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Interpretation Response #09-0058 ([Thermo Fisher Scientific, Customer Channels Group] [Mr. Gene Sanders])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Thermo Fisher Scientific, Customer Channels Group

Individual Name: Mr. Gene Sanders

Location State: PA Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

June 12, 2009



Mr. Gene Sanders, DGSA

Senior Dangerous Goods Transportation Specialist

Thermo Fisher Scientific, Customer Channels Group

200 Park Lane

Pittsburg, Pennsylvania 15275

Ref. No.: 09-0058

Dear Mr. Sanders:

This responds to your e-mail letter regarding the requirements in § 173.124(a)(1)(i) and (ii) as they apply to "desensitized explosives" under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180). Specifically, you ask whether small amounts of desensitized explosives used to calibrate explosive detection machines may be reclassed without submission of an approval request to the Associate Administrator for Hazardous Materials Safety.

According to your letter, calibration products contain less than 1% Class 1 materials and, thus, meet the definition for "desensitized explosive" in § 173.124(a)(1)(i) of the HMR. Such desensitized explosives must be specifically authorized by name in the § 172.101 Hazardous Materials Table or assigned a shipping name and hazard class under the terms of a special permit or an approval. You ask whether there is a threshold concentration of explosive material in a product below which it would not be necessary to seek the approval of the Associate Administrator prior to shipment.

The answer is no. All new compositions containing any amount of explosive material, including compositions of diluted (desensitized) explosives, must be approved by the Associate Administrator. Because of the large number of possible variations and combinations of explosives and diluents in desensitized explosives, it is not possible to determine a threshold concentration of explosive material below which approval would not be required.

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

173.124, 172.101

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.124 Class 4, Divisions 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3-Definitions