DOE Exemption Process (updated 3/7/2023)

DOE Order 460.1D, Hazardous Materials Packaging and Transportation Safety, requires compliance with the HMR (49 CFR Parts 171-180) and does not allow “out of commerce shipments”, notwithstanding the provisions of 49 CFR 171.1(d)(4) and 171.1(d)(5), without an approved exemption to Order 460.1D.

The conditions and requirements to apply for an exemption to DOE Order 460.1D (link to pdf), Hazardous Materials Packaging and Transportation Safety, are listed in the Exemptions/Equivalencies, Section 3.c. and the Contractor Requirements Document (CRD) Attachment 1, Step 9 of that Order. The Order requires each contractor that is not otherwise subject to the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) and wishes to conduct activities that are not in accordance with the requirements of this CRD, then the contractor must apply to the responsible Head of Operations Office or the Field Office/Site Office Manager for processing the exemption application through the Headquarters Certifying Official (HCO) for approval or disapproval.  Below are the summarized steps of the DOE Exemption application submittal and approval process.

  1. The Exemption application must be prepared in accordance with the procedures in 49 CFR 107.105(c) and (d). External Link   The application and supporting documentation must demonstrate a level of safety equivalent to that required by Order 460.1D, that is, the application shall demonstrate that the overall level of safety in transport for these shipments is at least equivalent to that which would be provided if all the applicable requirements had been met by regulations.
  2. The Exemption request and application is submitted to the HCO  by the responsible Head of Operations Offices or Field Offices/Site Offices Managers.
  3. The Exemption application and supporting documentation are independently reviewed by the DOE Packaging Certification Program to confirm equivalent safety to the HMR. This review is documented in a Safety Evaluation Report (SER).
  4. The Exemption decision by the HCO is issued in writing in accordance with paragraph 5.a.(5) of the Order.
  5. Exemptions are typically issued for 2 years, but may be extended, if warranted, upon request at least 30 days prior to the expiration date.
  6. Transportation of a hazardous material, authorized by an approved DOE Exemption, in a motor vehicle, aircraft, or vessel must be operated by a Federal government employee solely for noncommercial Federal, government purposes [see 49 CFR 171.7(d)(5)].External Link
Questions or comments? Contact the DOE PCP Docket Manager, Lawrence F. Gelder [CONTR], (803) 645-3490,

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