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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 #98-0057 ([American Trucking Associations] [Mr. Paul Bomgardner])

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 Trucking Associations

Individual Name: Mr. Paul Bomgardner

Location State: VA Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

JUN 12, 1998


Mr. Paul Bomgardner                 Ref. No. 98-0057
Safety Department
American Trucking Associations
2200 Mill Road
Alexandria, Virginia 22314

Dear Mr. Bomgardner:

This responds to your facsimile transmittal to Alan I. Roberts, Associate Administrator for Hazardous Materials Safety, concerning shipping paper requirements of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180).  Your fax included a copy of a government bill of lading prepared by the Traffic Management Office at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada that a motor carrier had forwarded to you.

Our review of the bill of lading identified several problems.  Section 172.202 requires that the shipping description of a hazardous material on the shipping paper must include the proper shipping name for the material from the § 172.101 Hazardous Materials Table, the hazard class, the identification number, and the packing group, if any.  This basic description must be shown on the shipping paper in sequence with no additional information interspersed.  In addition, the total quantity for the hazardous material covered by one description must appear before or after the shipping paper entry.

A shipper may not offer and a carrier may not accept or transport a hazardous material unless it is accompanied by a shipping paper prepared in accordance with the HMR.  If the shipping paper is not properly prepared by the shipper, the shipper can be cited for noncompliance with § 172.202.  If a motor carrier accepts or transports the shipment, the motor carrier can be cited for noncompliance with § 177.817.  If a shipping paper discrepancy is found and corrected after the shipment has been completed, the shipper and carrier can still be cited for civil or criminal penalties for these violations.  Motor carriers may not accept hazardous materials shipments accompanied by improperly prepared shipping papers.

An information copy of this letter and a copy of the subject government bill of lading is being forwarded to the Military Traffic Management Command so it can follow up with the Traffic Management Office at Nellis Air Force Base to assure that, in the future, hazardous materials shipments originating there are accompanied by shipping papers prepared in accordance with the HMR.

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



Thomas G. Allan
Senior Transportation Regulations Specialist
Office of Hazardous Materials Standards

cc:  Military Traffic Management Command


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
172.202 Description of hazardous material on shipping papers