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Interpretation Response #12-0020 ([Federal Railroad Administration] [Mr. Dennis Campbell])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Federal Railroad Administration

Individual Name: Mr. Dennis Campbell

Location State: TX Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

March 9, 2012

 

Mr. Dennis Campbell
Hazmat Trainer " FRA
32827 Crestlake Blvd.
Magnolia, TX 77354

Ref. No. 12-0020

Dear Mr. Campbell:

This responds to your January 20, 2012 email regarding the applicability of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180). Specifically, you ask who must receive and retain a copy of the shipper's certification as required by § 174.24(a) when a shipper offers a hazardous material to a vessel operator for subsequent transportation by rail. You reference two letters of interpretation issued by PHMSA, one issued on June 25, 2010 (Ref. No.: 09-0103) and the other issued on December 11, 2009 (Ref. No.: 08-0301R). The June 25, 2010 letter states that "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." The December 11, 2009 letter states that the vessel operator is the "initial carrier in the United States." You ask that we clarify what is intended by the term "initial U.S. carrier" as specified in §§ 171.22(f)(2) and 174.24(a).

The term "initial U.S. carrier" is not defined in the HMR. As used in § 171.22(f)(2), it refers to the first carrier to transport a hazardous material shipment within the United States. A vessel operator may not transport a hazardous material shipment unless provided a signed shipper certification, as specified in § 176.27(a). Therefore, the vessel carrier must receive a signed shipper certification for all shipments.

You provide the following scenario: A steamship company (APL) transports a hazmat package to a U.S. port. The package is picked up at the port by one U.S. railroad (UP) and is subsequently transferred to a second railroad (BNSF) for delivery to a U.S. consignee. You ask if the UP Railroad is required to receive/file the shipper's certification. In the scenario you provide, the initial United States carrier, as specified in §§ 171.22(f)(2) and 174.24(a), is the vessel operator (APL). Only the vessel operator is required to receive the shipper's certification. The UP Railroad would not be required to receive the shipper's certification as it is not the initial carrier within the United States.

I hope this answers your inquiry. If you have further questions, please contact this office.

Sincerely,

Ben Supko
Acting Chief, Standards Development Branch
Standards and Rulemaking Division

176.27(a), 171.22

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.22 Authorization and conditions for the use of international standards and regulations
174.24 Shipping papers