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 #06-0134 ([Special Materials Company] [Mr. Adam Feldman])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Special Materials Company

Individual Name: Mr. Adam Feldman

Location State: NY Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

Jun 29, 2006


Mr. Adam Feldman                 Reference No. 06-0134

Special Materials Company

262 West 38th Street

New York, NY 10018

Dear Mr. Feldman:

This responds to your letter dated June 6, 2006, regarding classification of your product "Parachlorobenzotrifiuoride" in accordance with the § 173.120 of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180). You enclosed documents from several companies who tested this product and a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS).

Special Materials Company imports "Parachlorobenzotrifluoride" (PCBTF) from China, by vessel. PCBTF is a member of the "Chlorobenzotrifluoride" family of compounds. Parachlorobenzotrifluoride has a flash point greater than 35°C (95°F) and is 99.7 - 99% pure and shipped in ISO Tankers, packagings having a capacity of between 2, to 2,900 Liters. You stated that PCBTF is not subject to the provisions of the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code because it meets the definition in for Class 3 materials, which do not sustain combustion. PCBTF is not a marine pollutant, and you believe not regulated as a hazardous material under the IMDG Code.

However, the Shanghai Maritime Institute in China does not agree and has detained your company"s ISO Tankers until tests are performed and a determination is made as to the correct classification of this product. Specifically, you ask whether "Parachlorobenzotrifluoride" is classed under the HMR as a hazardous material.

Under § 173.22 of the HMR, it is the shipper"s responsibility to properly classify a hazardous material. This office generally does not perform this function.

The criteria for a Class 3 material is found in § 173.120 of the HMR. As specified in

§ 173.120(a)(3), any liquid with a flash point greater than 35°C (95°F) that does not sustain combustion according to ASTM D 4206 or the procedure in Appendix H of Part 173 does not meet the definition of a Class 3 (flammable liquid). In addition, as specified in § 173.120(b)(3), a combustible liquid that does not sustain combustion is not subject to the HMR. Based on the information you provided, it is our opinion that your company"s product, "Parachlorobenzotrifluoride", does not meet the definition for a Class 3 (flammable/combustible liquid), and provided it does not meet any other hazard class definition would not be regulated for purposes of transportation in commerce.



I hope 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

173.22, 173.120

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.120 Class 3-Definitions
173.22 Shipper's responsibility