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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 #03-0223 ([Mr. Lloyd Heacock])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name:

Individual Name: Mr. Lloyd Heacock

Location State: MI Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

Apr 16, 2004


Mr. Lloyd Heacock               Reference No. 03-0223
3219 Lowden Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49008-4603

Dear Mr. Heacock:

This is in response to your September 5, 2003 letter and subsequent telephone conversations with members of my staff regarding the applicability of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180).  Specifically, you ask whether a five-gallon container of gasoline transported on public roads, in a company vehicle, for personal use is subject to the requirements of the HMR.  You state that the gasoline was intended to be used to fill the gas tank of your personal vehicle.

The answer is yes.  As specified in § 171.1, the HMR govern the transportation of hazardous materials in intrastate, interstate and foreign commerce.  Accordingly, hazardous materials that are transported by persons for personal use in their personal vehicles are not subject to the HMR.  However, under the scenario described in your letter, although the gasoline was for personal use, it was placed onto a commercial vehicle and transported on a public road.  The transportation is, therefore, “in commerce,” and the gasoline is subject to the requirements of the HMR.

You also asked whether the materials of trade exception (MOT) applies to this scenario.  The answer is yes, the MOT exception applies to the scenario you described, provided all applicable provisions in §§ 171.8 and 173.6 are met.  The definition of MOT in § 171.8 states:

A Material of trade means a hazardous material, other than a hazardous waste, that is carried on [a] motor vehicle -

(1)        For the purpose of protecting the health and safety of the motor vehicle operator or passenger;

(2)        For the purpose of supporting the operation or maintenance of a motor vehicle (including auxiliary equipment); or

(3)        By a private motor carrier (including vehicles operated by a rail carrier) in direct support of a principal business that is other than transportation by motor vehicle.

It is our opinion that the definition, specifically item (2), covers the carriage of gasoline in the scenario you describe and, therefore, the MOT exception applies if all provisions for MOT in § 173.6 are met.

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



Hattie L. Mitchell
Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention
Office of Hazardous Materials Standards

171.8, 173.6

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.8 Definitions and abbreviations
173.6 Materials of trade exceptions