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Interpretation Response #04-0119 ([Monsanto Company] [Mr. William J. Briner])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Monsanto Company

Individual Name: Mr. William J. Briner

Location State: MO Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

Mar 30, 2006


Mr. William J. Briner                 Reference No. 04-0119
Regulatory Affairs Manager
Monsanto Company
800 North Lindbergh Blvd
St. Louis, Missouri 63167

Dear Mr. Briner:

This responds to your letter requesting clarification of the packaging requirements for Phosphorus, white or yellow (UN1381 under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180). Specifically, you ask whether your packaging system for this material conforms to the requirements specified in § 173.188 for yellow phosphorus packaged under water and as specified in the exceptions for Division 4.2 materials under § 173.13. I apologize for the delay in responding and any inconvenience it may have caused.

You describe your system as follows:

The phosphorus is placed under water in a glass jar and further placed in a hermetically sealed (soldered) metal can and then placed in another hermetically (soldered) metal can and, finally, placed in a 5 gallon UN specification 1A2 open-head steel drum conforming to the Packing Group I performance level for solids. The net quantity of phosphorus per jar will not exceed 2.85 kg (6.25 lbs) and only one inner packaging system will be placed in the outer drum. Vermiculite will be used as cushioning in the entire packaging system.

Q1.      Phosphorus is solid under ambient temperatures. Most packaging systems used to package phosphorus stabilize it under water. Under this scenario, it is unclear whether to package it as a liquid as prescribed in § 173.13(c) (1) or as a solid as prescribed in § 173.13(c) (2). Is it permissible to package it as a solid in a single packaging tested at the Packing Group I performance level for solids as we propose or would it require a DOT special permit?

Al.        The HMR require a packaging used to contain liquids or a hazardous material that may become liquid during transportation to be tested for liquids. However, because the multiple inner packagings you. propose using in your packaging system are hermetically sealed and an absorbent material is used as cushioning, it is our opinion that, if authorized under the terms of a DOT special permit, the outer UN 1A2 open-head steel drum need only be tested for solids at the Packing Group I performance level under § 173.13(c) (2).

Although it appears that your packaging system offers a greater level of performance than what is specified in 173.13(c) (2), your packaging system is not specifically authorized and, therefore, would require a DOT special permit prior to offering it for transportation.
Q2.      One packaging system prescribed in § 173.188 for phosphorus under water allows for a UN lA2 open-head steel drum, as a single packaging, provided the capacity does not exceed 115 liters (30 gallons) . UN lA2 specification drums are not available that have been tested at the Packing Group I performance level for liquids. Is it permissible to package it as a. solid in a single packaging tested at the Packing Group I performance level for solids as we propose in Ql or would it require a DOT special permit?

A2.      Your packaging system appears to meet the intent of the packaging prescribed in § 173.188(a) (2) and, therefore, would not require a DOT special permit. There is nothing in § 173.188(a) (2) that would prohibit the use of a single packaging tested at the Packing Group I performance level for solids containing the specific inner packaging system you propose.

I trust this satisfies your inquiry. In the future, we intend to propose to the United Nations Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods additional shipping descriptions for so1: hazardous materials packaged in suspension. Please contact us if we can be of further assistance.



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


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.188 White or yellow phosphorus