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Interpretation Response #03-0160 ([Los Alamos National Laboratory] [Mr. Jim Johnston])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Los Alamos National Laboratory

Individual Name: Mr. Jim Johnston

Location State: NM Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

Aug 14, 2003

Mr. Jim Johnston               Reference No. 03-0160

Packaging Engineer

Los Alamos National Laboratory

P.O. Box 1663, MS A194

Los Alamos, NM 87545

Dear Mr. Johnston:

This is in response to your letter dated July 2, 2003 requesting clarification regarding the Class 7 (radioactive) materials marking requirements under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180). Specifically, you expressed concern about packaging manufacturers applying the marking "USA DOT 7A Type A" and "Radioactive Material" to the outside of empty (unused) drums. You ask whether the markings may be applied by the user rather than the manufacturer. You also ask whether the EMPTY label should be display on the drums when shipped from the manufacturer to your facility.

In response to your first question, the manufacturer function of placing the required specification markings on the packaging can be performed by the packaging manufacturer or by the user. Placing the required DOT specification markings identified in § 178.350; that is, "USA DOT 7 A Type A" and "Radioactive Material", on the packaging certifies that the packaging was designed and constructed in full conformance with the requirements referenced in Part 173. Section 178. 2(b )(2) states that a manufacturer of a packaging is primarily responsible for compliance with the Part 178 requirements. However, any person who performs a function prescribed in Part 178 shall perform that function in accordance with this part. Therefore, by contractual agreement, certification may be performed by the user. The user must have a copy of all documentation required to support that the packaging meets the DOT 7 A specification. In either case, the user must maintain the complete packaging documentation on file in accordance with § 173.415.

In response to your second question, new or unused packagings marked "USA DOT 7A Type A" and "Radioactive Material" that are being shipped from the manufacturer to your facility are not required to display an EMPTY label. However, we recommended that the marked packagings be transported in closed freight containers or transport vehicles to avoid confusion to transport workers and emergency response personnel. Also, as you may be aware, we proposed in a notice of proposed rulemaking to remove the "Radioactive Material" marking from Part 178.

I hope this satisfies your request.


Hattie L. Mitchell, Chief

Regulatory Review and Reinvention

Office of Hazardous Materials Standards

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
178.350 Specification 7A; general packaging, Type A.