U.S. Department of Transportation Regulations, Environmental Compliance

Case Study


Are you a shipper of dangerous goods (alternately identified as “hazardous materials” by U.S. Department of Transportation regulations)? If so, and you ship via air, the following case study may prove helpful to you.

Recently, a subsequent client of CTI had its air transportation services cut off by their transportation provider. Our client periodically prepared packaging of dangerous goods for international shipment via air. The carrier was inspected by U.S. Department of Transportation on the highway as the shipment was being delivered to the airport for consolidation and shipment overseas. The inspection found various violations with regard to improper packaging and incomplete documentation. Upon review of the incident, the carrier found that our client also had not trained their responsible personnel as required by the regulations. The transporter advised our client that they would not transport shipments until the proper training was conducted.

Every shipper is required to have job-specific training before shipping dangerous goods on any air carrier to comply with U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations. International air shippers are required to train applicable personnel in accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and International Air Transport Association (IATA) prior to shipping dangerous goods.

  • Refresher training for international shippers must be conducted every two years. For domestic shipments, the U.S. DOT requires training every three years.
  • Training records can be reviewed by an appropriate agency at any time.

The shipper is responsible for complying with all packing requirements and appropriate marking and labeling of the package, documentation, as well as compliance with all applicable local, state and federal laws, regulations, ordinances and rules.

In addition, improperly declared or undeclared shipments of dangerous goods must be reported to the U.S. DOT. The shipper may be subject to fines and penalties under applicable law.

Shipments were delayed for a period of time causing a customer service headache and some not-too-happy management personnel. To make matters worse, the company was cited for violations with regard to improper packaging and an improperly completed manifest.

Beware that training is a regulatory requirement, lack of which can cause your carrier to cease accepting your shipments resulting in significant customer dissatisfaction and fines for violation. Training provides the necessary information which can prevent non-compliance of applicable packaging, labeling, and documentation requirements.

Contact CTI for additional information concerning our DOT and IATA training classes.

Published by Stephen Kovatch

Senior Client Manager  Stephen J. Kovatch focuses on assisting clients in establishing corporate regulatory compliance programs in the areas of air, water, and waste management. Mr. Kovatch also provides direction to industrial facility owners who are active in the transaction of contaminated property by defining objectives, coordinating soil and water sampling protocols, risk assessment, and remedial / cleanup activities. He frequently represents clients in property sales negotiations and regulatory agency and insurance proceedings.

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