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Interpretation Response #09-0093 ([Valspar] [Mr. Eric Barcaskey])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Valspar

Individual Name: Mr. Eric Barcaskey

Location State: MN Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

October 26, 2010




Mr. Eric Barcaskey

Manager, Hazmat Transportation Safety


P.O. Box 1461

Minneapolis, MN 55440

Reference No. 09-0093

Dear Mr. Barcaskey:

This is in response to your letter requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to combustible liquids. Specifically, you ask how to properly describe "UN 1263, Paint, 3 (flammable liquid), PG III" with a flash point of 49 ºC (120 ºF) when it is has been reclassed as a combustible liquid and placed in either a non-bulk or bulk packaging. We apologize for the delay in responding to your letter and any inconvenience this may have caused.

Q1. May a paint product with a flash point of 120 ºF in a bulk packaging be described as "UN 1263, Paint, Combustible liquid, PG III"?

A1. Yes, provided the paint does not meet the definition of any another hazard class. According to the provisions of 49 CFR 172.101(d) (4), Class 3 entries in the Hazardous Materials Table are modified to read "Combustible liquid" when that material is reclassified in accordance with § 173.150(e) or (f) or has a flash point above point above 60 °C (140 °F) but below 93 °C (200 °F). Section 173.150(f)(1) permits a flammable liquid with a flash point at or above 38°C (100 °F) that does not meet the definition of any other hazard class to be reclassed as a combustible liquid in domestic transportation. (See also § 173.120(b)(2).) Please note, this provision does not apply to transportation by vessel or aircraft, except where other means of transportation is impracticable. Combustible liquids in bulk packagings, and combustible liquids that are hazardous substances, hazardous wastes, or marine pollutants must also comply with requirements for hazard communication, incident reporting, packaging, training, and emergency response information. (See § 173.150(f)(3).)

Q2. May a paint product in a non-bulk packaging with a flash point of 120 ºF that contains a hazardous substance in an amount that exceeds its reportable quantity be described as "UN 1263, Paint, Combustible liquid, PG III, RQ (with the name of the hazardous substance(s) in parentheses)"?

A2. Yes. As specified in § 172.203(c)(1), if the proper shipping name for a material that is a hazardous substance does not identify the hazardous substance by name, the name of the hazardous substance must be entered in parentheses in association with the basic description. This may be accomplished by placing the name of the hazardous substance either immediately following the proper shipping name or the basic description. If a material contains two or more hazardous substances, at least two hazardous substances, including the two with the lowest reportable quantities (RQs), must be identified. Further, § 172.203(c)(2) requires a hazardous material that meets the definition of a hazardous substance, defined in § 171.8, to have the letters "RQ" appear before or after the basic shipping description on a shipping paper to denote the package contains a reportable quantity of this material.

Q3. Is the package containing the combustible liquid paint product described in Question Q2 permitted, required, or forbidden to be labeled with a FLAMMABLE LIQUID label conforming to § 172.419? Can this label be used without the "FLAMMABLE LIQUID" text?

A3. Liquid paint with a flash point of 60 ºC (140 ºF) or less that is described as a Class 3 flammable liquid must be labeled with a FLAMMABLE LIQUID label conforming to § 172.419. Liquid paint with a flash point at or above 38 ºC (100 ºF) but not exceeding 60 ºC (140 ºF), such as the paint you described with a flash point of 120 ºF, that does not meet the definition of any other hazard class and is reclassed as a combustible liquid must not be labeled with a FLAMMABLE LIQUID label, regardless of whether or not text indicating the hazard class is included on the label (see § 173.120(b)(2)). For your information, the HMR do not require text indicating the FLAMMABLE LIQUID hazard class on a primary or subsidiary label (see § 172.405(a)). Although the HMR do not prescribe a label for the combustible liquid hazard class, they do prescribe a placard for COMBUSTIBLE LIQUID (see the § 172.400(b) table and § 172.544), and permit a FLAMMABLE LIQUID placard to be used in place of a COMBUSTIBLE LIQUID placard on a bulk package that contains a combustible liquid (see § 172.504(f)(2)).

On April 5, 2010, PHMSA published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM; Docket No. PHMSA-2009-0241 (HM-242) copy enclosed), titled "Hazardous Materials Regulations: Combustible Liquids," in the Federal Register [75 FR 17111] soliciting comments on ways to revise, clarify, or relax certain regulatory requirements for combustible liquids. Although the comment period closed on July 6, 2010, we encourage you to submit your comments on this matter. To view the rulemaking electronically, please visit the website "," and search using the last four digits of the rulemaking"s docket number, "0241," and further refine your search results with this agency"s acronym "PHMSA."

I hope this satisfies your request.


T. Glenn Foster

Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention

Office of Hazardous Materials Standards


172.101, 173.150, 173.120, 172.203

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
172.101 Purpose and use of hazardous materials table
172.203 Additional description requirements
173.120 Class 3-Definitions
173.150 Exceptions for Class 3 (flammable and combustible liquids)