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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 #14-0177 ([American Marine Express] [Mr. Ramdy Wheaton])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: American Marine Express

Individual Name: Mr. Ramdy Wheaton

Location State: OH Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

March 31, 2015

Mr. Randy Wheaton
American Marine Express
765 E 140th ST.
Cleveland, OH 44110

Ref. No.: 14-0177

Dear Mr. Wheaton:

This responds to your September 23, 2014 letter requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to training requirements. In your letter, you describe customer service employees who contact hazardous materials shippers by phone to schedule appointments for drivers to pick up freight in overseas containers. You also describe dispatchers who speak to drivers who pick up containers with hazardous materials and transport them to rail roads for domestic transportation and export. To be proactive, your company may request that the shipping documents be sent to the freight forwarders, who then confirm the information is correctly documented. You ask whether these customer service employees and dispatchers are “hazmat employees” as defined in § 171.8 of the HMR.

The answer is no. The definition of "hazmat employee" reads in part that a person, who in the course of employment, directly affects hazardous materials transportation safety; loads, unloads, or handles hazardous materials; prepares hazardous materials for transportation; is responsible for the safety of transporting hazardous materials; or, operates a vehicle used to transport hazardous materials. A third party logistics company or broker who contracts with a carrier to transport a shipment on behalf of the original shipper is not considered an offeror for purposes of the HMR unless it also performs one or more pre-transportation functions to prepare the shipment for transportation in commerce.

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
171.8 Definitions and abbreviations