Who Needs Training?
The U.S. DOT requires training for all hazmat employees in the United States, regardless of the rules you are following to prepare hazardous materials for transportation.
The U.S. DOT permits shippers to follow the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations and/or the IMDG Code if part or all of the shipment is shipped by air or vessel (49 CFR 171.24 and 171.25).
In addition to meeting the U.S. DOT training standard, hazmat employees must also be trained on the IATA and/or IMDG rules "to the extent such training addresses functions authorized by 49 CFR Part 171 Subpart C."
If U.S. shippers choose to ship under international rules, you must be in compliance and trained on applicable sections of 49 CFR as well as the IATA DGR and/or IMDG Code.
RETRAINING / REVALIDATION REQUIREMENTS
Under 49 CFR 172.704(c)(2), all hazmat employee training must be repeated in its entirety at least every three years. If rules or an employee's responsibilities change during that three-year period, the employee's training must be updated. The three-year retraining deadline is a deadline. Anyone not retrained by the third anniversary of his or her previous training may not legally perform any hazmat employee functions.
IATA requires recurrent training within 24 months of the initial training (IATA 188.8.131.52). Although this deadline is not legally enforceable, some air carriers may refuse shipments if you have not received training within the previous 24 months.
IMDG rules defer retraining frequency to "a timeframe deemed appropriate by a competent authority" (IMDG 184.108.40.206). Therefore, the three-year DOT deadline applies in the U.S.
WHAT PENALTIES COULD I EXPECT FROM NOT COMPLYING WITH IATA AND IMDG REQUIREMENTS?
The DOT is the enforcement authority in the United States, DOT penalties for violations apply. Civil penalties for violation of DOT regulations can be up to $75,000 per day, per incident.
Criminal penalties can be as much as $250,000 per day, per incident, and five years in jail for individuals and $500,000 per day, per incident for organizations.
IF I HAVE TRAINED IN IMDG AND IATA, DO I STILL HAVE TO UNDERGO DOT TRAINING?
Yes. If you are preparing hazardous materials for transportation according to the IATA or IMDG rules, there are still many DOT requirements in 49 CFR that your shipment must meet, as well as administrative and operational requirements that shippers must comply with, such as training and cargo security rules. At a minimum, you must be trained in these additional requirements.
The DOT allows hazardous materials to be shipped under IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations for any shipments travelling by air, provided the shipment complies with the additional DOT requirements (listed at 49 CFR 171.22, 171.23 and 171.24) and the shipper complies with all administrative rules in 49 CFR.
The DOT allows hazardous materials to be shipped under the IMDG Code for any shipments by vessel provided the shipment complies with the requirements (listed at 49 CFR 171.22, 171.23 and 171.25) and the shipper complies with all the administrative rules in 49 CFR.