Both shippers and carriers of hazardous materials are required to register and pay a fee annually with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration (PHMSA) of the DOT. Don’t be surprised if you haven’t heard of it; despite its widespread applicability, it’s been my experience that many HazMat shippers are unaware of this mandate. All the information you need to know about who must register and how can be found on the PHMSA website and in the regulations found at 49 CFR 107.601-107.620. I’ll summarize the key points below.
I can’t say it better than the PHMSA website:
You must register if you are a person who offers for transportation or transports in commerce a shipment containing any of the following categories of hazardous materials (including hazardous wastes):
- A highway route controlled quantity of a Class 7 (radioactive) material, as defined in 49 CFR 173.403. A “highway route controlled quantity” may be shipped by highway, rail, air, or water.
- More than 25 kilograms (55 pounds) of a Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3 (explosive) material (see 49 CFR 173.50) in a motor vehicle, rail car, or freight container.
- More than one liter (1.06 quarts) per package of a “material extremely toxic by inhalation” (that is, a “material poisonous by inhalation” that meets the criteria for “hazard zone A” as specified in 49 CFR 173.116(a) for gases or 173.133(a) for liquids).
- A hazardous material (including hazardous wastes) in a bulk packaging having a capacity equal to or greater than 13,248 liters (3,500 gallons) for liquids or gases or more than 13.24 cubic meters (468 cubic feet) for solids. Please note that persons who offer or transport hazardous materials that do not require placarding (that is, Class 9 materials) in a bulk packaging with a capacity greater than 3,500 gallons or 468 cubic feet, must register.
- A shipment in other than a bulk packaging of 2,268 kilograms (5,000 pounds) gross weight or more of one class of hazardous materials (including hazardous wastes) for which placarding of a vehicle, rail car, or freight container is required for that class.
- A quantity of hazardous material that requires placarding.The offering and transporting of hazardous materials by farmers in direct support of their farming operations are excepted from this category of activities requiring registration. See the information on requirements for farmers below.
- If you’re a generator of hazardous waste (Large or Small Quantity Generator only, not a Very Small Quantity Generator), and;
- If at some point you offer your hazardous waste for shipment off-site for disposal, and;
- If the amount you offer for shipment requires the vehicle to be placarded, then;
You must register annually with the PHMSA
as a shipper of hazardous materials
If your facility is part of a corporation or other legal entity, it is possible that the registration has been made at some level above yours. This is possible since “person” means each separate legal entity, such as a corporation, partnership, association, or LLC or LP. If this is the case, I recommend you obtain a copy of the registration for your records and provide upon request to the PHMSA. You may search the database of registered companies to determine your facility’s status.
You must register before July 1, for the upcoming Registration Year covering the period between July 1, and June 30, or before engaging in any of the activities requiring registration, whichever is later. You must have the PHMSA certificate and registration number before you offer or transport hazardous materials. Therefore, even if you miss the July 1 deadline, you should register as soon as possible if you anticipate activities in the coming Registration Year that will require registration.
One more thing, you are required to register retroactively and pay fees for past activities subject to the regulations if you have not done so. In order to determine your applicability for retroactive registration, please note the following:
- 1-5 of the determination have been in affect since 1992.
- 6 of the determination has been in affect since 2000.
The issue of retroactive compliance may raise a concern about the potential for fines and violations. I cannot make any promises, but in conversation with the PHMSA I have been told that as long as you proactively correct your past registration and pay all the necessary fees, the PHMSA will not pursue enforcement.
If you must register than you are also required to triennially train your HazMat Employees. If you are a Large Quantity Generator of hazardous waste, then you are required to annually train your facility personnel. I provide training for both of these requirements. Contact me for a free training consultation.