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Interpretation Response #07-0103 ([Greenberg Traurig, LLP] [Mr. Sanford M. Saunders, Jr, Mr. Kenneth P. Kaplan])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Individual Name: Mr. Sanford M. Saunders, Jr, Mr. Kenneth P. Kaplan

Location State: DC Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

SEP 5, 2007

Mr. Sanford M. Saunders, Jr.                  Ref. No.: 07-0103

Mr. Kenneth P. Kaplan

Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Attorneys at Law

800 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 500

Washington, DC 20006

Dear Messrs. Saunders and Kaplan:

This is in response to your May 9, 2007 letter requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to shipper's responsibilities. Your scenario is based on an originating shipper, "Shipper A," who properly sends a package of explosives to its customer, "Shipper B" in accordance with the HMR. Subsequently, Shipper B desires to ship the explosives back to Shipper A. Your questions are paraphrased and answered below.

Q1: If Shipper A provides Shipper B with the EX number and shipping materials (including signed shipping papers, packaging materials and instructions), is Shipper A potentially subject to either the civil or criminal penalty provisions of the HMR?

A1: The answer is yes. Each person who performs the functions of an offeror (shipper), such as signing the certification statement on a shipping paper or preparing a hazardous material shipment for transportation in commerce, is responsible for performing those functions in accordance with the HMR. Therefore, both Shipper A and Shipper B are potentially subject to either the civil or criminal penalty provisions that may result from non compliance with the HMR. Determinations of civil or criminal penalties are handled on a case by case basis.

Q2. If Shipper B, without any assistance from or notification to Shipper A, offers the ammunition primer for transport in commerce using Shipper A's EX number and in the original packaging, will Shipper A be subject to either civil or criminal penalty provisions of the HMR?

A2. The answer is no. If Shipper A does not perform any of the functions of an offeror, then the HMR, including the enforcement provisions would not apply. Also, note that the EX number is directly associated with the explosive material and its packaging.

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


Hattie L. Mitchell

Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention

Office of Hazardous Materials Standards

173.22, 173.62

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.22 Shipper's responsibility
173.62 Specific packaging requirements for explosives