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Bill of Rights for DOT Packaging Inspections

January 30th, 2014 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN

Jerry Cox, legal counsel for the Dangerous Goods Advisory Council (DGAC), prepared a general overview of legal rights involving inspections for compliance with packaging-related regulations. As a manufacturer or shipper of hazardous materials, all packagings are subject to inspection. Mr. Cox highlights the following points in the event an inspection should occur:

  1. You may see and take some time to verify a “hazmat inspector’s” credentials.
  2. The inspector must tell you the “general purpose” of the inspection or investigation before it begins.
  3. Inspections may be conducted and information gathered only “at a reasonable time and in a reasonable manner.”
  4. You may refuse to produce documents or other information unrelated to compliance with the HMRs.
  5. You may protect your confidential business information, or that of your supplier/customer, from public disclosure.
  6. You have the right to consult with your attorney at any point during your interaction with the inspector.
  7. You may refuse to disclose information that is legally privileged or that you create in anticipation of litigation.
  8. You may challenge from the get-go any of the inspector’s adverse findings.
  9. Beware, however, of new statutory language making it a separate violation to “obstruct” an investigation.

Click here to see a full copy of these “Bill of Rights.”

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