Search

Can US FAA Penalize Non-US Shippers for Hazmat Mistakes?

Posted on 2/25/2016 by Roger Marks

Some US hazmat shippers may be surprised to learn that the enforcement reach of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) extends beyond the United States’ shores. 

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.

IATA hazmat air shipping

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

Compliance Archives

Lion - Quotes

The instructor was very patient and engaging - willing to answer and help explain subject matter.

Misty Filipp

Material Control Superintendent

Lion is easily and consistently the best option for compliance training. I've learned new information from every instructor I've had.

Rachel Mathis

EHS Specialist

The instructor was very dedicated to providing a quality experience. She did her best to make sure students were really comprehending the information.

Stephanie Venn

Inventory Control Specialist

One of the best trainings I have ever received!

Brandon Morfin

EH&S Manager

Excellent. I learned more in two days with Lion than at a 5-day program I took with another provider.

Francisco Gallardo

HES Technician

I think LION does an excellent job of any training they do. Materials provided are very useful to my day-to-day work activities.

Pamela Embody

EHS Specialist

The instructor created a great learning environment.

Avinash Thummadi

CAD & Environmental Manager

I tried other environmental training providers, but they were all sub-standard compared to Lion. I will not stray from Lion again!

Sara Sills

Environmental Specialist

The instructor was very knowledgeable and provided pertinent information above and beyond the questions that were asked.

Johnny Barton

Logistics Coordinator

The instructor clearly enjoys his job and transmits that enthusiasm. He made a dry subject very interesting and fun.

Teresa Arellanes

EHS Manager

Download Our Latest Whitepaper

Hazardous materials shipment rejections bear a big cost. Use this guide to end operational and logistical disruptions that severely impact your bottom line.

Latest Whitepaper

By submitting your phone number, you agree to receive recurring marketing and training text messages. Consent to receive text messages is not required for any purchases. Text STOP at any time to cancel. Message and data rates may apply. View our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.