulators and propose realistic solutions to serve the needs of its membership and governing regulatory bodies.
Packaging manufacturers and package testing facilities meet informally to discuss current issues, regulations, and questions.
As a result COSTHA identified critical areas of reform for DOT to include:
- Lack of uniform enforcement
- Clear guidance on what constitutes an appropriate package closure instruction
- Issues with specification limitation for corrugate
COSTHA sucessfully petitioned DOT to expand the basis weight allowance for fiberboard boxes. The provides package manufacturer a broader selection of critical component materials.
Strategic Planning Committee
This committee comprises committee chairs, board members, and other interested members.
COSTHA’s experienced leadership is dedicated to ensuring that the association has a strategic plan in place and that activities, projects, and initiatives are aligned with the plan. The goal of this active and ongoing process is to give members an opportunity to get important issues on the table while continuing to focus on important regulatory issues and key priorities.
Transport Canada Working Group
Members with operations in Canada or who ship to, within and from Canada find this informal working group key to forming relationships with the management team at Transport Canada and to tracking the latest changes in the transborder requirements. The group schedules meetings with Transport Canada leadership and encourages participation at the annual forum.
US Postal Service Group
COSTHA has organized several opportunities for the USPS, DOT and other government agencies to meet with members and identify important areas of misalignment between DOT regulations and Postal Service rules. The group has achieved some key successes resulting in harmonization of the ORM-D transition, battery regulations and on-going review and modification to regulations.