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Interpretation Response #04-0101 ([Alliant Techsystems Inc. Ordnance & Ground Systems LLC] [Mr. Chris Widman])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Alliant Techsystems Inc.
Ordnance & Ground Systems LLC

Individual Name: Mr. Chris Widman

Location State: MN Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

Jun 4, 2004


Mr. Chris Widman                 Reference No. 04-0101
Explosives Transportation Specialist
Alliant Techsystems Inc.
Ordnance & Ground Systems LLC
4700 Nathan Lane N.
Plymouth, MN 55442

Dear Mr. Widman:

This is in response to your letter dated April 16, 2004 regarding the reuse of fiberboard drums (UN 1G) and boxes (UN 4G) under § 173.28 of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR: 49 CFR Parts 171-180). You indicate that, during a. DOT audit of your Arden Hills, MN facility, DOT enforcement officers found a number of 4G boxes that had minor rubs, abrasions, or tears to the outside laminate which would be in violation of the HMR if found in transportation. You state that in certain circumstances patches of the laminate of up to 4 square inches had been torn from the surface of the box during the tape removal process. Further, you state that the officers informed you that for future reuse of fiberboard packagings you should consider cutting the tape instead of tearing it off and closing it by placing new tape over the existing tape.

As a reuser of these packagings, you are required to ensure that they conform to § 173.28(a), which requires:

Packagings and receptacles used more than once must be in such condition, including closure devices and cushioning materials, that they conform in all respects to the prescribed requirements of this subchapter. Before reuse, each packaging must be inspected and may not be reused unless free from incompatible residue, rupture, or other damage which reduces its structural integrity.

You would like to know the definition of “other damage” as used in § 173.28(a) and if a shipper has the authority to determine when “other damage” has occurred to one of his packagings. The HMR do not provide a definition for “other damage” beyond that provided above, i.e., “damage which reduces [packaging’s] structural integrity. Tears to the facing of the fiberboard as you describe are reductions in structural integrity since they weaken the fiberboard and, therefore, render the packaging unfit for reuse. You are responsible for identifying these and other packaging deficiencies.

You also would like to know if the practice of cutting the tape and leaving it attached to the packaging and then taping over old tape with new tape is an acceptable means of closing your outer package. This practice would be acceptable if there is no damage to the packaging, it is reclosed in accordance with the closure instructions provided by the packaging manufacturer, and the surface treatment created by the old tape does not adversely affect the closure.
I trust this satisfies your inquiry. If we can be of further assistance, please contact us.



John A. Gale
Chief, Standards Development
Office of Hazardous Materials Standards


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.28 Reuse, reconditioning and remanufacture of packagings