HM-200 Provides Relief for Materials of the Trade

By Roberta C. Barbalace

Under regulation HM-200 that took effect on Oct. 1, 1997, the exceptions that allow intrastate drivers to transport materials of the trade without shipping papers, was extended to interstate transporters. The regulations were changed as a result of revisions in 49 CFR, which expand the compliance requirement to cover intrastate commerce as well as interstate commerce of motor vehicles traveling on highways. In the past only hazardous wastes, hazardous substances, marine pollutants and flammable cryogenic liquids carried in portable tanks and cargo tanks were regulated under 49 CFR for intrastate transport by highway. Hazardous materials transported by rail, air or vessel are already regulated by 49 CFR. Only intrastate commerce by motor vehicles have been excepted from the regulations. This tightening of regulations has actually resulted in a relaxation of a few regulations for interstate transporters.

As of April 8, 1997 carriers who transport hazardous materials that meets the criteria for "materials of trade" need not worry about shipping papers for these materials, nor about incident reporting when unintentional releases of these materials occurs. 171.8 defines Materials of trade as a hazardous material other than a hazardous waste, that is carried on a motor vehicle --

  1. For the purpose of protecting the health and safety of the motor vehicle operator or passengers;
  2. For the purpose of supporting the operation or maintenance of a motor vehicle (including its auxiliary equipment); or
  3. By a private motor carrier (including vehicles operated by a rail carrier) in direct support of a principal business that is other than transport by motor vehicle.

What does this mean to us?

This exception applies to salespeople who transport open boxes with inner containers of hazardous materials provided they are secured against movement. It also applies to breathing air and for personal toiletries and medicines as well as to small quantities of coolant, oil, windshield washer, etc. used to maintain the vehicle.

What are the provisions of HM-200?

When a material of trade is transported in conformance with 173.6, it is not subject to any other requirements of this subchapter besides those set forth or referenced in 173.6. Materials of trade are limited to the following quantities:

  1. An individual package of Class 3, 8 or 9, Division 4.1, 5.1 or 6.1 or ORM-D Packing Group I material may not exceed 1 pound or one pint. Packing Group II, III and ORM-D materials may not exceed 66 pounds or 8 gallons.
  2. The limit for a diluted mixture of Class 9 material not exceeding 2% is 400 gallons.
  3. A Division 2.1 or 2.2 material in a cylinder may not exceed a gross weight of 220 pounds.
  4. A Division 4.3 material in Packing Group II or III may not exceed 1 ounce.

Note that self-reactives, poisonous by inhalation and hazardous wastes are excluded from this exception.

The packaging requirements for materials transported under this exception

  1. Packages must be leak tight for liquids and gases and sift proof for solids. In addition they must be securely closed, secured against movement and protected against damage.
  2. Each material must be packaged in manufacturers original package or packaging of equal or greater strength and integrity.
  3. Outer packaging is not required for packages that are secured against movement in cages, carts, bins, boxes and protected against damage.
  4. Gasoline must be packaged in metal or plastic and conform to requirements of this subchapter or requirements of OSHA 29 CFR 1910.106.
  5. Cylinders or other pressure vessel containing Division 2.1 or 2.2 material must conform to packaging, qualification, maintenance and use requirements of 49 CFR except that outer packaging is not required. Manifolding of cylinders is authorized provided all valves are tightly closed.

Required hazard communicationsinclude:

  1. A non-bulk packaging other than a cylinder must be marked with the common name or proper shipping name including "RQ" if applicable.
  2. Bulk packaging of a diluted mixture of a Class 9 material must be marked on two opposing sides with the 4-digit identification number of the material. The identification number must be displayed on orange panels or on a white square-on-point configuration of placard size with identification numbers at least one inch high and .24 inches wide.

Cylinders (except DOT specification-39 (non-refillable) must be marked and labeled as prescribed in 49 CFR 178.65-14(c). The operator of a motor vehicle that contains a material of trade must be informed of the presence of the hazardous material (including whether it is an "RQ" material) and must be informed of the requirements of the exception for materials of trade.

Except for permanently mounted tanks authorized by the materials of trade section (173.6 (a)(1)(iii)) the aggregate gross weight of all materials of trade on a vehicle may not exceed 440 pounds.

Note that a material of trade may be transported on a motor vehicle under the provisions of 173.6 with other hazardous materials without affecting its eligibility for exceptions provided in this section.


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