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Interpretation Response #07-0010


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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date: 03-09-2007
Company Name: United States Coast Guard    Individual Name: Mr. J.E. Pomajzl
Location state: DC    Country: US

View the Interpretation Document


Response text:

Mar 9, 2007

Mr. J.E. Pomajzl                                                              Reference No. 07-0010
Second Class Marine Science Technician (MST2)
United States Coast Guard
2760 Sherwood Lane Suite 2A
Juneau, AK 99801

Dear Mr. Pomajzl:

This is in response to your January 10, 2007 letter requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to vessel stowage requirements. Your questions are paraphrased and answered below:

Q1. Certain deck barges stow containers perpendicular to the center line (container entrance facing either port or starboard on deck) versus parallel to the centerline as found on most container ships. For deck barges that stow containers perpendicular to the centerline, does the term "container space" still need to meet the definition found in § 176.83(f)(4) which defines a "container space" as distance of not less than 6 m (20 feet fore and aft or not less than 2.5 m (8 feet) athwartship.

Al. The answer is yes. Although the definition of "container space" in § 176.83(f)(4) is based on the dimensions of a typical 20 foot container when in parallel with the keel, the definition is a distance, 6 m (20 feet) fore and aft or not less than 2.5 m (8 feet) athwartship.

Q2. Can the definition of "container space" change to 2.5 m (8 feet) fore and all when the containers are stowed on deck perpendicular to the centerline?

A2. The answer is no, the definition does not change when containers are stowed on deck perpendicular to the centerline. However, § 176.65 does allow for alternative stowage procedures at the discretion of the Captain of the Port (COTP), who must determine if the alternative stowage procedures will insure a level of safety at least equal to that afforded by regulatory requirement concerned.

Q3. What method is used by the COTP to "insure a level of safety at least equal to that afforded by regulatory requirement concerned?"

A3. The COTP has the discretion to use any method when allowing an alternative stowage procedure. For example, the COTP may require fire resistant barriers between containers to prevent a fire from spreading to other containers, if such an event occurs.

I hope this information is helpful. If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact this office.

Sincerely,

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

176.83, 176.65


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
§ 176.65 Alternative stowage procedures