The Association of Hazmat Shippers
– Be Safe – Ship it Right! –
Many shippers of hazardous materials, in the United States and abroad, have noted that smaller package shipments consume a disproportionate amount of time, attention and resources. The Association of Hazmat Shippers, Inc. (AHS) was formed in 2002, and is headquartered in Washington, DC. AHS focuses on hazmat shipper’s concerns and smaller package shipment issues in particular.
AHS encourages membership by companies and their trade associations who are involved in the shipment of hazardous materials. Today many companies have a global perspective, and the work of AHS includes the international regulation of dangerous goods under United Nations-affiliated organizations as well as domestic regulations.
Members buy, produce, distribute, ship, reship, and return smaller and medium-sized packages of hazardous materials. Many members also have an interest in larger package shipments, and the Association addresses those concerns as well, but the primary focus of AHS is on smaller package distribution problems.
Examples of materials of interest are medical and dental supplies, pharmaceuticals, automotive parts, flavors, fragrances, paints and coatings, and sample or laboratory sizes of all types of chemical products.
Issues of interest include global harmonization through the UN on limited quantity and excepted quantity relief, markings, and documentation; determinations of air shipment eligibility and marks; appropriate additional regulatory relief for lower hazard items such as alcohol/water mixtures; proposed revisions to compliance inspection policies; maintenance of national regulatory/uniformity; and implementation of major pending changes in federal hazmat legislation.
AHS’s membership includes manufacturers, direct shippers, catalogue companies, brokers, forwarders, Internet marketers, and their commercial suppliers and customers. AHS provides a forum in which hazmat shippers are able to learn about evolving regulatory requirements, and to take positions on the issues in time to affect the outcome of those deliberations.
The new association was organized by industry leaders who felt a need for a group with an undiluted shipper focus that could serve as an industry voice for them in federal and state legislative and regulatory arenas. At the federal regulatory level, these include the five operating administrations within the United States Department of Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency, United States Customs, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the Department of Labor.
Internationally, they include the United Nations, the International Maritime Organization, the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Air Transport Association, and the rail and highway regulatory authorities in Europe (RID/ADR).
In addition to the offices of the United States government, AHS interacts frequently with Transport Canada and the Mexican Ministry of Communications and Transportation. As necessary, particularly under the preemption provisions of U.S. law, various state activities will also be the subject of AHS attention.
The Association provides a wide networking base for industry transportation professionals, their suppliers and customers. Members have the benefit of an active website, electronic bulletins, regional and national workshops, advocacy materials and educational opportunities. In addition, AHS will host periodic interactive Internet meetings, at which members can learn from AHS professionals and their industry colleagues about issues affecting their daily distribution responsibilities.