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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 #08-0137 ([National Motor Freight Traffic Association, Inc.] [Ms. Lisa K. Winter])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: National Motor Freight Traffic Association, Inc.

Individual Name: Ms. Lisa K. Winter

Location State: VA Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

February 6, 2009

Ms. Lisa K. Winter

National Motor Freight Traffic Association, Inc.

1001 North Fairfax Street, Suite 600

Alexandria, VA 22314

Ref. No. 08-0137

Dear Ms. Winter:

This responds to your request for clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) and its applicability to a scenario involving a motor carrier accepting a shipment that contains hazardous materials packages and non-hazardous materials packages in one handling unit, such as a pallet. The shipment is received with instructions from the shipper (offeror) to keep the unit intact. You state that there are incidences when the motor carrier accepts a unit that weighs more than indicated on the received shipping documents and you are concerned that the weight discrepancy may alter applicable requirements, such as those for placarding. Specifically, you ask how this problem should be rectified.

A carrier with knowledge of incorrect information may not continue to use that information (see § 171.2(e) and (f)) and must resolve any discrepancies pertaining to the shipment before it is accepted for transportation. A carrier who knowingly continues to use inaccurate information, as well as a person who knowingly or willfully provides incorrect information to a carrier, is in violation of the HMR. As specified in § 172.202(a)(5), the total quantity of hazardous materials covered by the shipping description must be indicated (by mass or volume) on the shipping papers. Discrepancies in the weight of the hazardous materials may impact compliance with other HMR requirements. For example, whether a carrier may take advantage of the placard exceptions provided in § 172.504 for certain non-bulk packaging shipments of less than 1,001 lbs.

Communication between the applicable parties is essential in cases where discrepancies and confusion exist regarding a shipment. Implementing procedures with the offeror to solve

problems before accepting a shipment, particularly when previous problems with the offeror have occurred, should also be considered.

I hope this information is helpful. Please contact this office should you have additional questions.


Hattie L. Mitchell, Chief

Regulatory Review and Reinvention

Office of Hazardous Materials Standards

§§ 171.2, 172.202(a)(5)

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.2 General requirements
172.202 Description of hazardous material on shipping papers