[ RadSafe ] Enforcement of IATA/ICAO/IAEA "regulations"

Bourquin, Marty Marty.Bourquin at grace.com
Thu Mar 19 15:15:41 CDT 2009

We have been audited numerous times by the FAA (predominantly for non
rad air shipments of hazardous materials but also for some rad
shipments).  They will enforce the ICAO/IATA rules.  We have never been
cited for any problems but they always make a point of pointing out the
difference in training requirements.  
My understanding is that 49CFR171.7 incorporates by reference the ICAO
rules and technical instructions and that the use of these requirements
is further defined in 171.22-171.24 (and 171.25 for IMDG and 171.26 for


Martin W. Bourquin 
Manager - EHS
Radiation Safety Officer 
W.R. Grace & Co 
Chattanooga, TN  37406 


-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl [mailto:radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl] On
Behalf Of Walt Cofer
Sent: Thursday, March 19, 2009 2:02 PM
To: radsafe at radlab.nl
Subject: [ RadSafe ] Enforcement of IATA/ICAO/IAEA "regulations"

I was recently told by a respected colleague that he was aware of cases
where USDOT and FAA inspectors had cited radioactive materials licensees
for noncompliance with IATA/ICAO/IAEA "regulations." and had issued
steep fines for the violations.  I put the word "regulations" in
quotations because these organizations are not regulatory agencies, but
each issues what I would describe as "quasi-regs" because the IATA and
the ICAO issue "instructions" on hazmat transportation that are followed
by the airline industry and the IAEA "standards" are adopted by many
foreign countries.

The specific "requirement" my colleague mentioned was the IATA/ICAO
requirement for hazmat employee training to be conducted at two year
intervals, rather than the three year interval specified in 49 CFR Part
172, Subpart H.

I emailed contacts at both agencies about this.  My PHMSA contact told
me that her agency doesn't enforce IATA.  My FAA contact said that their
inspectors will enforce whatever commitments are made in by the
organizations they regulate, so if an FAA repair station commits to the
IATA requirement for 2-yr. refresher training and they haven't done it,
they will be cited, so based on that, it appears that at least the FAA
does some enforcement of the requirement.  The FAA's approach parallels
my experience as a state radiation control regulator; if a rad.
materials licensee commits to something (like 2-yr. hazmat employee
refresher training), then my agency would hold them to it. 

My concern is that anyone who uses FedEx or other common carriers for
air shipments of RAM is expected to abide by IATA/ICAO requirements, but
its not like FedEx is checking with their clients to see if they
actually do it, so if a company never commits to anything in writing
that could gig them by the FAA or another regulator, are they off the
hook or not?

My question to the group is, has anyone experienced enforcement of
IATA/ICAO/IAEA requirements by the USDOT or FAA?  If so, what was the
context and outcome?

Any feedback on this topic would be helpful.

Walt Cofer
Radiation Control, Inc.
Tallahassee, FL
Tel:    (850) 668-8559
Cell:   (850) 519-5351
Email: radcontrol at embarqmail.com
Web:  www.rad-control.net
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