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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Interpretation Response #10-0005 ([Mr. Frits Wybenga])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name:

Individual Name: Mr. Frits Wybenga

Location State: DC Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

February 2, 2010



Mr. Frits Wybenga

Technical Director

1100 H Street, N.W., Suite 740

Washington, DC 20005

Ref. No. 10-0005

Dear Mr. Wybenga:

This responds to your January 12, 2010 email regarding marking of portable tanks under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180). Specifically, you ask, when shipping in accordance with the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code as authorized by the HMR, whether the technical name of a hazardous material must be marked as part of the proper shipping name on a portable tank.

In your email, you state that our interpretation of the marking requirements for cargo transport units (bulk type packagings) under the IMDG Code (Ref. No. 04-0039; April 6, 2004) differs from an interpretation provided by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) (16703/IMDG/2007-027; February 27, 2007). Your understanding is that the interpretation provided by the USCG is correct in that the technical name marking requirement in Special Provision 274 is not applicable to a cargo transport unit (e.g., a portable tank) under Chapter 3.3 of the IMDG Code. You request that we clarify which letter provides the correct interpretation of the IMDG Code marking requirements.

Your understanding is correct. After consultation with the USCG, we concluded that the interpretation provided in the USCG letter is the correct interpretation. For those proper shipping names assigned Special Provision 274 in the Dangerous Goods List of the IMDG Code, the requirement to supplement the proper shipping name marking with a technical name applies only to packages. For purposes of the IMDG Code, a portable tank is a cargo transport unit, not a package, and thus, it is not subject to the supplemental marking requirement in Special Provision 274. We will retract our April 6, 2004 letter to avoid any additional confusion.

I hope this information is helpful. If you have further questions, please contact this office.


Charles E. Betts

Chief, Standards Development

Office of Hazardous Materials Standards

172.326, 171.12(b)

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.12 North American Shipments
172.326 Portable tanks