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

Manufacturers and shippers successfully petitioned the DOT to update the US regulations to harmonize with the UN Model regulations and allow for alternatives to the hot water bath test. The regulations regarding aerosols do not reflect the current technology. We continue to work with DOT and other trade associations for greater alignment with international regulations. Ultimately our goal is to have the UN review and update the regulations on aerosols.

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

e-commerce Working Group

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 identifies 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.

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 have formed this working group to discuss the many issues that they face such as the excessive expenditures required to use only US-based testing labs, approval for hand-held explosives, and explosives classification by analogy,etc. This working group meets at the COSTHA Annual Forum 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 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.

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

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.

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. Most recently 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 & update to the latest UN model regulation - COSTHA officially presented a petition letter for consideration in 2020 for the update of NOM-011 (limited quantities).


Collaboration to Influence Regulations:

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.

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 successfully applied and has been welcomed to the Postmaster General’s Mailers Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC) as an Associate member. The Mailers Technical Advisory Committee represents industry stakeholders on mail-related products and services. This group is instrumental in moving forward with changes to mailer processes and identifying undeclared hazardous materials.  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. Most recently, COSTHA was successful in establishing MTAC Working Group #193 focusing on undeclared hazardous materials.



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.