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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 #10-0217 ([Mr. Daniel J. VenRoy])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name:

Individual Name: Mr. Daniel J. VenRoy

Location State: MI Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

November 16, 2011



Mr. Daniel J. VenRoy

14564 - 84th Ave.

Coopersville, MI 49404

Ref. No. 10-0217

Dear Mr. VenRoy:

This is in response to your letter requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to the private transportation of explosives on a public highway. Specifically, you ask if you are subject to the HMR and must also obtain a Hazardous Material Endorsement on a Commercial Driver License (CDL) when transporting such explosives from the point of purchase to your farm. I apologize for the delay in responding and any inconvenience it may have caused.

The answer to both of your questions is dependent upon whether the purchased explosives are being transported on a public highway in furtherance of a commercial enterprise (e.g., a for-profit agricultural operation). As specified in § 171.1, the HMR govern the transportation of hazardous materials in intrastate, interstate, and foreign commerce. The term "in commerce" means in furtherance of a commercial enterprise. Hazardous materials that are purchased and transported to support a commercial enterprise are fully subject to the HMR. Further, a Hazardous Material Endorsement is required on a CDL when the placarding of a transport vehicle is required by the HMR as prescribed in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) at 49 CFR 383.93. Accordingly, hazardous materials that are sold for personal, non-commercial use and transported by such persons in their personal vehicles are not subject to the HMR.

Please note that whether or not you are subject to the HMR or FMCSRs, there may be other Federal, state, and local standards or regulations governing the purchase, movement, and storage of explosives intended for non-commercial use on private property.

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


T. Glenn Foster

Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention Branch

Standards and Rulemaking Division


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.1 Applicability of Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) to persons and functions