SuperUser Account
/ Categories: Uncategorized, Latest News



With few exceptions, hazardous materials shipping papers are required to include a telephone number where emergency responders can obtain product-specific information in the event of an incident during transportation. This number may connect directly to either the initial shipper/offerer of the material or to a contract Emergency Response Information Provider (ERI). The number must be that of a person who is either knowledgeable of the hazardous material and has comprehensive emergency response and incident mitigation information for that material or has immediate access to a person who possesses such knowledge and information.

New requirements include:

  • The initial shipper/offeror name must be transferred to subsequent shipping documents when hazardous materials shipments are transferred between carriers or modes of travel.
  • When the Emergency Response Telephone Number is to an ERI service provider (E.g. Chemtrec or Chemtel) and the original shipper’s name (company name) does not otherwise appear on the shipping document, either their name or contract number must appear on the shipping document. It is suggested this information appear in conjunction with the emergency response phone number. Note: The “Contact Name” is to be the subscriber name and not the name of the ERI service. The definition of “person” is included at §171.8 and does not need to be the name of an individual.
  • When shipments from multiple offerors are consolidated and described on one single declaration the ERI information should be entered above, below, before or after the entry which it applies.



  • International telephone numbers must include the country code and city code.
  • Emergency response telephone number requirements do not apply to transport vehicles or freight containers displaying the FUMIGANT marking, as required by §173.9 of 49 CFR, unless other hazardous materials are present in the cargo transport unit in addition to the fumigated ladings.


Federal Register October 19, 2009, RSPA Docket No. 2006-26322 (HM-206F), Final Rule, addresses the petition of March 15, 2007, submitted  by the International Vessel Operators Hazardous Materials Association (VOHMA) sent to the FRA and PHMSA as a follow-up to a meeting regarding issues which continued to be problematic when interlining containers with the railroads. VOHMA pointed out the problem created when the railroads listed the ship line as the shipper on the train consist and usually entered the emergency response telephone number provided by the originating shipper on their train consist. When inspectors examined the train consist provided by the railroad as the shipping document for rail transport, the emergency response telephone number was not that of the ship line and thus the inspector would cite the ship line for an incorrect emergency response telephone number as required by §172.604. Additionally, import shi pments often displayed entries for foreign emergency response telephone numbers with inaccurate information for international access. In the petition, they proposed an amendment to §172.604 to require the country code and city code to be entered with the ER telephone number for international shipments and, when transferring from one carrier to another, to require the interlining carrier to carry forward the name of the person associated with the ER phone number.  VOHMA proposed new text to be added to Part 174, §174.26(b) for shipments carried by rail to state that “A member of the crew of a train transporting a hazardous material must have a copy of a document for the hazardous materials being transported showing the information required by part 172 of this subchapter, including the requirements in §172.604(b) applicable to emergency response information.”  This language was adopted in the Final Rule of today’s date. This means that the rai lroads or other interlining carriers, although they may continue to show the ship line as the billable party,  must list the identity of the shipper associated with the ER telephone number on the train consist. The Final Rule should enhance safety by decreasing response time and providing ready access to the person with comprehensive knowledge of the hazardous material or to a person who has contracted with the shipper to provide such information.

The new amended §172.604 (b) requires the name of the emergency response information provider or the name or contract number of the person contracting with an agency (such as CHEMTREC or Chemtel) to provide the information associated with the phone number, must be entered on the shipping paper before, after, above or below the emergency response telephone number unless the offeror is prominently entered elsewhere on the shipping paper. A person preparing a shipping paper for on-carriage in commerce must carry that information forward or, as an option, may elect to provide their own emergency response telephone number if they elect to assume responsibility for providing the comprehensive information required. A re-shipper must either enter into an agreement with the initial shipper or assume responsibility for providing the ERI.

VOHMA also recommended that containers displaying the FUMIGANT warning sign with no other dangerous goods in the container should not be subject to the ER telephone number requirements. This was adopted at §172.604(d)(3).

The effective date of the Final Rule is October 1, 2010 with voluntary compliance authorized as of November 18, 2009.

COSTHA has provided the following links to the various documents mentioned in this memo:

Click here for the March 15, 2007 VOHMA Letter of Petition

Click here for the July 2, 2007 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

Click here for the August 29, 2007 COSTHA Comments

Click here for the October 19, 2009 Final Rule

3207 Rate this article:
No rating