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Interpretation Response #10-0093R ([Edgcomb Law Group] [Mr. John Edgcomb])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Edgcomb Law Group

Individual Name: Mr. John Edgcomb

Location State: CA Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

September 22, 2010




Mr. John Edgcomb

Edgcomb Law Group

115 Sansome Street, Suite 700

San Francisco, CA 94104

Ref. No.: 10-0093R

Dear Mr. Edgcomb:

This responds to your letter dated April 22, 2010 and follow-up letter on July 22, 2010 regarding the requirements for shipping a "Consumer commodity, ORM-D" material in accordance with the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180). This is a revision to our original response from June 14, 2010.

According to your letter, your client is a pharmaceutical distributor, and proposes to unitize products classified as "Consumer commodity, ORM-D" into securely fastened, plastic boxes ("totes") for delivery from its distribution centers to its customers in their healthcare settings, including retail pharmacies, hospitals, physician practices, extended-care facilities, home-care agencies and government medical facilities. The individual totes are loaded into a contract carrier"s motor vehicle, which is used exclusively for the delivery of the totes. Also, your client"s customers sometimes return the totes containing similar materials using the same methods. You ask, would the exception in § 173.156(b)(1) apply to these ORM-D materials and whether the ORM-D marking is required on the "totes".

In general, the HMR permit materials that meet the definition of a consumer commodity in

§ 171.8 and that are packaged as provided in the appropriate limited quantity packaging section to be renamed "Consumer commodity" and reclassed as ORM-D. An ORM-D material is excepted from labeling, placarding and specification packaging, and except for shipments by aircraft, the shipping paper requirements, unless the materials meet the definition of a hazardous substance, hazardous waste, or marine pollutant.

Consumer commodity, ORM-D materials may be transported utilizing the exceptions in

§ 173.156(b)(1), including the exception from the marking requirements of Subpart D of Part 172 (i.e., "ORM-D" marking), provided the material is (1) unitized in cages, carts, boxes, or similar overpacks; (2) offered for transportation or transported by rail, private or contract motor carrier; or common carrier in a vehicle under exclusive use for such service; and (3) transported to or from a manufacturer, a distribution center, or a retail outlet, or transported to a disposal facility from one offeror. According to your incoming letter, your clients shipping methods satisfy all three of these conditions. Thus, your client may take advantage of the exceptions provided in § 173.156(b)(1), including the exception from marking the box or tote "ORM-D".

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

173.156(b)(1), 171.8

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.8 Definitions and abbreviations
173.156 Exceptions for limited quantity and ORM