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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Interpretation Response #03-0016 ([Mr. Tom B. Jacobsen])

Below is the interpretation response detail and a list of regulations sections applicable to this response.

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name:

Individual Name: Mr. Tom B. Jacobsen

Location State: CO Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

Feb 28, 2003


Mr. Tom B. Jacobsen                Reference No. 03-0016
0854 West Battlement Parkway, #L108
Parachute, CO 81635

Dear.  Mr. Jacobsen:

This is in response to your January 17, 2003 letter and January 24, 2003 telephone calls with a member of my staff asking if environmental gas samples you describe as “Gas sample, nonpressurized, flammable, n.o.s., 2.1, UN 3167,” qualify for the materials of trade (MOTS) exception in § 173.6 of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180).  You state the samples are composed of a mixture of flammable gas and air (e.g., 10-20% pure methane diluted with 80-90% regular air).  You also state you collect them at atmospheric pressure in 3-liter, polyminyl fluoride film “tedlar” bags and transport them by private motor vehicle to a local testing laboratory.

The answer is no.  Your proposed packaging does not meet the packaging requirements in § 173.306; therefore, use of your packaging will require an exemption from the HMR.  Procedures for submitting an application for exemption are contained in § 107.105 of the HMR.  Under § 173.6(a)(2) and (b)(5), to qualify as MOTS the flammable gas sample must be transported in a cylinder with a gross weight of 100 kg (200 pounds) or less that conforms to the packaging, qualification, maintenance, and use requirements for cylinders under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180).  Under Column 8A of the Hazardous Materials Table (§ 172.101), the entry “Gas sample, non-pressurized, flammable, n.o.s., not a refrigerated liquid, 2.1, UN 3167,” provides for transportation in a packaging prescribed in § 173.306. Section 173.306(a)(4) allows non-pressurized flammable gas samples to be transported in hermetically sealed glass or metal inner packagings of not more than 5 L (1.3 gallons) overpacked in a strong outer packaging.

I hope this satisfies your request.



Hattie L. Mitchell, Chief
Regulatory Review and Reinvention
Office of Hazardous Materials Standards


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.6 Materials of trade exceptions