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Interpretation Response #15-0052 ([Seaboard Marine, LTD] [Mr. Omar Contreras])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Seaboard Marine, LTD

Individual Name: Mr. Omar Contreras

Location State: FL Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

August 03, 2015

Mr. Omar Contreras
Safety/Hazmat Manager
Seaboard Marine, Ltd.
1630 Port Blvd.
Miami, Florida 33132

Ref. No. 15-0052

Dear Mr. Contreras:

This is a response to your March 16, 2015 email requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to the placarding of freight containers and aircraft unit load devices having a capacity of 640 cubic feet or more. In your email, you state that you are an ocean transportation company that provides a service to your customers whereby you pick up your customers' containerized cargo by highway and transport it to your terminals for loading onto your vessels. Furthermore, you state that on occasion, your customer refuses to place the placards on the container they have finished loading with hazardous cargo. You ask who is responsible to physically place the placards on the container. Your questions are answered as follows:

Q1. For a container with a capacity over 640 cubic feet, carrying hazardous materials, transported from an inland location to a marine terminal for vessel transport, is it the responsibility of the person loading or otherwise preparing the container to place the placards on the container since that person must comply with §§ 172.512(a) and 176.27(c)(1)(i), the latter which must be stated on the signed container packing certificate that they must provide the vessel operator?

A1. As provided in § 172.512(a), each person who offers for transportation, and each person who loads and transports, a hazardous material in a freight container or aircraft unit load device having a capacity of 640 cubic feet or more shall affix to the freight container or aircraft unit load device the placards specified for the material in accordance with § 172.504. If a freight container or aircraft unit load device having a capacity of 640 cubic feet or more is loaded and transported by a carrier, it is the responsibility of the carrier to apply the required placards.

In addition to the placards required to be placed on a freight container or aircraft unit load device having a capacity of 640 cubic feet or more by the offeror, the person offering a hazardous material for transportation (i.e., shipper) must provide the motor carrier with the required placards for the transport vehicle (e.g., motor vehicle) for the material being offered prior to or at the same time the material is offered for transportation, unless the carrier's motor vehicle is already placarded for the material. A motor carrier may not transport a hazardous material in a motor vehicle unless the placards required for the material are affixed to the motor vehicle (see § 172.506).

Prior to the HM-184A final rule published in 1983 [48 FR 53710; Nov. 29, 1983], § 172.512(a) only specified that "each person who offers for transportation a hazardous material in a freight container having a capacity of 640 cubic feet or more shall affix to the freight container the placards specified for the material in accordance with § 172.504." However, the HM-184A rulemaking revised the language in § 172.512(a) to how it reads today, in order to "clarify the fact that if a freight container or aircraft unit load device is loaded by a carrier, it is the responsibility of the carrier to apply the required placards" [48 FR 35471; 35472].

Q2. For a container with a capacity over 640 cubic feet, carrying hazardous materials, transported from an inland location to another inland location, is it the responsibility of the person loading or otherwise preparing the container, to place the placards on the container since that person must comply with § 172.512(a), or is it the responsibility of the carrier to place the placards if they are offered by the shipper/person loading or otherwise preparing the container as per § 172.506?

A2. Please see A1.

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

Sincerely,

 

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

172.512(a), 176.27(c)(1)(i), 172.504, 172.506

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
172.504 General placarding requirements
172.506 Providing and affixing placards: Highway
172.512 Freight containers and aircraft unit load devices
176.27 Certificate