HazMat Transportation

Is Placarding Required for Class 9 Hazardous Materials?

In the latest roadside inspection statistics from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), four of the top 10 violations related to transporting hazardous materials had to do with placarding requirements. Yesterday we reviewed some recent guidance from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) regarding permissive and prohibited placarding. Today we will look at placarding for Class 9 hazardous materials.

In the classification system of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) hazardous materials, Class 9 hazmats are those that don’t come under any of the other hazmat classes (e.g., explosives, flammables). But, they are still hazardous materials and there is a placard for them. But, does the placard have to be used?

What Is a Class 9 Hazmat?

Class 9 hazardous materials are miscellaneous hazardous materials. That is, they are materials that present a hazard during transportation, but they do not meet the definition of any other hazard class.

Class 9 hazmats include:

  • Materials transported by air that could cause extreme annoyance to a flight crew member to the extent that it prevents the crew members from performing their duties;
  • Hazardous wastes;
  • Marine pollutants; and
  • Materials that meet the definition in the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMRs) for an elevated temperature material or a hazardous substance.

Is a Placard Ever Required for Class 9 Hazmats?

Not in the United States. A Class 9 placard is not required for domestic transportation. This includes the portion of international transportation, which occurs within the United States. However, a bulk packaging containing a Class 9 hazardous material must be marked with the appropriate identification number displayed on either a Class 9 placard, an orange panel, or a white square-on-point (i.e., diamond), which is not considered a placard.

Nonbulk packagings of Class 9 materials must be marked with the proper shipping name and the identification number of the material and labeled.

May You Use a Class 9 Placard?

The Class 9 placard found at 49 CFR 172.560 (white diamond with 7 black vertical stripes on the top half and an underlined 9 (9) centered in the bottom half) is primarily for use in international transportation. You are allowed to use it in the United States to display the identification number on a bulk packaging. However, if you use a Class 9 placard for this reason, the shipment is not subject to additional requirements applicable to shipments that require placards.

Take a drive through Enviro.BLR.com® for tips and training on hazardous materials transportation requirements.