It’s essential to understand the various regulations and comply with them when transporting class 9 hazardous materials (hazmat). Like the other eight hazmat classes, class 9 can cause harm to humans, properties and the environment. However, because of their unique nature, the law provides different requirements.
In this article, we’ll discuss the definition of class 9 hazmat and how different it is from the others. We’ll also discuss the requirements and exemptions when transporting these dangerous goods.
What Is Class 9 Hazmat?
Class 9 hazmat is miscellaneous hazardous materials that do not fit into classes 1-8. Unlike the other eight hazard classes that are specifically defined, class 9 is vaguely described as potentially hazardous goods. In other words, materials, substances or mixtures that present a hazard during transportation but fall outside the other well-defined classes may be listed as class 9 hazmat.
The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) requires hazmat workers transporting hazardous substances or waste, including those in class 9, to label and sort them correctly. You can find the hazmat classifications under Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (49 CFR).
According to 49 CFR 173.140, class 9 hazmat includes:
- Materials with noxious, anesthetic or other similar properties capable of causing discomfort or extreme annoyance to a flight crew member to the extent that it prevents them from correctly performing their duties
- Materials that qualify as hazardous substances, hazardous wastes, marine pollutants or elevated temperature materials, as the law defines them.
So, although class 9 hazmat is vaguely and broadly defined, 49 CFR provides a description that can guide you in determining such materials.
Common examples of class 9 hazmat may include:
- Acetaldehyde ammonia
- Ammonium nitrate fertilizer
- Aviation regulated liquid
- Automobile airbags
- Chemical kits
- Plastic molding compound
What Are Class 9 Hazmat Requirements?
First, for a hazmat to qualify for class 9, it must fail to qualify for the other classes, that is, classes 1-8. Second, there are no additional requirements for drivers transporting class 9 hazmat except having an active commercial driver’s license (CDL) and a valid medical card.
We’ll discuss the other requirements related to shipping and placarding shortly.
What Are the Hazmat Class 9 Shipping Requirements?
Hazmat workers must label bulk packaging with the correct United Nations identification (UN ID) number. The UN ID number is a four-digit number used to identify dangerous goods. Bulk packaging includes transportation through cargo tank trucks, portable tanks and immediate bulk containers (IBCs).
The requirement applies to every class 9 hazmat placard, but you can also use an orange or a white diamond label. The labeling must go on all four sides. Class 9 hazmat not in bulk packaging can be with the UN ID number on the two opposite sides.
When transporting an elevated-temperature material, you must include a “HOT” label on all the packaging. For marine pollutants, you must attach the correct marine pollutant label.
Does Class 9 Shipping Need Placards?
The class 9 placard under 49 CFR 172.560 is reserved for international transportation. You may use it within the U.S. to display the UN ID number on bulk packaging, but the shipment is not subject to additional requirements like those that apply to shipments requiring placarding. Unlike the DOT regulations, international regulations like the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code) does not provide class 9 hazmat placard exceptions.
When Class 9 Hazmat Doesn’t Need to Be Placarded
Domestic shipping does not require placards. In other words, placarding is optional when shipping within the U.S. The same applies to the part of international transportation occurring within the U.S. However, as earlier indicated, hazmat workers must mark bulk packaging containing class 9 hazmat with the correct UN ID number on the placard, an orange label or a white diamond.
Another vital situation is shipping class 9 hazmat with hazmat from the other classes. Those requirements are unique.
The general hazmat placarding requirements under 49 CFR 172.504 provides two tables.
Table one lists the highest risk cargo, including radioactive, explosives, dangerous when wet materials, poison gases and Type B organic peroxides. Table two lists common hazmats like corrosives, non-poisonous gases, flammables and combustibles. Class 9 hazmat falls under table two.
Placards are optional on vehicles carrying less than 1,001 pounds of table two hazmat in non-bulk packaging, except in certain circumstances. Class 9 hazmat counts towards the 1,001-pound threshold.
What Are the Class 9 Hazmat Exemptions?
There are three packaging groups for hazmat:
- Packaging group I: Relates to substances that present a high risk.
- Packaging group II: Relates to substances that present medium risk.
- Packaging group III: Relates to substances that present a low risk.
Under 49 CFR 173.155, limited quantities of class 9 hazmat in packing groups II and II are exempt from labeling requirements unless you transport them by air. The law also exempts class 9 hazmat from the specification packing requirements under 49 CFR 178 when they are packaged in certain combination packagings.
The packaging must comply with the requirements for preparing hazmat for transportation. You can find those requirements at 49 CFR 173.21 to 173.41. The packaging should be below 66 pounds in gross weight.
Again, you may combine class 9 hazmat in packaging group II if the inner packaging for liquids is up to 0.3 gallons net capacity and 2.2 pounds net capacity for solids. You may also combine class 9 hazmat in packaging group III if the inner packaging for liquids is up to 1.3 gallons net capacity and 11 pounds for solids. In both cases, you must combine the strong outer packaging.
Finally, there are no segregation requirements when shipping class 9 hazmat by rail or highway. Similarly, shipping papers are not required for limited-quantity shipments by rail or highway.
Class 9 Hazmat FAQs
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:
1. What Kind of Box Can You Ship a Class 9 Hazmat Item In?
After placing the hazmat in containers like drums, IBCs or bottles, you may use corrugated cardboard as a secondary packaging. The packaging depends on the hazmat in question. Air shipments require UN specification packaging or performance-oriented packaging (POP). Remember, class 9 hazmat is still dangerous and requires strict compliance with regulations.
2. Do You Need Hazmat Training?
Hazmat training is crucial. It helps you stay compliant with the regulations and enhances safety. The key is to select a hazmat institution with practical courses and the requisite licensing to teach and issue certificates.
3. Who Regulates the Transportation of Hazmat?
The Secretary of the DOT regulates the transportation of dangerous goods, including class 9 hazmat, but has delegated its authority to agencies like the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Federal Railway Administration (FRA), the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).
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