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 #06-0075 ([West Marine Products, Inc.] [Mr. Todd A. Nash])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: West Marine Products, Inc.

Individual Name: Mr. Todd A. Nash

Location State: CA Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

Jun 6, 2006


Mr. Todd A. Nash                 Reference No. 06-0075
Director, Regulatory Compliance
West Marine Products, Inc.
500 Westridge Drive
Watsonville, CA 95076

Dear Mr. Nash,

This is in response to your March 24, 2006 letter requesting clarification on whether your retail organization’s employees may routinely deliver hazardous materials to your store and customer locations using private and for-hire vehicles under the Materials of Trade (MOTs) exceptions prescribed in § 171.8 and 173.6 of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180). You stated these items are for replenishment of inventory or to fulfill an existing sale. We have paraphrased your questions and answered them in the order provided.

Q1. The wholesale business utilizes private company vehicles and drivers to deliver sold goods and return unwanted items from customer locations. May those drivers use the MOTs exception under these circumstances if the hazardous materials meet the MOTs definition prescribed in § 171.8 and comply with applicable requirements under § 173.6?

Al. Yes. Under the HMR, one of the defining conditions for MOTs is a hazardous material, other that a hazardous waste, transported by a private motor carrier in direct support of a principal business that is other than transportation by motor vehicle. If a wholesale business uses its own vehicles and driver to transport goods to and from customer locations, then the MOTs exception in § 173.6 may be utilized. Note, however, that if the wholesale company hires a motor carrier to transport goods to and from customer locations, the MOTs exception does not apply.

Q2. May the drivers transport hazardous materials products marked with the proper shipping description “Consumer commodity, ORM-D” under the MOTs exception provided they comply with the definition for MOTs under § 171.8 and applicable requirements under § 173.6?

A2. Ye: Consumer commodities that conform to the HMR requirements applicable to MOTs may be transported as MOTs.

Q3. Many of the items to be transported are not eligible for the limited quantity or consumer commodity exceptions under the HMR (e.g., a 1 gallon can of acetone). Provided a package containing these materials conforms to the MOTs requirements prescribed in § 171.8 and 173.6, and the weight of MOTs aboard the motor vehicle does not exceed 220 kg (440 pounds), would the package be eligible for the MOTs exceptions?

A3. Yes.

Q4. May a store associate transport hazardous materials in his or her own vehicle between stores or to a customer location using the MOTs exceptions provided the packages comply with the definition for MOTs under § 171.8 and applicable requirements under § 173.6?

A4. Yes. See Answer Al above.

I hope this information is helpful. Sincerely,



Susan Gorsky
Regulations Officer
Office of Hazardous Materials Standards

171.8, 173.6

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.8 Definitions and abbreviations
173.6 Materials of trade exceptions