(a) A person may not accept a hazardous material for transportation or transport a hazardous material by rail unless that person receives a shipping paper prepared in accordance with part 172 of this subchapter, unless the material is excepted from shipping paper requirements under this subchapter. Only an initial carrier within the United States must receive and retain a copy of the shipper's certification as required by § 172.204 of this subchapter. This section does not apply to a material that is excepted from shipping paper requirements by this subchapter.
(b) Each person receiving a shipping paper required by this section must retain a copy or an electronic image thereof, that is accessible at or through its principal place of business and must make the shipping paper available, upon request, to an authorized official of a Federal, State, or local government agency at reasonable times and locations. For a hazardous waste, each shipping paper copy must be retained for three years after the material is accepted by the initial carrier. For all other hazardous materials, each shipping paper copy must be retained for one year after the material is accepted by the initial carrier. Each shipping paper copy must include the date of acceptance by the initial carrier. The date on the shipping paper may be the date a shipper notifies the rail carrier that a shipment is ready for transportation, as indicated on the waybill or bill of lading, as an alternative to the date the shipment is picked up, or accepted, by the carrier.