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Interpretation Response #07-0029

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date: 08-20-2007
Company Name: TEN-E Packaging Services, Inc.    Individual Name: Mr. Robert J. Ten Eyck   
Location state: MN    Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

Aug 20, 2007

Mr. Robert J. Ten Eyck                                  Reference 07-0029
Director, Technical Services
TEN-E Packaging Services, Inc.
1666 County Road 74
Newport, MN 55055

Dear Mr. Ten Eyck:

This responds to your letter dated January 30, 2007, requesting an interpretation of what constitutes a non-bulk packaging design change under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180). Specifically, you ask for reconsideration of a previous interpretation issued by this office (06-0129) that states "Changing the size (e.g., width) of the tape from that specified in the packaging test report and closure notification constitutes a change in design." It is your opinion that a change to a wider tape of the same specification as that originally certified would not detract from the packaging's performance either under the UN performance tests or conditions normally incident to transportation.

We agree it is possible that a wider tape applied to a package may create a more "robust" package; however, it does not conclusively demonstrate how the package will perform when tested or transported. Additionally, a strict interpretation of the HMR does not provide for regulatory relief under such a scenario. One solution you may consider is to annotate the test report and customer notification to read "identical specification tape, minimum width 2 inches" if you can conclusively ascertain that using wider tape will not impair the performance of the package as the design was originally tested. This recordkeeping solution would not constitute a different package design type provided a minimum width or a range of widths of identical specification tape was applied by the package assembler. This analogy could also be applied retroactively to previously tested package designs.

Because our previous response (06-129) offered a similar solution to this issue, we consider our previously issued response to be valid and with merit.

I trust this adequately responds to your inquiry. Please contact us if we can be of further assistance.


Susan Gorsky
Regulations Officer
Office of Hazardous Materials Standards


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
§ 178.601 General requirements