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12/2/2010

How to Determine Your Annual DOT Registration Fee [49 CFR 107.612]

Transportation


If you ship or transport hazardous materials, including hazardous waste, you might be required to register with the Department of Transportation. When this requirement applies to your organization, the DOT's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) at 49 CFR 107.601-.620 requires registration and submission of an annual registration statement and an annual fee. In a final rule published in the March 30, 2010 Federal Register (75 FR 15613); annual hazmat registration fees were increased for the 2010-2011 registration year and subsequent years thereafter.

49 CFR 107.601(a) states that persons (as defined at 49 CFR 171.8) are required to register annually and submit the applicable fee if they offer for transportation, or transport, in foreign, interstate, or intrastate commerce any of the following hazardous materials:

  • A highway route-controlled quantity of a Class 7 (radioactive) material (49 CFR 173.403);
  • More than 25 kg (55 pounds) of a Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3 (explosive) material (49 CFR 173.50) in a motor vehicle, rail car, or freight container;
  • More than 1 L (1.06 quarts) per package of a material extremely toxic by inhalation (i.e., materials poisonous by inhalation that meet one of the defining criteria for Hazard Zone A as specified at 49 CFR 173.116(a) or 49 CFR 173.133(a));
  • A hazardous material (including hazardous waste) in a bulk packaging having a capacity equal to or greater than 13,248 L (3,500 gallons) for liquids or gases, or more than 13.24 cubic meters (468 cubic feet) for solids;
  • A shipment, in other than a bulk packaging, of 2,268 kilograms (5,000 pounds) gross weight or more of one class of hazardous material (including hazardous wastes) for which placarding of a vehicle, rail car, or freight container is required under the provisions of 49 CFR 172, Subpart F; or
  • A shipment of a quantity of hazardous material (including hazardous waste) that requires placarding (49 CFR 172, Subpart F) of the bulk packaging, freight container, unit load device, transport vehicle, or rail car, other than those included in the bulleted items above. The offering and transporting of hazardous materials by a farmer in direct support of farming operations are excepted from this category of activities requiring registration (49 CFR 107.601(b)).

If you ship any the hazardous materials listed above, you must register with PHMSA no later than June 30 for each registration year, with each registration year covering July 1 through June 30. To register, you must accurately complete and submit DOT Form F 5800.2 and you must pay the registration and processing fees that apply to your business, which are determined based upon the size of your business and whether or not your business is a not-for-profit organization.

49 CFR 107.616(c) allows you to file a single registration statement for one, two, or three registration years, with the appropriate fees for these years included with your registration statement. If an increase in the fee schedule ultimately takes effect and would apply to your organization, you must pay the difference in the fee amount in time for the June 30 deadline for the registration year.

According to 49 CFR 107.612, the fee schedule for the 2010-2011 registration year and subsequent years is:

  • $250 plus a $25 processing fee for small businesses (small business criteria specified at 13 CFR 121, applicable to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code describing the primary commercial activity of the business)
  • $250 plus a $25 processing fee for not-for-profit organizations (defined as an organization exempt from taxation under 26 U.S.C. 501(a))
  • $2,575 per year plus a $25 processing fee for all other persons who are required to register

You must use the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) criteria to determine if your business qualifies for the reduced small business or not-for-profit organization fees. The small business classification varies based on NAICS codes. To determine your NAICS code, use the NAICS search engine at the U.S. Census Bureau website. A list of NAICS codes and the current size standard for the most frequently reported hazardous materials industry groups is available from the PHMSA website. If your industry group is not included in this list, the SBA's complete list of small business size standards is available here.

With few exceptions, the SBA's size standards are provided either as the number of employees or as the gross annual receipts of the company. The number of employees is defined by the SBA (13 CFR 121.106) as the average number of employees (including all full-time, part-time, temporary, or other personnel) employed during the pay periods in the preceding twelve months.

Gross annual receipts is defined by the SBA (13 CFR 121.104), with receipts generally meaning total income (or in the case of a sole proprietorship, this is the gross income) plus the cost of goods sold as these terms are defined or reported on Internal Revenue Service (IRS) federal tax returns. The term, however, excludes net capital gains or losses, taxes collected for and remitted to a taxing authority if included in gross or total income, and proceeds from the transactions between a concern and its domestic or foreign affiliates (if also excluded from gross or total income on a consolidated return filed with the IRS). If your company has been in business for three or more years, the annual receipts are the receipts over your last three completed fiscal years divided by three. If your company has existed for less than three years, the annual receipts are calculated by taking the receipts for the period your company has been in business divided by the number of weeks in business, multiplied by 52.

Whether annual receipts or number of employees is the size standard established for your NAICS code, you should consider the receipts or number of employees for the organization required to register in order to determine whether you must pay the fee for a small business or the larger fee for a not small business. You may pay the fee appropriate for a small business even though the person required to register is part of an entity (including affiliates) that the SBA does not consider a small business.

Entities and operations exempt from the registration and fees include:

  • Federal government agencies, state agencies, agencies of political subdivisions of states, Indian tribes, and employees of all these entities.
  • Hazmat employees, including the owner-operator of a motor vehicle that transports hazardous materials in commerce if that vehicle, at the time of those activities, is leased to a registered motor carrier under a 30-day or longer lease as prescribed in 49 CFR 376 or an equivalent contractual relationship.
  • A person who offers hazardous materials for transportation to the United States from locations outside of the United States, when that person is:

        -    Domiciled outside the United States, in a country that does not impose registration or a fee on
                U.S. companies for offering hazardous materials into that country, and

        -    Does not transport hazardous materials to, within, or from the United States in the types and
                quantities that require registration.

  • A farmer who offers or transports only hazardous materials that are used in direct support of his or her farming operations and who is not engaged in activities included at 49 CFR 107.601(a)(1)-(5).

Note that the hazardous materials regulations apply to persons who offer for transportation or transport by highway, rail, water, or air. Water transportation does not include hazardous materials loaded or carried on board a vessel without benefit of containers or labels and received and handled by the vessel carrier without mark or count. This type of shipment, for which the vessel is the container, such as liquefied natural gas (LNG) or oil tanker vessels, is under the authority of the U.S. Coast Guard rather than DOT.

Additional points of clarification include:

  • Hazardous wastes subject to U.S. EPA's hazardous waste manifesting requirements are considered to be hazardous materials. Therefore, if you are a hazardous waste generator and you meet the requirements identified in this Reg of the Day, you must comply with the registration and fee requirements of this DOT program.
  • You must comply with this program if you offer or transport for any purpose any of the hazardous materials included in 49 CFR 107.601(a)(1)-(5), and you are:

        -    A merchant vessel carrier transporting, transiting, or transhipping hazardous materials within 12
                miles of the U.S. coast; or

        -    A federal, state, or local government contractor.

  • Farmers must register if they:

        -    Offer or transport hazardous materials that require placarding that are not in direct support of
                their farming operation (e.g., a farmer who offers or transports home heating fuel for
                commercial purposes in quantities requiring placarding must comply); or

        -    Offer or transport for any purpose any of the hazardous materials included in 
                49 CFR 107.601(a)(1)-(5) (e.g., a farmer who transports 55 pounds or more of a
                Division 1.1 explosive must comply, even if the explosive is to be used in direct support of his
                farming operations).

When PHMSA conducts inspections and incident investigations, the agency aggressively checks to ensure that entities are in compliance with this registration and fee program. PHMSA has instituted a nationwide surveillance and compliance operation to identify, enforce, and collect the unpaid fees of persons (in active status) who have failed to renew or file for registration. In 2009, PHMSA cited 120 companies for registration violations and levied $60,810 in penalties. An additional 23 companies were issued warning letters or are awaiting determination of an appropriate penalty.

Learn more about how to comply with DOT hazardous materials regulations by attending Environmental Resource Center's DOT hazardous materials training or DOT hazardous materials webcast.