Final rules issued on hazmat security and training

| Friday, April 04, 2003

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Research and Special Programs Administration has issued a final rule requiring hazmat shippers and carriers (all modes) to develop and implement security plans and to provide employees security training.

Due to industry opposition, the agency dropped proposals that hazmat carriers be required to keep a copy of their current registration certificates in each vehicle. The agency also dropped a proposal that shipping papers include names and addresses of consignors and consignees, along with the DOT hazmat registration number of the person offering the shipment.

The RSPA has given shippers and carriers nine months to come up with a security plan. The rules are general in nature. For example, the agency won't require parties to submit their plans for approval, but it will review shipper and carrier plans as part of regular agency audits.

However, it's mandatory for shippers and carriers to "confirm" information provided by job applicants who handle hazmats, including history, references and citizenship status.

The security plans should cover: prevention of access of hazmat vehicles or material by unauthorized persons; en route security, including storage incidental to movement; and a shipper's security plan, which includes procedures to ensure that the carriers it selects also have adequate security plans.

Interested parties can assess security risks and planning from a template provided by the agency at http://hazmat.dot.gov/rmsef.htm.

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