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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 #09-0103 ([Hapag-Lloyd (America), Inc.] [Mr. Robert F. Ahlborn])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Hapag-Lloyd (America), Inc.

Individual Name: Mr. Robert F. Ahlborn

Location State: NJ Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

June 25, 2010




Mr. Robert F. Ahlborn

Hapag-Lloyd (America), Inc.

399 Hose Lane

Piscataway, NJ 08854

Ref. No. 09-0103

Dear Mr. Ahlborn:

This letter responds to your May 4, 2009 e-mail concerning carrier responsibilities under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180). Specifically, you ask whether a previously issued letter of interpretation, dated January 24, 1995, and addressed to the Vessel Operators Hazardous Materials Association, Inc., remains valid. The letter specified each entity required to receive a shipper"s certification under § 172.204 for transportation by highway, rail and vessel under the HMR.

The answer is yes; our previous response remains valid on this issue. An initial highway or rail carrier is required to obtain a signed shipper certification as specified in § 177.817(b) or

§ 174.24(a), respectively, prior to accepting a hazardous material shipment, but is not required to provide any subsequent highway carrier or train crew with shipping documents containing a shipper"s certification.

As stated in our 1995 letter, a vessel operator may not transport a hazardous material shipment unless provided a signed shipper certification, as specified in § 176.27(a). Therefore, if a hazardous material shipment is offered for transportation and transported by highway, rail, and vessel, both the highway carrier and vessel operator must obtain shipping documents containing a signed shipper"s certification. However, if a shipper offers a hazardous material shipment to a vessel operator for subsequent transportation by rail or highway, only the vessel operator is required to receive the shipper"s certification.

Also enclosed for your information is another response to APL Americas Region, Reference Number 08-0301R, that addresses similar concerns. Please do not hesitate to contact this office if you require additional assistance.


Hattie L. Mitchell

Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention

Office of Hazardous Materials Standards


172.204, 177.817(b), 176.27(a),

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
172.204 Shipper's certification
174.24 Shipping papers