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General packaging requirements-hazmat

The Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) are issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and govern the transportation of hazardous materials in interstate, intrastate, and foreign commerce. The primary goal of the HMR is the safety of the public and those whose occupations involve preparing hazardous materials for transportation or transporting them. To minimize risks, USDOT has issued specific requirements for shipments of hazardous materials in transportation. The HMR are divided into four general areas:

  • Hazardous materials identification and classification;
  • Hazard communication, such as the shipping papers, markings, labels, and placards used to communicate hazards of the materials to emergency responders, as well as to those who handle hazardous materials routinely;
  • Packaging requirements; and
  • Operational rules.

A basic understanding of the HMR is required for compliance with the regulations.