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Hazardous Materials and Hazmat Regulations: The Basics


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Importing Hazardous Materials into the US: What You Need to Know

What to Consider When Importing Goods

If you are planning to import goods into the United States, know if they have a chance of being classified as hazardous materials (hazmat) by the Department of Transportation (DOT).

Importance of Hazmat Regulations

To ensure safe transport of substances or mixtures that are considered hazmat materials.

Examples of Hazmat Materials

  • Batteries
  • Magnets
  • Chemicals
  • Fertilizer
  • Gases
  • Poisonous substances
  • Explosives
  • Flammable substances

Factors Determining Hazmat Status

Commodity, Quantity, Packaging

Packaging Example

If shipping lithium-ion batteries with a certain wattage, they must have protective packaging to prevent short-circuiting and inner packaging for each battery.

Labeling Requirements

  • Contact information
  • Warning about batteries in the package
  • Statement regarding careful handling
  • Warning about flammability if the package is damaged
  • Instructions for special procedures in case of damage, such as inspection and repacking

Determining Hazmat Status

Refer to the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) provided by your manufacturer or supplier.

Uncertainty About Hazmat Status

Consult your customs broker for assistance in determining the requirements.

Importance of Reviewing Hazmat Regulations

To ensure public safety and avoid potential penalties for non-compliance.

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