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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 #10-0139 ([FedEx Freight] [Ms. Sandra Richesin])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: FedEx Freight

Individual Name: Ms. Sandra Richesin

Location State: AR Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

November 30, 2010




Ms. Sandra Richesin

Safety Compliance Administrator

FedEx Freight

P.O. Box 840

Harrison, AR 72602-0840

Reference No. 10-0139

Dear Ms. Richensin:

This is in response to your July 1, 2010 letter and July 22, 2010 telephone conversation with a member of my staff requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to shipping papers. Specifically, you ask whether the shipping paper you submitted describing two cartons containing 850 cubic centimeters (0.22 gallons) or less of "UN 2796, Battery fluid, acid, 8, Packing Group (PG) II, Limited Quantity" complies with the HMR. You state each completed package consists of one crate that contains one carton of battery fluid and one motorcycle. You also state these materials are described on an accompanying shipping paper but are packaged in such a manner that the presence of the battery acid in the package would not be known without the shipping paper description.

It is the opinion of this Office that the shipping paper you submitted does not fully comply with the HMR. The shipping paper you submitted does not properly indicate each carton of limited quantity battery acid is within a combination package that consists of a crate as the outer packaging (see § 173.154). The HMR require that the number and type of package must also be indicated (see § 172.202(a)(7)). The shipping paper you submitted includes the number "10" in the entry for battery acid. You explain this represents the total weight of the battery fluid as 10 pounds. The HMR require a total quantity, including unit of measure by net or gross mass, capacity, or as otherwise appropriate, for each hazardous material described on a shipping paper (see § 172.202(a)(5)). Although the cubic centimeter amounts provided for the battery fluid on this shipping paper satisfy this requirement, the 10 pound entry is another total quantity for the battery fluid description. Therefore, this Office recommends that this shipping paper entry include a "pound" unit of measure to assist with making it easily decipherable for purposes of emergency response.

Also, please note the HMR require the outside of a non-bulk package containing a hazardous material liquid to be properly marked with the directional arrows package marking in the correct orientation, as prescribed in § 172.312(a)(2). The HMR also except a limited quantity packaging from having to be marked with the proper shipping name provided the package is marked with the correct identification number, in this instance "UN 2796," that is placed within a square-on-point border, as prescribed in § 172.315.

I hope this satisfies your request.


T. Glenn Foster

Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention

Standards and Rulemaking Division

172.154, 172.202(a)(7), 172.312(a)(2)

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
172.202 Description of hazardous material on shipping papers
172.312 Liquid hazardous materials in non-bulk packagings
173.154 Exceptions for Class 8 (corrosive materials)
173.315 Compressed gases in cargo tanks and portable tanks