Those who ship and transport hazardous materials will be affected by several new provisions of the 2005 Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) (H.R. 3), which was signed into law by President Bush. Among other provisions, the bill mandates more stringent recordkeeping requirements and substantial increases in penalties. The penalty increases were effective upon signing (August 10, 2005) and the recordkeeping provisions will go through the DOT rulemaking process.

Also, the Act continues the general trend of jacking up security measures for both national and international shipments. For example, a new provision prohibits the operator of a commercial motor vehicle licensed in Mexico or Canada from transporting hazmats in United States until the operator has undergone a background records check similar to the records check required for hazmat operators in the United States.

Also in the international area, DOT and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have been authorized to establish a program of random inspections of cargo at points of entry into the United States to determine the extent to which undeclared hazmats are being offered for transportation in commerce through such points.