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 #08-0300 ([DeOrchis & Partners, LLP] [Mr. Richard L. Furman])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: DeOrchis & Partners, LLP

Individual Name: Mr. Richard L. Furman

Location State: NY Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

March 10, 2009

Mr. Richard L. Furman

DeOrchis & Partners, LLP

61 Broadway, Suite 2600

New York, New York 10006

Ref. No.: 08-0300

Dear Mr. Furman:

This responds to your letter dated December 5, 2008, regarding our response to a previous interpretation (Ref. No. 08-0179) concerning requirements in the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to small arms ammunition. Specifically, you ask if the exception in §173.56(h) applies solely to manufacturers, or whether it also applies to others, such as wholesalers, importers, or dealers in small arms ammunition.

The requirements in §173.56 address the process of producing and approving a new explosive. A "new" explosive means an explosive produced by a person who: (1) has not previously produced that explosive; or (2) has previously produced that explosive but has made a change in the formulation, design, or process so as to alter any of the properties of the explosive (see §173.56(a)). Paragraph (b) of this section authorizes qualified individuals to examine and assign a recommended shipping name, division, and compatibility group for new explosives. An explosive will not be considered a new explosive if an agency listed in paragraph (b) of this section has determined and confirmed in writing to the Associate Administrator that there are no significant differences in hazard characteristics from the explosive previously approved.

As stated in the previous interpretation, Ref. No. 08-0179, the "requirements of §173.56 do not apply to cartridges, small arms" when shipped in accordance with paragraph (h) of this section. In other words, the approval process prescribed in §173.56 does not apply to small arms ammunition; thus, producers or manufacturers, or wholesalers, importers, or dealers in small arms ammunition may take advantage of the exception. As previously stated in Ref. No. 08-0179, the exception does not relieve "manufacturers" outside of the United States

from obtaining any necessary competent authority approval from the country of origin, transit, or over flight when the ammunition is transported.

I hope this information is helpful. If we can be of further assistance, please contact us.


Charles E. Betts

Chief, Standards Development

Office of Hazardous Materials Standards


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.56 New explosives-definition and procedures for classification and approval