U.S. DOT PHMSA Proposes Increase In Annual HAZMAT Registration Fee

The U.S. DOT Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a proposed rulemaking recently that would increase the hazardous material registration fee that energy marketers operating cargo tank vehicles must pay each year.

Currently, the annual registration fee is set at $275 for small businesses and $2,575 for large businesses. Under existing regulations, most energy marketers qualify as small businesses and pay the $275 fee. Under the proposed rule, fees for small businesses and not-for-profit organizations would increase to $375 annually. Fees for large businesses would increase $2,575 to $3,000 per year, the maximum allowed by current federal statutes. HAZMAT registration fees were last raised in 2006. The fees collected from HAZMAT registration program are distributed as Hazardous Material Emergency Preparedness grants to state emergency response authorities, primarily fire departments.

The 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law increased the statutory amount PHMSA is allowed to collect through the registration program by $18.5 million to $46,825,000 annually. However, the agency only collected $24.6 million under the program during the 2022-2023 registration period. “To achieve full funding of the grants program at the increased amount, PHMSA will need to adjust the fees for the national hazardous materials transportation registration and fee program,” the agency said.

In addition to the planned rate hikes, PHMSA also proposed implementing an electronic-only registration fee payment – eliminating check-by-mail options for carriers completing the registration process. Additionally, PHMSA has proposed revisions to the statutory requirements to “clarify that both an electronic and paper form for the Certificate of Registration is acceptable provided the Certificate of Registration can be made available upon request to authorized personnel or DOT enforcement personnel.”