Unless excepted by regulation, the transportation of a hazardous material in commerce will require the use of a shipping paper. (Read my article: What is a Shipping Paper?) 49 CFR 172, Subpart C contains the requirements of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) for a shipping paper accompanying a HazMat Shipment. However, the shipment of a HazMat may be subject to the regulations of more than just the PHMSA. If that is the case, then your shipping paper must be completed in a way that ensures compliance with all applicable regulations. The purpose of this article is to describe the requirements of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for including information on a Bill of Lading.
It is quite possible that the transportation of a hazardous material may require the use of a Bill of Lading subject to the regulations of FMCSA and also be subject to the Hazardous Material Regulations (HMR) of the PHMSA and therefore require compliance with 49 CFR 172, Subpart C – Shipping Papers, the regulations of which include:
- HazMat that require a shipping paper for transportation. Read: Exemptions from the Requirement to use a Shipping Paper.
- Preparation and retention of shipping papers for various modes of transportation and types of HazMat. Read: HazMat Shipping Paper Retention and Recordkeeping Requirements.
- The proper description of a hazardous material on a shipping paper. Read: The HazMat Description on a Shipping Paper.
- Requirements for providing an additional description of certain hazardous materials.
- The requirements for the Shipper’s Certification.
- Special requirements for the Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest as a shipping paper.
49 CFR 172, Subpart C does not mention the requirements for use of a Bill of Lading as a shipping paper for the transportation of a hazardous material. It is up to you as the shipper to know if the transportation of your HazMat requires a Bill of Lading and what information must be provided.
The regulations of FMCSA @ 49 CFR 373.101 require every motor common carrier to issue a receipt or Bill of Lading for property tendered for transportation in interstate or foreign commerce. In other words, if you hire a third party carrier to transport your property (HazMat or non-HazMat), then the carrier must provide a receipt or Bill of Lading. The receipt or Bill of Lading must contain the following information:
- Names of consignor and consignee.
- Origin and destination points.
- Number of packages.
- Description of freight.
- Weight, volume, or measurement of freight (if applicable to the rating of the freight).
Note that as a Federal Agency FMCSA regulates interstate (transportation between or through two or more US states) and not intrastate commerce (transportation wholly within the borders of one US State). For intrastate transportation you will need to look to the regulations of the applicable state agency, but likely it will be similar to those of the FMCSA.
Whether using a Bill of Lading for interstate or intrastate transportation, keep in mind that if what you are transporting or offering for transportation is a hazardous material you must also comply with the regulations of the PHMSA at 49 CFR 172, Subpart C: You must describe the hazardous material properly.
Training your HazMat Employees to properly classify, describe, package, mark & label, and select the placards for a shipment of a hazardous material is a good way to ensure you maintain compliance with the regulations of the PHMSA, FMCSA, USEPA, and more. Contact me with questions about the transportation of hazardous materials and the management of hazardous waste.