USA Banner

Official US Government Icon

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure Site Icon

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Interpretation Response #05-0165 ([The Fertilizer Institute] [Ms. Pam Guffain])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: The Fertilizer Institute

Individual Name: Ms. Pam Guffain

Location State: DC Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

Aug 3, 2005


Ms. Pam Guffain                      Reference: 05-0165
Director, Government Affairs
The Fertilizer Institute
820 First Street, NE Suite 430
Washington, DC 20002

Dear Ms. Guffain:

This is in response to your letter regarding the appropriate shipping description for various fertilizer blends under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR 171-180). The first blend consists of 50% ammonium nitrate, 25% potash, and 25% ammonium sulfate. The second fertilizer blend consists of 34% ammonium nitrate, 33% potash, 33% ammonium sulfate. The third is a blend of 75% ammonium nitrate, 12.5% potash and 12.5% ammonium sulfate.

Section 173.22 specifies that it is the shipper’s responsibility to properly class and describe a material in accordance with the HMR. This office does not perform that function. Special provision 132, assigned to the entry “Ammonium nitrate based fertilizer, 9, UN 2071” applies to ammonium nitrate based fertilizers that (1) contain not more than 70% ammonium nitrate and not more than 0.4% total combustible, organic material calculated as carbon or (2 contain not more than 45% ammonium nitrate and unrestricted combustible material. Based on the criteria in Special provision 132 and the information you provided, it is our opinion that the first and second fertilizer blends specified should be described as “Ammonium nitrate based fertilizer, 9, UN 2071.” Provided that the third fertilizer blend does not exhibit explosive properties of Class 1 when tested in accordance with Test Series 1 and 2 of Class 1 in the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria (see Special provision 52), this blend should be described as “Ammonium nitrate based fertilizer, 5.1, UN 2067.”

I hope this information is helpful.


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

172.101, 173.22

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
172.101 Purpose and use of hazardous materials table
173.22 Shipper's responsibility