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Interpretation Response #09-0238 ([Mitsubishi International Corporation] [Ms. Lyn Russo])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Mitsubishi International Corporation

Individual Name: Ms. Lyn Russo

Location State: FL Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

February 16, 2010



Ms. Lyn Russo

Hazmat Compliance Department

Mitsubishi International Corporation

655 Third Avenue

New York, NY 10017

Ref. No. 09-0238

Dear Ms. Russo:

This responds to your October 23, 2009 email and further communications with a member of my staff requesting clarification of the applicability of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180). Specifically, you ask whether your subsidiary company is required to register as an offeror or transporter of hazardous materials in accordance with the requirements in 49 CFR Part 107, Subpart G.

According to your October 23 and December 15 emails:

- Your subsidiary company purchases methanol in bulk from overseas companies, takes title to the methanol on arrival at a U.S. port, but never takes physical possession of the methanol or performs any pre-transportation or transportation function as defined in §§ 171.1 and 171.8.

- Your subsidiary company leases space for storage of the methanol in tanks owned by terminal companies.

- Your subsidiary company sells the methanol stored at a terminal. When the methanol is sold, (1) either the subsidiary company or the customer hires a carrier company to transport the methanol from the terminal to the customer; and (2) the carrier company and the terminal company handle the physical transfer of the methanol from the storage tank to the transport vehicle, and they prepare the shipping papers that accompany the methanol during transportation.

- Your subsidiary company, in all cases, is independent of the terminal company and the carrier company. The carrier and terminal companies do not act as an agent for your subsidiary company when they perform services under contract with your subsidiary company.

Based on the information provided in your emails, it is the opinion of this Office that your subsidiary company does not offer or transport a hazardous material in commerce and thus, is not subject to the HMR and is not required to register under 49 CFR Part 107, Subpart G. As provided in 49 CFR 107.601, a person who offers or transports certain types and quantities of hazardous materials is required to register and pay the annual registration fee. A "person who offers or offeror" means any person (e.g., a company) who: (1) performs, or is responsible for performing, any pre-transportation function (see

§ 171.1(b)) required under the HMR for transportation of a hazardous material in commerce; or (2) tenders or makes the hazardous material available to a carrier for transportation in commerce (see § 171.8). Contractual agreements such as the acquisition or transfer of ownership of hazardous materials prior to transportation; selection of a carrier to perform pre-transportation functions and/or transportation functions; and leasing of a transport vehicle (e.g., a rail tank car) for carriage of hazardous material in and of themselves do not constitute performing a pre-transportation function. Therefore, your subsidiary company is not subject to the HMR nor is it subject to registration requirements.

I hope this information is helpful. If you have further questions, please contact this Office.


Charles E. Betts

Chief, Standards Development

Office of Hazardous Materials Standards

171.1, 171.8, 107.601

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
107.601 Applicability
171.1 Applicability of Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) to persons and functions
171.8 Definitions and abbreviations