Foreign commerce

Part 195 (and Part 192) regulate pipelines involved in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce.  While interstate commerce may be readily identifiable, foreign commerce may be more problematic.  Certainly a pipeline crossing a US border (Canada or Mexico) is readily apparent as being in foreign commerce, there may be other situations not so easily identified.

The following interpretation from 1978 describes one such situation and DOT’s decision that the pipeline is subject to Part 195.

Interpretation 195.10  1
September 21, 1978

Mr. Warren McDonald, President
Tampa Pipe Line Corporation
P.O. Box 19201
Tampa, Florida 33686

Dear Mr. McDonald:

We have received a letter from Gonzalo Ancira of Ancira Engineering Services, Inc., in response to our letter to you dated July 21, 1978, outlining proposed requirements your Corporation must meet to properly inhibit stress-corrosion cracking on the Tampa-Bartow anhydrous ammonia pipeline. Mr. Ancira’s letter indicates that you have no objection to these requirements.

In view of the above, please be advised that the order dated July 9, 1978, prohibiting transport of the commodity in the proposed manner is hereby lifted as long as the requirements in our July 21 letter are met.

Mr. Ancira raised the question about the Department’s regulatory jurisdiction over the pipeline. We believe the pipeline is engaged in foreign commerce, and thus subject to 49 CFR 195, because the only two consignees on the pipeline purchase the commodity directly from a foreign source and there are no other deliveries made to or from the terminal tanks used to store the commodity.


Cesar De Leon
Associate Director for
Pipeline Safety Regulation
Materials Transportation Bureau

Ancira Engineering Services, Inc.
Suite 228
Hamilton Hotel
P.O. Box 480
Laredo, Texas 78040

August 7, 1978

Mr. Cesar de Leon
Associate Director for Pipeline Safety Reg.
Material Transportation Bureau
Department of Transportation
Washington, D. C. 20590

Dear Mr. de Leon:

With reference to your letter dated July 2, 1978 to Mr. Warren McDonald, Tampa Bay Pipeline Corporation, we would like to call your attention the following observations in the same sequence as your letter.

Tampa Bay Pipeline Corporation will monitor the water content of the Anhydrous Ammonia and will not accept ammonia for shipment which does not meet the Federal requirement of 0.2% water content. Tampa, however; will not be permitted to alter the quality of the product without consent from the shipper and so far the shipper has advised that they have provisions for injecting water into the ammonia system themselves.

Tampa Bay Pipeline Corporation has contracted the Thornton Laboratories of Tampa, Fla. to run analysis and monitor all ammonia shipments.

The proposed prescribed requirements as outlined in your letter will be meet as follows:
1 – Water content will be 0.20 percent.
2 – Carrier is providing a monitor system and run the necessary analysis of each shipment insure that the shipper has complied with thas requirement.
3 – The carrier has prepared and established written proceedures of the pipeline system in compliance with 195.402 of the minimum Federal Safety Standards for liquid pipelines.

Tampa Bay Pipeline accepts full responsibility for the quality of product to be transported and all product not meeting said requirement will not be accepted for shipment.

In reviewing the minimum Federal Safety Standards for liquid pipelines with our legal department, it was called to our attention that under Subpart A- General 195.1 scope, our pipeline is intrastate and you should not have any jurisdiction if you claim jurisdiction based on foreign commerce of hazardous material, our legal department claims that no such foreign commerce exists between the carrier and the shipper namely (Tampa-RoysterGrace). The fact that some of the ammonia is of foreign origin constitutes foreign commerce at the port of entry between the shippers storage and the vessel making the delivery from a foreign source.

Our legal department advises us that Tampa Bay Pipeline is in no way involved in foreign commerce, if we are, please advise in writing how we can be classified as such.

Tampa Bay will comply with all Federal regulations for safety purposes regardless of whether or not we are under your jurisdiction or not.

Yours very truly,
Gonzalo Ancira

All this and more to help understand pipeline safety in WinDOT, The Pipeline Safety Encyclopedia.


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