Shipping hazardous materials can be a confusing process but it doesn’t have to be. The problem that most shippers have in regards to international export is not that they don’t know the rules, but it’s that they cannot find the rules.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is the arm of the USDOT that determines the rules and regulations for highway transportation of hazardous materials.
Hazardous Materials Shipper Responsibilities
- DETERMINE WHETHER A MATERIAL MEETS THE DEFINITION OF A “HAZARDOUS MATERIAL”
- PROPER SHIPPING NAME
- IDENTIFICATION NUMBER
- HAZARD WARNING LABEL
- EMPLOYEE TRAINING
- SHIPPING PAPERS
- EMERGENCY RESPONSE INFORMATION
- EMERGENCY RESPONSE TELEPHONE NUMBER
- BLOCKING AND BRACING
- PLACARDING – see guide: Hazmat Placard Guide
- SECURITY PLAN
- INCIDENT REPORTING
The word “shipper” is not specifically defined in the HMR (49 CFR Parts 170-179), due primarily to the fact that it is not possible for the Department to account for the numerous commercial arrangements that may exist under that concept, Although the word “shipper” does appear, it is used in an ordinary layman’s manner rather than as a specific, technical term of art. Consequently, responsibilities generally are placed on “offerors” for performance of the functions associated with “offering” hazardous materials for transportation (e.g., see the general duty and applicability provisions in 49 CFR 171.1, 171.2, 172.3, and 173.1).
The term offeror means any person who performs, or is responsible for performing, any of the pre-transportation functions required under the HMR for transportation of a hazardous material; tenders or makes a hazardous material available to a carrier for transportation in commerce; or both performs, or is responsible for performing, pre-transportation functions and tenders or makes a hazardous material available to a carrier for transportation
Employees must receive the required training every three years or any time there is a change in job function.
|Packing Group||Degree of Danger|
Immediate notification of a hazardous materials incident by a carrier is required at the earliest practical moment for incidents that occur during the course of transportation (including loading, unloading, and temporary storage) in which as a direct result of the hazardous materials any one or more of the following occurs:
- A person is killed;
- A person receives an injury requiring admittance to a hospital;
- The general public is evacuated for one hour or more;
- A major transportation artery or facility is closed or shut down for one hour or more; or
- Fire, breakage, spillage, or suspected radioactive contamination occurs involving a radioactive material;
- Fire, breakage, spillage, or suspected contamination occurs involving an infectious substance other than a diagnostic specimen or regulated medical waste;
- A release of a marine pollutant occurs in a quantity exceeding 450L (119 gallons) for a liquid or 400 kg (882 pounds) for a solid; or
- A situation exists of such a nature (e.g., a continuing danger to life exists at the scene of the incident) that, in the judgment of the person in possession of the hazardous material, it should be reported to the National Response Center even though it does not meet the other criteria.
Each notice shall be given telephonically to the Department at (800) 424-8802. Incidents involving etiologic agents may be made to the CDC at (800) 232-0124. For content of report and additional information, please see 171.15.
A written report shall be submitted on DOT Form F 5800.1 for all incidents involving the transportation of hazardous materials unless excepted. Detailed reporting requirements are contained in 171.16.”