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Interpretation Response #10-0110 ([Canadian Defense Liaison Staff] [Col. D.T. Erickson])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Canadian Defense Liaison Staff

Individual Name: Col. D.T. Erickson

Location State: DC Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

July 20, 2010




Col. D.T. Erickson

Defense Cooperation Attaché

Canadian Defense Liaison Staff

501 Pennsylvania Ave., NW

Washington, DC 20001

Ref. No.: 10-0110

Dear Colonel Erickson:

This responds to your May 3, 2010 letter requesting clarification of the approval of explosives under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180). Specifically, you request information on the process to obtain approval to transport explosives within the United States and whether Canadian Forces may use vendor issued explosive control numbers for subsequent transportation within the U. S.

In your letter, you described two processes by which Canadian Forces purchase munitions. The first method involves a foreign military sales process approved by the Department of State and the Department of Defense (DOD). The second process entails commercial sales in which Canadian Forces procure munitions directly from a U.S. or a foreign vendor.

Prior to transport, Class 1 (explosives) materials must be classed and approved by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) in accordance with § 173.56. PHMSA will assign an EX number specific to that explosive and prescribe a suitable packing method. An explosive that has been examined and classed by the DOD in accordance with § 173.56(b)(2), may only be transported by the DOD. Explosives examined and classed by the DOD and subsequently sold through the foreign military sale process require approval by PHMSA prior to transport in the U.S.

Previously approved explosives not examined and classed by the DOD with a valid EX approval issued by PHMSA may be subsequently transported in the U.S. provided you have not made any changes to the explosive and you comply with all of the requirements outlined in the approval. If there is no previous vendor approval, the Canadian Defense Ministry may provide its own classification document together with supporting technical information (e.g. drawings, chemical composition) and request an EX approval.

I hope this answers your inquiry. If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact this office.


Charles E. Betts

Chief, Standards Development

Office of Hazardous Materials Standards


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.56 New explosives-definition and procedures for classification and approval