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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 #10-0072 ([Transportation Development Group] [Mr. Jim Powell])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Transportation Development Group

Individual Name: Mr. Jim Powell

Location State: WA Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

June 18, 2010




Mr. Jim Powell

Transportation Development Group

2023 E. Sims Way Ste 372

Port Townsend, WA 98368

Ref. No.: 10-0072

Dear Mr. Powell:

This responds to your letter regarding the requirements under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) as they apply to your product - a "disposable fuel device" containing ethanol in solid form and packaged with safety matches for use in standard charcoal barbeque grills. You ask the following questions:

Q1. You state, as a result of your telephone conversations with the "DOT", it was determined that a solid form of ethanol would best be described as "UN3175, Solids, containing flammable liquid, n.o.s., 4.1, PG II." You ask, would the proper shipping name "Flammable solid, n.o.s.," be more appropriate to describe your product?

A1. You did not provide sufficient information (e.g. hazard characteristics, material safety data sheet (MSDS), etc.) for this Office to make a determination concerning the appropriate classification of and shipping description for your "disposable fuel device", containing ethanol in solid form. It is the shipper's responsibility to properly classify a hazardous material. This Office does not perform that function.

Q2. Can the "disposable fuel device" be reclassed and renamed as a Consumer commodity, ORM-D?

A2. See "A1" above.

Q3. Can the small quantity packaging exception in §173.4 be utilized when shipping the "matches"?

A3. The answer is yes, provided the maximum quantity of material per inner receptacle or article is limited to 30 g or 1 oz.

According to your letter, the book of matches that is included with your "disposable fuel device" would be placed inside a cardboard slipcover that would act as an "inside packaging." Safety matches or wax "Vesta" matches must be tightly packed in securely closed inner packagings to prevent accidental ignition under conditions normally incident to transportation and further packed in outer fiberboard, wooden, or other equivalent-type packaging. Matches packaged in this way that are contained in outer packagings not exceeding 23 kg (50 pounds) gross weight are not subject to any other requirement of the HMR, except marking. Further, the matches may be packed in the same outer packaging with materials not subject to the HMR. Therefore, you may not attach the book of safety matches (using non-flammable adhesive) to the side of the "disposable fuel device" inner packaging, and then place the device and matches in the same outer packaging. See §173.186 of the HMR.

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

172.101, 173.4, 173.186

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.186 Matches
173.4 Small quantities for highway and rail