Background

The Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has issued a final rule that, effective March 31, revised the Hazardous Materials Regulations applicable to return shipments of certain hazardous materials by highway transportation. This rule makes the following changes.

- codifies a definition for the “reverse logistics” of hazardous materials as “the process of offering for transport or transporting by motor vehicle goods from a retail store for return to their manufacturer, supplier or distribution facility for the purpose of capturing value (e.g., to receive

manufacturer’s credit), recall, replacement, recycling or similar reason”

- establishes a new section specifically for the shipment of hazmats in the reverse logistics supply chain

- defines the authorized packaging for reverse logistics shipments

- allows more flexibility in the transportation of lead-acid batteries by expanding an existing exception for reverse logistics shipments of used automobile batteries from a retail facility to a recycling center

- authorizes certain materials to be offered in accordance with the new reverse logistics requirements when transported by private carrier

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