CD-ROM and Web Based Dangerous Goods Training Programs
U.S. Department of Transportation
Hazardous Materials Training Requirements for
Importers and Customs Brokers
Are importers liable for their foreign suppliers?
An Executive Briefing
|| Many importers and brokers do not realize
how the regulations apply to them.
Since importers are not shipping or “offering” dangerous
goods, how can they be held liable?
U.S. Law requires importers to inform their foreign suppliers of the
applicable DG regulations
49 CFR, Sec 171.12(a) Importer's responsibility. ...each person import-ing
a hazardous material into the United States shall provide the shipper
and the forwarding agent at the place of entry into the United States
timely and complete information as to the requirements of this subchapter
that will apply to the shipment of the material within the United
This means that U.S. Law requires importers to inform their foreign
suppliers of the applicable DG regulations, including all the requirements
for identification, classification, packing, marking, labeling and
documentation for the shipment.
The baseline penalty for failing to inform the foreign shipper and
forwarder is $7,200.00
Also, when the importer starts giving out instructions regarding the
hazardous materials regulations, they need to ensure that they are
Who has to be trained? What about brokers?
Any person who directly effects the safety of a haz-ardous material
in transportation is classified as a "hazardous materials employee."
Customs brokers are considered “hazmat” em-ployers if
they transport or “offer for transport” any hazardous
The word “offering” means arranging for the trans-portation
and presenting materials to a carrier for transport, by any mode,
domestic or international. It is not just a matter of turning over
docu-ments. Quite often, additional U.S. government docu-mentation
requirements must be met before the shipment is picked up from the
Customs Brokers must understand the U.S. D.O.T. requirements and variations
to the international rules, or they (the broker) could be held liable
for “offering” an unacceptable shipment for transport
in the U.S. Under 49-CFR it says the following:
171.2(a) No person may offer or accept a hazardous material for transportation
in commerce unless that person complies with subpart G of part 107
of this chapter, and the hazardous material is properly classed, described,
packaged, marked, labeled, and in condition for shipment as required
A customs brokers job is to provide assistance to the importer in
complying with applicable regulations. This should include hazardous
materials regulations as well.
All hazmat employers MUST train and TEST every haz-ardous materials
employee within 90 days on the job. Recurrent training is required
every three years and may be required sooner.
Penalties can reach $27,500 dollars per day, per violation and are
issued by the Coast Guard, FAA, FHWA, FRA, and RSPA agencies of the
D.O.T. Quite often agencies cooperate in joint enforcement actions
such as “operation hazstrike”.
Jim Powell is President of Transportation Development Group, a Dangerous
Goods and Logistics Consulting company. He can be reached at (800)
949-4834 or (310) 302-0808, FAX (310) 302-0809. On the internet, their
website is: www.logisticstraining.com