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Interpretation Response #06-0099 ([Security and Risk Management, the Americas] [Mr. James LoBello])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Security and Risk Management, the Americas

Individual Name: Mr. James LoBello

Location State: AL Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

Sep 27, 2007

Mr. James LoBello                 Reference No. 06-0099

Senior Manager

Security and Risk Management, the Americas

Lufthansa Cargo

Dear Mr. Lobello:

This is in response to your April 17, 2006 letter requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 100-180) applicable to accepting and inspecting hazardous materials shipments. Specifically, you state that your company has staff at "offline" stations that check hazardous materials shipments and forward them to the first "online" station for connection to a flight. You state that your offline station does not handle hazardous materials on a regular basis, and ask whether the following procedures are acceptable under the HMR training requirements:

  1. Offline station staff, trained in general awareness, receive the hazardous materials shipment;
  2. Offline station staff forward the shipping documents to a remote location for verification of accuracy by staff trained in acceptance procedures in accordance with International Air Transport Association (IATA) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Technical Instructions;
  3. The hazardous materials shipment would be captured via a Web Cam and transmitted to the remote location;
  4. Staff at the remote location reviews the shipping documents and Web Cam pictures and accepts the hazardous materials shipment.

The answer is no. As required in § 172.702(a), a hazmat employer must ensure that each of its hazmat employees is trained in accordance with the prescribed requirements. A hazmat employee, as defined § 171.8, is a person who is employed by a hazardous materials employer and who, in the course of employment, directly affects hazardous materials transportation safety. Under your scenario, both offline and online employees directly affect hazardous materials transportation, and, therefore, are subject to the training requirements of the HMR. The training requirements found in § 172.704 include: (1) general awareness/familiarization training; (2) function-specific training; (3) safety training; (4) security awareness training; and (5) in-depth security training. Thus, in addition to general awareness, safety, and security awareness training, employees accepting hazardous materials shipments at your offline stations should receive function-specific training sufficient to enable them to properly identify a hazardous materials shipment and ascertain that it conforms to applicable HMR requirements.

In addition, your procedure to remotely view a package via Web Cam prior to its acceptance for transportation does not appear to be sufficient to ascertain that the package conforms to all applicable HMR requirements. For example, a picture does not provide a true representation of the size, color, and shape of the package, and the marking and labels on the package. Further, the procedure is not adequate to determine whether the integrity of the package has been compromised, or the package is leaking or emitting odors. That determination requires a physical inspection.

I trust this satisfies your inquiry.


John A. Gale

Chief, Standards Development

Office of Hazardous Materials Standards

172.702(a), 175.30

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
172.702 Applicability and responsibility for training and testing
175.30 Inspecting shipments