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.

Initiatives

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.

 

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 and other trade associations for greater alignment with international regulations. Data is being collected and a request to DOT will be submitted this year.

Air Carrier Roundtable

This group actively represents air carriers from all segments of the industry. The ACRT and COSTHA staff continue to successfully petition the US DOT for regulatory clarification, extensions and alignment of regulations with the UN Model Regulations and the International Civil Aviation Organization. Most recently the ACRT petitioned for rulemaking to allow externally fitted medical devices to harmonize with ICAO and participated with A4A, IATA, PHMSA and the FAA to clarify the definitions for acceptance of Medical Assistive Devices and Portable Electronic Devices.

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 hosted well-known consultants at the COSTHA Annual Forum.

China Working Group

The China Working Group has established a delegation to participate in the US DOT – China MOT Transportation Forums. We have also established key alliances with trade associations and consultants who can assist when critical issues arise.

e-commerce Working Group

It is estimated that e-commerce sales will top $27 trillion by 2020. Retail e-commerce is expected to increase to $4+ trillion in 2020 and continue to see double digit growth each year. e-commerce sales in China top the list and are expected to reach $899+ billion this year followed by North America, rising 15.6% to $423+ billion (eMarketer report).

Most dangerous goods regulations were enacted in another era, well before the time of e-commerce and are not based on an assessment of risk for individual shipments of consumer commodities.Additionally, the complex web of exceptions creates a challenging business environment for high volume low risk goods. 

Our working group will identify areas of risk, geographies where more information needs to be provided or regulations need to be updated and identify best practices for reverse logistics to ensure the safe and efficient delivery and return of goods to and from consumers.

Finance Committee

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.

Most recently COSTHA worked with legislative counterparts to identify key players who could assist us with reaching out to China MOT to encourage regulatory harmonization and the adoption of the limited quantity exceptions for ground transport. Support was provided from the US Chamber of Commerce, the US-China Business Council, AMCHAM China and others. We look forward to expanding our network of contacts and continuing to be able to encourage global harmonization to enhance the safe and efficient transport of dangerous goods.

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, organized meetings with The Secretariat of Communications and Transportation of Mexico and a group of interested trade associations. Recently the group identified several areas of specific concern and are submitting letters to SCT requesting clarification and hoping to have further dialog.

North American Automotive HazMat Action Committee (NAAHAC)

NAAHAC is an issue-driven, action-oriented, voluntary working group of individuals employed by Global 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 Roundtable

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 involves 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 Canadian and transborder requirements.The group schedules meetings with Transport Canada, and COSTHA staff serves on Transport Canada’s Transportation of Dangerous Goods General Policy Advisory Council, and participates on the US - Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) and the Multi-Association Committee on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (MACTDG). COSTHA works with the Transport Dangerous Goods (TDG) Directorate and also Health Canada’s Workplace Hazardous Materials Bureau. COSTHA actively works with member companies and responds to request for consultation from Transport Canada.

US Postal Service Group

COSTHA successfully applied and has been welcomed to the Postmaster General’s Mailers Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC). 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.