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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 #09-0005 ([BDP International, Inc.] [Mr. Torsten Helk])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: BDP International, Inc.

Individual Name: Mr. Torsten Helk

Location State: PA Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

January 25, 2010




Mr. Torsten Helk


Hazardous Materials and

Export Compliance

BDP International, Inc.

510 Walnut Street

Philadelphia, PA 19106

Ref. No. 09-0005

Dear Mr. Helk:

This responds to your letter regarding the applicability of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) to shipments imported to or exported from the United States that are regulated as hazardous materials under the HMR, but are not subject to regulation under the International Civil Aviation Organization's Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air or the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code. Specifically, you ask at what point the jurisdiction of the United States and thus, the HMR, begins and ends.

The HMR apply to the transportation in commerce of hazardous materials by all modes of transport. As specified in Federal hazardous materials transportation law (Federal hazmat law; 49 U.S.C. § 5101 et seq.), "commerce" means trade or transportation in the jurisdiction of the United States between a place in a state or a place outside of the state, that affects trade or transportation between a place in a state and a place outside of the state, or on a United States-registered aircraft. Thus, the HMR apply to hazardous materials transported in commerce as that term is defined in Federal hazmat law, including shipments transported by vessel in the navigable waters of the United States, as defined in § 171.8.

Shipments entering the United States must conform to all applicable HMR requirements. The HMR permit hazardous materials to be offered for transportation and transported by air or vessel domestically in the United States in accordance with the international standards or regulations if all or part of the transportation is by air or water. This policy promotes

compliance with multiple standards or regulations while facilitating international trade. Note, however, that a material regulated under the HMR that is excepted from or not subject to regulation under international standards must be transported in accordance with the HMR.

I trust this satisfies your inquiry. Please contact us if we can be of further assistance.


Hattie L. Mitchell

Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention

Office of Hazardous Materials Standards


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.8 Definitions and abbreviations