USA Banner

Official US Government Icon

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure Site Icon

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

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

Interpretation Response #03-0007 ([Refrigeration Supplies Distributor] [Mr. Neill Boutilier])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Refrigeration Supplies Distributor

Individual Name: Mr. Neill Boutilier

Location State: CA Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

Dec 19, 2003


Mr. Neill Boutilier                              Ref. No. 03-0007

Refrigeration Supplies Distributor

26021 Atlantic Ocean Drive

Lake Forest, CA 92630

Dear Mr.Boutilier:

This is in response to your letter requesting clarification of the requirements under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) regarding over-the-counter sales of hazardous materials. You ask for additional clarification of our response to a previous interpretation letter (Ref. No. 01-0290) dated May 6, 2002. You state that your questions pertain to hazardous materials that do not meet the materials of trade exceptions in § 173.6 and that your employees are aware that the customers are transporting hazardous materials in commerce. We have framed our response in the following series of questions and answers.

Q1. As part of our company training, is it acceptable to instruct our employees not to provide a verbal interpretation of the HMR, at the time of will call, when not asked by the customer?

Al. The HMR do not require the offeror to provide an interpretation of the hazardous materials regulations to the customer; however, we strongly encourage such actions to the extent that it may be appropriate with regard to over-the-counter sales.

Q2. Is the seller required to include the total weight, shipper's certification and address of the recipient of the hazardous materials on the shipping paper?

A2. In accordance with § 172.200(a), a hazardous material offeror must describe the hazardous material on the shipping paper, therefore, the offeror is responsible for providing a shipping paper as required by Part 172, Subpart C of the HMR, that includes the total weight and shipper's certification. The offeror is not required to enter the recipient's (consignee's) address on the shipping paper.

Q3. Is it acceptable to load over 1000 pounds of a Class 2 refrigerant gas onto a customer's vehicle and provide temporary placards, upon request, without verifying whether or not the driver of the vehicle has a valid commercial driver's license (CDL) with a hazardous materials endorsement?

A3. The HMR do not require the offeror to verify whether the driver has a valid CDL with a hazardous materials endorsement.

Q4. Is the seller responsible for ensuring that the purchaser has properly secured the hazardous materials into their vehicle at the time of will call?

A4. An offeror who loads hazardous material into a transport vehicle must perform the function in conformance with the applicable requirements in Part 177. (See § 173.30.) However, the carrier is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the load is properly loaded and secured before transporting the material in commerce.

For your information, on March 25, 2003, a final rule was published in the Federal Register (68 FR 14510) under Docket No. RSPA-02-12064 (HM-232) requiring security awareness to be included in all hazardous material employee training (see § 172.704(a) (4)). In addition, persons who offer for transportation or transport certain hazardous materials (see Part 172, Subpart I) must develop and implement security plans.

I hope this information is helpful. If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact this office.



Hattie L. Mitchell

Regulatory Review and Reinvention

Office of Hazardous Materials Standards

171.1, 173.6

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.1 Applicability of Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) to persons and functions
173.6 Materials of trade exceptions