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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Interpretation Response #00-0015 ([Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms] [Mr. Paul J. Vida])

Below is the interpretation response detail and a list of regulations sections applicable to this response.

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms

Individual Name: Mr. Paul J. Vida

Location State: DC Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

February 24, 2000


Mr. Paul J. Vida                              Ref.  No. 00-0015
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco
and Firearms
Department of the Treasury
Washington, D.C. 20226

Dear Mr. Vida:

This is in response to your letter regarding the requirements for temporary storage of explosives transported in a motor vehicle by highway under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180).

You provided the following scenario:

Dyno Nobel Transportation, Inc., transports explosives on behalf of the manufacturer, Dyno Nobel, Inc.  The explosives are routinely stored temporarily at a location enroute to their destination.  One of the locations is partially owned by Dyno Nobel, Inc., and the other is leased.  The trucks containing, the explosives may remain at these locations for a period ranging from a few hours to more than a day.

You asked the following questions:

Ql.       Are the explosive materials on the trucks under DOT regulation during the time that they are at the temporary location?

Al.        The answer is yes.  “Transportation,” as defined in § 5102 of the Federal hazardous materials transportation law (49 U.S.C. 5101-5127) means the movement of property and loading, unloading, or storage incidental to the movvement.  Thus, explosives routinely stored temporarily at a location en route to its destination is considered "storage incidental to transportation" or "temporary storage."

Q2.      Does the length of time they rest at this location affect this determination?

A2.      Although no specific length of time is prescribed, all shipments of hazardous materials (e.g., explosives) by motor vehicle must be transported without unnecessary or undue delay, from and including the time of commencement of the loading of the hazardous material until its fimal unloading at destination (See § 177.800(d).

Q3.      Additionally, if a portion of the explosive materials are unloaded for storage at this location, does this affect this determination with respect to the explosives remaining on the truck for further transportation?

A3.      The portion of the explosives stored temporarily at a location and the explosives remaining on the truck for further transportation are considered in transportation in commerce, and subject to the HMR.  Transportation ends once a consignee takes physical delivery of the hazardous material from the carrier.  After delivery, storage of hazardous material at a consignee facility is not storage incidental to the movement or temporary storage.

For your information, general requirements which address driving and parking rules and vehicle attendance requirements for explosives are in found in Part 397 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR; 49 CFR Parts 200-399).

1 hope this satisfies your inquiry.  If we can be of further assistance, please contact us.



Delmer F. Billings
Chief, Standards Development
Office of Hazardous Materials Standards


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.8 Definitions and abbreviations