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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 #21-0102

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: George W. Wright & Associates, LLC

Individual Name: Doris Soran

Location State: NJ Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

June 23, 2022

Ms. Doris Soran
George W. Wright & Associates, LLC
505 Main Street, Suite 106
Hackensack, NJ  07601

Reference No. 21-0102

Dear Ms. Soran:

This letter is in response to your November 10, 2021, letter requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to the definition of an "undeclared hazardous material." Specifically, you ask whether the requirement in § 171.16(a)(4) to file a Hazardous Materials Incident Report on DOT Form F 5800.1 is triggered when:

(A) a shipping document fails to disclose a hazardous material;
(B) a vehicle, container, or package fails to disclose exterior hazardous communication; or
(C) both conditions of (A) and (B) exist.

As defined in § 171.8 of the HMR, an undeclared hazardous material is a hazardous material that is subject to any hazardous communication requirements and is offered for transportation without any visible indication to the person accepting the hazardous material for transportation that a hazardous material is present. The requirements of § 171.16(a)(4) specifically apply to a discovered undeclared hazardous material and not merely a shipment for which any given required piece of hazard communication is missing.

Please note that while an "undeclared hazardous material" is strictly defined in § 171.8, any omission of required hazard communication is a violation of the HMR, even when § 171.16(a)(4) does not apply.

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


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

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.16 Detailed hazardous materials incident reports
171.8 Definitions and abbreviations