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Interpretation Response #04-0057 ([Saf-T-Pak, Inc.] [Mr. Art Rutledge])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Saf-T-Pak, Inc.

Individual Name: Mr. Art Rutledge

Country: CA

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

Apr 9, 2005


Mr. Art Rutledge                 Reference No. 04-0057


Saf-T-Pak, Inc.

10807 -. 182 Street

Edmonton, Alberta

T5S lJS Canada

Dear Mr. Rutledge:

This responds to your letter regarding testing and use criteria for non-bulk UN standard packagings under the U.S. Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) I apologize for the delay in responding. Your questions are paraphrased and answered as follows:

Q1.      If the competent authority of a country other than the United States authorizes a variation from the United Nations" Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (UN Recommendations) packaging protocols, is it permissible to use that packaging in the United States and, if so, under what conditions?

Al.        Currently, the answer to your question is yes. Section 173.24(d) (2) of the HMR authorizes in the United States the use of packagings manufactured outside the United States, provided they are manufactured in accordance with national or international regulations based on the UN Recommendations. A packaging having specifications different: than those in the HMR or UN Recommendations, or which is tested using methods or test intervals other than those specified in the HMR or UN Recommendations, may be used in the Unites States if approved by the Associate Administrator or the competent authority of the country of manufacture, respectively. Under both the HMR and UN Recommendations, any variance must: provide for an equivalent or greater level of performance than what is prescribed. In such circumstances, the letter "W" must follow the packaging identification code (e.g., 4G) marked on the packaging. If appropriate, the competent: authority authorizing such a variance would be urged to take action to amend t UN Recommendations (and ultimately the HMR) to include the provisions covered by the variance.

Q2.      For packaging designs, what is considered an acceptable failure rate under the periodic retesting criteria in § 178.601(e)?

A2.      A packaging manufacturer must achieve successful test results (i.e., 100%) for each packaging design tested.

Q3.      If a retail agent for a packaging manufacturer knowingly sells a packaging that does not meet the standard for which it is marked, who is in violation of the Hr4R, the manufacturer, the seller, or both?

A3.      Civil or criminal penalties may be assessed on all parties involved in any conspiracy to intentionally misrepresent a packaging as meeting a particular standard. See § 171.2(c).

Q4.      Who is responsible for ensuring compliance with the regulations with regard to a packaging"s marked integrity, the manufacturer, the testing laboratory, or the end-user (e.g., the shipper)?

A4.      The manufacturer, that is, the person whose mark appears on the packaging, is solely responsible for ensuring that the packaging meets the standard for which it is marked. A shipper may be held responsible for violations that occur involving assembling or filling of a packaging in accordance with a packaging manufacturer"s customer notification instructions. See § 178.2.

Q5.      Is a person who sells or otherwise represents a packaging as meeting a UN standard or DOT specification required to be trained as a hazmat employer or a hazmat employee, as appropriate?

A5.      Yes. A hazmat employer is a person who uses one or more of its employees in connection with representing, marking, certifying, selling, offering, manufacturing, reconditioning, testing, repairing, or modifying containers, drums, or packagings as qualified for use in the transportation of hazardous materials. A person who is employed by a hazmat employer and manufactures, tests, reconditions, repairs, modifies, marks, or otherwise represents containers, drums, or packagings as qualified for use in the transportation of hazardous materials is a hazmat employee and is, therefore, required to be trained as specified in §  172.7C2.

I trust this satisfies your inquiry. Please contact us if you need further assistance.



Hattie L. Mitchell

Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention

Off ice of Hazardous Materials Standards



Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.24 General requirements for packagings and packages