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.

Association Management Committees:

Board of Directors

COSTHA is governed by an elected board of directors comprising experts with years of experience with hazardous materials, dangerous goods, transportation, consultation and working within ever evolving regulations. 

Finance Committee

COSTHA’s Finance Committee is comprised of volunteer members from the Board of Directors. The committee develops the budget for the association and meets monthly to ensure that 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.

 

Issue-Driven Working Groups:

Aerosol Working Group

COSTHA continues to review existing regulatory requirements in relation to Aerosols to ensure that regulations keep pace with industry improvements, aerosol technology, and global economic environments. This includes US harmonization with international requirements as well as aerosol design, construction, and contents. At our request, PHMSA is currently researching the ability to define a non-flammable, non-toxic gas (not expelling a liquid, paste or powder) as an aerosol in the US.

Battery Working Group

Battery and device manufacturers and shippers of those products meet to discuss current transport issues, regulations, enforcement trends, and questions. Further, comments are used to support the UN Informal Working Group on Lithium Batteries. Key issues identified include:

  • Communication between regulatory authorities and industry (UN, FAA, PHMSA, ICAO, SAE)
  • New technologies
  • Approval process for large format batteries
  • Damaged and defective lithium batteries
  • Battery testing techniques

e-commerce Working Group

Most dangerous goods regulations were enacted in another era to ensure the safe transport of chemicals, well before the time of e-Commerce and direct to consumer shipments of consumer commodities. Relief in the regulations can be difficult to locate and apply creating a challenge in the business environment for high volume low risk goods.

The COSTHA e-Commerce working group identifies areas of risk, locations or geographical locations where more information needs to be provided or regulations need to be updated and is working to identify best practices for reverse logistics to ensure the safe and efficient delivery and return of goods to and from consumers.

Challenge: getting the regulators interested in getting behind changes that need to be made to reflect today’s supply chain. Tomorrow’s supply chain will be completely different. 

Explosives Council

Explosives manufacturers and shippers formed this working group to discuss the many issues that they face such as excessive expenditures required for testing, relief for low hazard explosives, and impediments to transport. This working group will meet to discuss current issues with key regulators and industry experts.

This working group meets at the COSTHA Annual Forum and throughout the year to provide opportunities for companies to meet one-on-one in a small group environment with regulators to discuss explosives related issues.

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.

Life Sciences Roundtable

The Life Sciences industry includes several 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.

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.  

 

COSTHA's International Influence:

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.

China Working Group

Members with operations in China or who ship to, within and from China participate in this working group to address questions, or issues that may arise regarding TDG regulations in China. The working group has a team in China who facilitates communication with key industry and governmental stakeholders. There is also an established delegation to participate in the US-DOT – China MOT Transportation Forums. MOT has also participated in the COSTHA Annual Forum to provide updates on key regulatory changes.

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. COSTHA has been approved to participate in the National Consultive Committee on Regulation for Transportation of Hazardous Materials Subcommittee No 1 (SCT Mexico) meetings, and the working group to review NOM-002-SCT2-2011 (Hazmat Table) & update to the latest UN model regulation - COSTHA officially presented a petition letter for the update of NOM-011 (limited quantities).

 

Collaboration to Influence Regulations:

Air Carrier Roundtable

The COSTHA Air Carrier Roundtable (ACRT) is comprised of experts from mainline, regional and cargo aircraft only operators, dedicated to providing support and expertise to all stakeholders in the aviation industry.  This group actively represents air carriers from all segments of the industry. The ACRT members are committed to continuing their efforts for the safe, secure and efficient transport of hazardous materials in the aviation supply chain. This group continues 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. In recent years the focus has been lithium batteries in transport and the risks they posed as undeclared goods. The ACRT and COSTHA continue to work with regulatory agency and industry partners such as TSA, A4A, IATA, PHMSA and the FAA to continue their efforts for the safe, secure and efficient transport of hazardous materials in the aviation supply chain.

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.

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.

US Postal Service Group

COSTHA is proud of its working relationship with the US Postal Service (USPS) and the Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) supporting our members’ desire to learn more on mailing requirements and effect positive changes in mailing standards. COSTHA successfully applied to and remains an Associate member of the Postmaster General’s Mailers Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC). The Mailers Technical Advisory Committee represents industry stakeholders on mail-related products and services. This group is instrumental in progressing changes to mailer processes and mailing standards. Through the MTAC, COSTHA was successful in establishing a MTAC Working Group #193 focusing on undeclared hazardous materials. Key initiatives, priorities, and recommendations were agreed upon by this cross-organizational group and submitted to the MTAC Executive Committee. The COSTHA USPS Working Group continues to identify opportunities for the USPS, DOT, FAA, and other government agencies to meet with members and identify important areas of misalignment between DOT regulations and Postal Service mailing standards.

 

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.