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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 #18-0083

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Kansas Highway Patrol

Individual Name: Nicholas Wright

Location State: KS Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

February 5, 2019

Nicholas Wright
MCSAP State Training Coordinator
Kansas Highway Patrol
1220 S. Enterprise
Olathe, KS 66061

Reference No. 18-0083

Dear Mr. Wright:

This letter is in response to your May 25, 2018, email and phone call requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to shipping paper accessibility requirements for highway transportation.

Specifically, you describe the following scenario:

A hazardous material shipping paper is mounted permanently behind a clear plastic plate that is riveted to the driver's door of a cargo tank motor vehicle (CTMV).

The shipping paper cannot be removed without removing the rivets that affix the plate to the door.

The CTMV only transports a single commodity and the carrier uses a permanent shipping paper as provided in § 172.201(e).

The CTMV contains emergency response information (ERI) that meets the requirements of Part 172 Subpart G which can be removed from the CTMV.

You ask whether this scenario meets the requirements for hazardous material shipping paper accessibility.

In this scenario, the answer is yes. Section 177.817(e) requires the shipping paper to be readily available to, and recognizable by, authorities in the event of accident or inspection. Provided the shipping paper storage requirements of § 177.817(e)(2) are met and all information required by Subpart C of Part 172 is readily visible to a person entering the driver's compartment, it is the opinion of this Office that the permanent shipping paper mounted as described meets the intent of the HMR.

Please note that although the HMR instructs carriers to maintain ERI in the same manner as shipping papers, the HMR expressly requires that, in accordance with § 172.602(b)(2), ERI must be available for use away from the package containing the hazardous material and thus may not be carried in the same manner as the shipping paper described above.

I hope this information is helpful. Please contact us if we can be of further assistance.


Dirk Der Kinderen
Chief, Standards Development Branch
Standards and Rulemaking Division

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
172.201 Preparation and retention of shipping papers
172.602 Emergency response information
177.817 Shipping papers