Biocair received a request to ship a material that was both radioactive and a flammable liquid to Japan. This kind of shipment is not unusual for Biocair, however this was the first time that a shipment to this particular destination had been requested.
The shipment solution was designed and the collection organised. When it came time to book the consignment with the airline however, the booking was refused on the basis that Japan would not accept the material, just one of the many State Variations written into the IATA Dangerous Goods regulations.
All of Biocair’s Operations staff is trained in application of the IATA regulations. The operative who had organised the consignment reviewed the specific State Variation that had caused the rejection and discovered that it was a question of interpretation. The State Variation stated that materials that were radioactive could not be loaded into the same cargo compartment as materials that were flammable – this was not acceptable for carriage to Japan. In this case the material possessed both hazards so it was physically impossible to meet the conditions of the variation.
The Operative had on several previous occasions had reason to consult with one of IATA’s dangerous goods specialists so was able to seek assistance to resolve the issue. A request was made for the Japanese IATA representative to review the specific case and provide clarification for the airlines, allowing for the fact that radioactive materials often possess other physical properties.
The Japanese IATA representative acknowledged that there was a problem with the variation and issued further guidance confirming that materials with radioactive and other properties were permitted for carriage and did not breach this State Variation. The consignment was then processed as originally planned and the State Variation no longer cases an issue.