PHMSA extends enforcement discretion on transport of sanitizing materials for use of motor-carrier employees during COVID-19 crisis

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Jugs of Hand Sanitizer
Commercial drivers who are transporting sanitizers and disinfectants to be used to protect the motor carrier’s employees are covered by a notice of enforcement discretion by the U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) extended on July 9 a notice of enforcement discretion for highway transport of sanitizers and disinfectants that are intended for use in protecting the health and safety of a motor carrier’s employees. The latest notice extends enforcement discretion until Oct. 31.

On April 20, PHMSA published a notice of enforcement discretion that provides temporary relief from certain hazardous material requirements for drivers and carriers transporting sanitizing and disinfecting materials, provided certain criteria are met:

  • The sanitizing and disinfecting materials, such as hand sanitizers and spray disinfectants, are intended to allow employees to adhere to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for protecting against COVID-19.
  • The sanitizing and disinfecting materials are being provided to protect the health and safety of employees who directly support the operations of the carrier, such as by sorting packages, loading and unloading packages, and driving delivery vehicles.
  • The sanitizing and disinfecting materials are transported by motor vehicle.
  • The shipment complies with the hazard class, quantity, packaging, hazard communication and aggregate gross weight requirements specified in 49 CFR § 173.6 (Materials of Trade provisions).
  • Transport of these materials for purposes other than use by employees of the carrier (e.g. retail sale) is not authorized.

“The U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is aware of the challenges that transportation companies are facing in providing personnel with necessary materials, such as hand sanitizers, that provide for protection of their health and safety and comply with government guidelines,” the notice states. “Workplace locations like package sorting facilities, airport ramps, stations, and delivery vehicles often lack ready access to soap and water, resulting in an urgent need for sanitizing and disinfecting products. These companies are in many instances essential businesses that support the U.S. economy and the public interest through the shipment and delivery of packages.”

To view the July 9 notice of enforcement discretion, click here.

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