Renew hazmat registration via web, DOT urges

| Friday, June 21, 2002

Renewing hazmat registration is an annual event that generally requires completing paper forms, writing a check, and taking that check and form to the Post Office prior to the July 1 registration date. Is there an easier way? Yes.

Shippers, transporters and carriers of hazardous materials can register on the Internet. The U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA) offers an online hazmat registration site called "HAZMAT".

The e-government site is a secure way for businesses to pay the registration fee electronically and offers many benefits, DOT says. For example, the electronic fee payment form is a user-friendly menu-driven "fill-in-the-blank" form, eliminating the need to complete the paper form, write a check, and mail the check and form. The site is easy to use, accessible 24-hours a day, seven days a week, and allows businesses to receive an immediate acknowledgement of payment.

Are you a small business?

For the registration year 2002-2003, which begins July 1, the hazardous materials registration fees remain $300 for small businesses and $2,000 for all other businesses. Both include a $25 processing fee.

A DOT spokesman said a small business is defined by a combination of factors, including the businesses' standard industrial classification (SIC) code, the type of material delivered, the license year and personnel versus profit. DOT uses the U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) size standards to determine which businesses qualify for the small business registration fee.

SBA describes the system this way: "Effective October 1, 2000, the SBA's small business size standards are no longer based on industries as they are described by the SIC system. SBA's size standards are now based on industries as they are described by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Although you will still use the SIC code on your HAZMat application, this change affects how you find the correct size standard for your business for the license year that begins July 1, 2001.

"For example, if your business delivers fuel oil, your SIC code is 5983, Fuel Oil Dealers. Finding your size standard depends on the license year for which you need it: either 2000 or 2001. SIC code 5983 (for 2000) has a size standard of $9 million in average annual receipts. And for 2001, NAICS code 454311, Heating Oil Dealers, has the same $9 million standard. If your average receipts over the last three completed fiscal years is $9 million or less, you qualify as a small business, but you still use the SIC code on your application.

"Another example: If you are a trucking company, your SIC code is either 4212 of 4213. Depending on your business, the size standard is either $10 million or $18.5 million. For license year 2000, you would use either SIC 4212 or SIC 4213. For license year 2001, SIC codes 4212 and 4213 in the correspondence tables relate to six different (but similar) NAICS codes, but among them they have the same two different size standards. You should check to see which best fits your company."

The hazardous materials registration funds the DOT's Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness (HMEP) grants program, which supports hazmat emergency response training and planning activities by state, territorial, tribal and local governments. More than 800,000 emergency responders have been trained, in part, using HMEP grants funded by the registration fees.

Also, more than 4 million copies of the Emergency Response Guidebook have been distributed to emergency response forces. The guidebook, also funded by the hazardous materials registration fee, is a quick reference for first responders during the initial phase of an incident involving hazmat.

Registration with the department may be accomplished on-line at http://hazmat.dot.gov/register.htm or by phone, 1-800-942-6990. Registration forms are on-line, and available upon request by phone at (617) 494-2545, (202) 366-4109, or e-mail at register@rspa.dot.gov. Registration forms may also be mailed to: U.S. Department of Transportation, Hazardous Materials Registration, PO Box 740188, Atlanta, GA 30374-0188.

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