All rail hazmat shippers preparing Rail Security-Sensitive Material (RSSM) rail cars for shipment must physically inspect the rail car before loading for signs of tampering (including closures and seals and other signs that the security of the car may have been compromised) and suspicious items that do not belong (including the presence of an improvised explosive device). From the time of that inspection until the freight rail carrier takes physical custody of the rail car, the car must be kept in a “rail secure area.” The transfer of custody must be documented in writing or electronically.
Rail hazardous materials receivers located in a High Threat Urban Area (HTUA) share responsibility with the delivering rail carrier to maintain “positive control” of incoming rail cars during the physical custody transfer of those rail cars. The transfer of custody must be documented in writing or electronically, and the hazmat receiver must keep the rail car in a “rail secure area” until the car is unloaded. Any receiver located in a HTUA may request an exemption if it believes the potential security risk posed by its facility is insufficient to warrant application of the chain of custody provisions.