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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 #14-0154 ([Pitt Ohio] [Mr. Timothy L. Stipcak])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Pitt Ohio

Individual Name: Mr. Timothy L. Stipcak

Location State: PA Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

December 4, 2014

Mr. Timothy L. Stipcak
Pitt Ohio
15 27th Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Ref. No. 14-0154

Dear Mr. Stipcak:

This is a response to your July 22, 2014 letter requesting clarification of the carrier requirements for shipping papers under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180).  In your incoming letter, you describe a scenario wherein a company driver picks up a hazardous materials (hazmat) shipment with a complete shipping paper, including the shipper’s certification required by § 172.204, and returns to a local terminal operated by the company.  The shipping paper and certification (i.e., the original freight bill) is scanned at the terminal for retention purposes and a new freight bill is created that includes all shipping paper information except for the shipper’s certification.  A different driver from the company is then given the freight bill for final delivery of the hazmat to the shipper’s customer.  Your questions are paraphrased and answered below:

Q1.  Section 177.817(a) requires that a subsequent carrier may not transport a hazmat unless it is accompanied by a shipping paper prepared in accordance with Part 172 of the HMR, except for the shipper’s certification under § 172.204.  How does a carrier determine if it is the initial carrier or a subsequent carrier in order to determine if a shipper’s certification is required on the shipping paper?

A1.  The term “subsequent carrier” is not defined in the HMR.  The carrier accepting the hazmat offered by the shipper is considered the initial carrier.   Regarding the scenario you describe, provided the shipper’s certification was on the shipping paper offered to the initial carrier it would not be required on any subsequent documents created for that shipment.  This would include a document such as a freight bill created at a carrier’s terminal, provided the recordkeeping requirements applicable to a carrier are met, in accordance with § 177.817(f).  

Q2.  How does a roadside inspector determine at the time of inspection if the carrier is the initial or subsequent carrier, and the applicability of the requirement to have a shipper certification present on the shipping paper at the time of inspection?

A2.  The HMR does not specify procedures for roadside inspections.  For further information on inspections conducted by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, please see 49 CFR 107.305.

Q3.  If the initial carrier (accepting the hazmat) and the subsequent driver (delivering the hazmat) are the same company, is the subsequent driver required to have a shipper’s certification on the shipping paper?

A3.  No.  See A1.  Additionally, we have enclosed a previous interpretation (Ref. No. 97-0077) that further discusses this issue.

I hope this information is helpful.  If you have any more questions, please do not hesitate to contact this office.


Dirk Der Kinderen
Acting Chief, Standards Development
Standards and Rulemaking Division
177.81, 2.204, 7.817(f), 107.305

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
107.305 Investigations