Hazardous Materials Transportation Act of 1994, as amended by Section 1711 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002

49 U.S.C. § 5101 et seq.; 49 C.F.R. § 107.601-620; 49 CFR § 172.704; 49 CFR § 172.800, 802 and 804

This law regulates the transportation of hazardous material in interstate, intrastate, and foreign commerce. Registration, reporting, and recordkeeping are all required, as well as payment of a hazardous material transportation fee. The Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) govern safety aspects, including security of the transporation of hazardous material as the Secretary of Transportation considers appropriate.

70 Fed. Reg. 20018, (April 15, 2005) Applicability of the Hazardous Materials Regulations to Loading, Unloading and Storage.

Effective date June 1, 2005.

On October 30, 2003, the Research and Special Programs Administration, predecessor agency to PHMSA, published a final rule to clarify the applicability of the Hazardous Materials Regulations to functions and activities related to the safe and secure transportation of hazardous materials in commerce, including loading, unloading, and storage operations. In response to appeals submitted by persons affected by the final rule, this final rule amends certain regulations and makes editorial corrections.

Final Rule on Applicability of the Hazardous Materials Regulations to Loading, Unloading, and Storage, 68 Fed. Reg. 61906,

Oct. 30, 2003.

Research and Special Programs Administration final rule clarifying when U.S. Department of Transportation regulations apply to the handling of hazardous materials. The final rule is a clarification and interpretation of existing policy based on formal and informal positions taken over several years. The rule is meant to improve safety by clarifying when the activities related to the transportation of hazardous materials are governed by DOT’s Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) versus other regulating agencies like OHSA and EPA. It also lists the pre-transportation functions to which the HMR apply (at pps. 61937-8) Pre-transportation functions include, but are not limited to, the following:


  1. Determining the hazard class of a hazardous material.
  2. Selecting a hazardous materials packaging.
  3. Filling a hazardous materials packaging, including a bulk packaging.
  4. Transloading a hazardous material at an intermodal transfer facility from one bulk packaging to another bulk packaging for purposes of continuing the movement of the hazardous material in commerce.
  5. Securing a closure on a filled or partially filled hazardous materials package or container or on a package or container containing a residue of a hazardous material.
  6. Marking a package to indicate that it contains a hazardous material.
  7. Labeling a package to indicate that it contains a hazardous material.
  8. Preparing a shipping paper.
  9. Providing and maintaining emergency response information.
  10. Reviewing a shipping paper to verify compliance with the HMR or international equivalents.
  11. For each person importing a hazardous material into the United States, providing the shipper with timely and complete information as to the HMR requirements that will apply to the transportation of the material within the United States.
  12. Certifying that a hazardous material is in proper condition for transportation in conformance with the requirements of the HMR.
  13. Loading, blocking, and bracing a hazardous materials package in a freight container or transport vehicle.
  14. Segregating a hazardous materials package in a freight container or transport vehicle from incompatible cargo.
  15. Selecting, providing, or affixing placards for a freight container or transport vehicle to indicate that it contains a hazardous material.

The rule is effective October 1, 2004.

Final Rule on Security Requirements for Offerors and Transporters of Hazardous Materials,

68 Fed. Reg. 14520, March 25, 2003.

Under this final rule the Research and Special Programs Administration establishes new rules to enhance the security of hazardous materials transported in commerce. Shippers and carriers of hazardous materials must develop security programs and implement training for hazmat employees.

The security plan must be in place by Sept. 25, 2003. In depth security training for all those entities required to have a security plan in place must occur by Dec. 22, 2003. The training should include security objectives, security procedures, employee responsibilities, actions to take in event of a security breach, and an organizational security structure. Components of the plan must include:

  • Personnel security; i.e. measures to confirm information provided by applications for positions that involve access to and handling of hazardous materials.
  • Unauthorized access: methods to address the possibility that unauthorized persons may attempt to gain access to hazardous materials or transport vehicles.
  • En route security: Measures to address the assessed security risk of shipments of hazardous materials covered by the plan. Shippers are to work with carriers on this.

The plan must be in writing. A plan that conforms to regulations issued by any other Federal agency is acceptable, provided that it includes the requirements set forth above.

The list of hazardous materials (either transporting or offering for transport) that triggers the need for a security plan is as follows:

  • A highway route-controlled quantity of a Class 7 (radioactive) material, as defined in Sec. 173.403 of this subchapter, in a motor vehicle, rail car, or freight container;
  • More than 25 kg (55 pounds) of a Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3 (explosive) material in a motor vehicle, rail car, or freight container;
  • More than one L (1.06 qt) per package of a material poisonous by inhalation, as defined in Sec. 171.8 of this subchapter, that meets the criteria for Hazard Zone A, as specified in Sec. Sec. 173.116(a) or 173.133(a) of this subchapter;
  • A shipment of a quantity of hazardous materials in a bulk packaging having a capacity equal to or greater than 13,248 L (3,500 gallons) for liquids or gases or more than 13.24 cubic meters (468 cubic feet) for solids;
  • A shipment in other than a bulk packaging of 2,268 kg (5,000 pounds) gross weight or more of one class of hazardous materials for which placarding of a vehicle, rail car, or freight container is required for that class under the provisions of subpart F of this part;
  • A select agent or toxin regulated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under 42 CFR part 73; or
  • A quantity of hazardous material that requires placarding under the provisions of subpart F of this part.