US DOT Chart 16

Hazardous Materials Markings, Labeling and Placarding Guide

If you have had occasion to use the U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT) hazardous materials (Hazmat) regulations contained in the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 49 (49 CFR), it is apparent that one of its downfalls is black and white printing.  The Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA), who writes and updates 49 CFR for the DOT makes no apologies – but they do offer an exceptional resource known as DOT Chart 16, Hazardous Materials Marking, Labeling and Placarding Guide.

Actually, the “16” is not a reference to 2016, it is simply the 16th edition of the DOT guide.  In this compendium to 49 CFR, DOT Chart 16 displays all the current hazard labels, handling labels, placards and package markings in full color.  The guide also contains the two placarding tables for trucks, containers and bulk packagings along with primary bullet points for compliance.  References are provided to locate the specific requirements contained in 49 CFR, and many abbreviated guidance principles are included to assist shippers and carriers.

The guide also shows recent changes in marks and labels such as the transition from the old to new Excepted Lithium Battery Handling Mark (label) and the new Class 9 Lithium Battery Hazard Label, both of which became effective in 2019.  Unknown to many, the guide contains some inaccuracies such as the note for the Air Limited Quantity Mark which states, “Air Only” (it is actually applicable to air and acceptable by all other modes of transport.)

We are not sure when DOT Chart 17 will be published – the DOT is not saying – but you can be sure we will link it to our website when it does.

See the US DOT’s references in 49 CFR, Part 172 for:

  • Marking – Subpart D
  • Labeling – Subpart E
  • Placarding – Subpart F

US DOT Chart 16