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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 #03-0325 ([Horizon Lines, LLC] [Mr. Cliff Bartley])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Horizon Lines, LLC

Individual Name: Mr. Cliff Bartley

Location State: FL Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

Feb 2, 2004


Mr. Cliff Bartley                Reference No. 03-0325
Manager, Hazardous Materials
Horizon Lines, LLC
5800-1 William Mills Street
Jacksonville, Florida 32226

Dear Mr. Bartley:

This responds to your December 11, 2003 fax requesting clarification on shipping fertilizer under § 176.415(b)(1) of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HI'4R; 49 CFR Parts 171-180). Specifically, you ask for clarification on acceptable packaging for shipping “Ammonium Nitrate, 5.1, UN 1942, PG III” without a permit under § 176.415(b)(1) by vessel from Florida to San Juan, Puerto Rico.

According to your letter, your customer cannot comply with all of the requirements of a U.S. Coast Guard permit under § 176.415(a) due to the nature of the company’s operations.  Your customer currently ships the product in plastic 50-pound bags.  They wish to use inexpensive combination packagings as authorized in § 173.213 to ship their material without a permit in order to comply with § 176.415(b)(1). They also wish to use combination packaging that will allow them to stack the cargo for maximum utilization of space in a 20-foot metal cargo container.  You ask what combination packagings are acceptable, and, what is considered a “non combustible” packaging, e.g., a 5H4 bag?

Based on the information you provided, it is the opinion of this Office that any of the packagings authorized in § 173.213 are acceptable for transporting this product.  However, the HMR do not specifically define a “non combustible packaging” It is our opinion that if a packaging bums or ignites from a flammable ignition source, it is combustible.  Therefore, your options may be the use of combination packagings with metal, glass, or earthenware inner packagings, or compliance with the U.S. Coast Guard permit requirements in § 176.415(a).

I hope this answers your inquiry.



Susan Gorsky
Senior Transportation Regulations Specialist
Office of Hazardous Materials Standards

173.213, 176.415(b)(1)

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.213 Non-bulk packagings for solid hazardous materials in Packing Group III
176.415 Permit requirements for Division 1.5, ammonium nitrates, and certain ammonium nitrate fertilizers