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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 #12-0015 ([AT & T Inc.] [Mr. Jim La Porte])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: AT & T Inc.

Individual Name: Mr. Jim La Porte

Location State: MI Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

February 13, 2012




Mr. Jim La Porte
AT & T Inc.
1670 Axtell
Troy, MI 48084

Ref. No. 12-0015

Dear Mr. La Porte:
This is in response to your email regarding the shippers"s certification prescribed in § 172.204 of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180). Specifically, you present the following scenario and ask whether it is prohibited for your company AT & T to hire a third-party contractor to offer a hazardous material under the HMR.
According to your letter, AT & T contracts with Company X to remove and ship compressed gas cylinders classified as a hazardous material. Company X will use its own personnel to prepare hazardous materials shipments in accordance with the applicable requirements of the HMR. In such cases, Company X, on AT & T"s behalf, signs the shipper"s certification on the shipping paper. It is your understanding that the HMR does not prohibit hiring a third party contractor to prepare, package and transport materials in accordance with the applicable requirements to the HMR.

Your understanding is correct. At your company"s direction or through contractual arrangement, a third party may perform the functions of an offeror (shipper), such as signing the certification statement on a shipping paper to certify that hazardous materials are being offered for transportation in accordance with the HMR. Under the HMR, any person performing functions of an offeror, as defined in § 171.8, must take responsibility for performing those functions in accordance with the applicable requirements. Each person who performs a function governed by the HMR is responsible for complying with the appropriate requirements of the HMR.

It should be noted that because Company X in your scenario is acting as an agent of AT & T, AT & T may be held responsible for Company X"s non-compliance with the HMR. The degree of regulatory liability is usually determined on a case-by-case basis, and is dependent on the facts of the specific situation.

I hope this information is helpful. Please contact us if you require additional assistance.



T. Glenn Foster
Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention Branch
Standards and Rulemaking Division

172.204, 171.8

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.8 Definitions and abbreviations