Can US FAA Penalize Non-US Shippers for Hazmat Mistakes?
A German lighting company now faces $117,480 in civil penalties from US FAA for alleged violations of hazmat air shipping regulations. The company offered 9.6 liters of a flammable liquid (glue) for air transport from Düsseldorf to Chicago. In a February 24 press release, FAA alleges that the shipment exceeded the quantity limits for flammable liquids shipped by passenger aircraft.
The package was not labeled with the “Cargo Aircraft Only” label, neither hazmat shipping papers nor emergency response information were included with the shipment, and the flammable material was not marked and packaged in line with hazmat regulations.
Lastly, the German shipper failed to provide hazmat training to employees, as required by US and international hazmat/dangerous goods regulations at 49 CFR 172.704 and IATA DGR 1.5, respectively.
How Can US FAA Fine Non-US Shippers?
To understand FAA’s authority to regulate hazmat shippers around the world, we have to look beyond the regulations and into US law, namely the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act (HMTA).
Found in Title 49 of the United States Code (49 U.S.C.)—not to be confused with Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (49 CFR)—the HMTA authorizes the Department of Transportation to regulate the transportation of hazardous materials “in commerce.”
The law defines commerce as “trade or transportation in the jurisdiction of the United States—
(A) Between a place in a State and a place outside the State;
(B) That affects trade or transportation between a place in a State and a place outside the State; or
(C) On a United States-registered aircraft”
[49 U.S.C. §5102]
With respect to the German glue shipper, we might interpret FAA’s hazmat enforcement authority in two ways:
1. The FAA has authority because shipping from Düsseldorf to Chicago meets the definition of “interstate trade or transportation.”
2. Because the shipment was offered to a US-based carrier (UPS), the FAA has jurisdiction once the flammable liquid was loaded onto a UPS airplane.
Consider option 2 for a moment. The UPS plane is technically “US territory,” so even if the shipment went from Düsseldorf to Timbuktu (instead of Chicago), FAA would have the authority to fine the shipper for hazmat violations because the US-registered plane is within FAA’s jurisdiction.
US DOT Hazmat Training for Managers and Personnel
Avoid the hazmat shipping mistakes that can cost you up to $75,000 per day, per violation with interactive online hazmat training at Lion.com. Self-paced and available 24/7, these online courses are packed with exercises and tutorials to help you get up to speed on the latest hazmat shipping rules, when and where it’s convenient for you.
Want the engagement and collaboration of a classroom training experience? Our public workshops are presented in cities nationwide, all year long. Don’t wait—sign up now to build confidence working with 49 CFR, IATA, and IMDG Code hazmat rules.
Tags: 49, CFR, DOT, hazmat shipping
Find a Post
Well designed and thorough program. Excellent summary of requirements with references. Inclusion of regulations in hard copy form, as well as full electronic with state pertinent regulations included is a great bonus!
I was able to present my scenario to the instructor and worked thru the regulations together. In the past, I attended another training firm's classes. Now, I have no intention of leaving Lion!
Senior Environmental Engineer
The exercises in the DOT hazardous materials management course are especially helpful in evaluating your understanding of course information.
Principal Industrial Hygienist
Excellent job. Made what is very dry material interesting. Thoroughly explained all topics in easy-to-understand terms.
The course was very well structured and covered the material in a clear, concise manner.
Hazmat Shipping Professional
I have been to other training companies, but Lion’s material is much better and easier to understand.
I can't say enough how pleased I was with this course! Everything finally makes sense.
My experience with Lion classes has always been good. Lion Technology always covers the EPA requirements I must follow.
The instructor had knowledge of regulations and understanding of real-world situations. The presentation style was engaging and fostered a positive atmosphere for information sharing.
Safety & Environmental Compliance Officer
Very well structured, comprehensive, and comparable to live training seminars I've participated in previously. I will recommend the online course to other colleagues with training requirement needs.
Download Our Latest Whitepaper
Just starting out with shipping lithium batteries? Not before you can answer the four fundamental questions form this guide.