USA Banner

Official US Government Icon

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure Site Icon

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

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

Interpretation Response #11-0169 ([Ropak Packaging] [Mr. Terry Iker])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Ropak Packaging

Individual Name: Mr. Terry Iker

Location State: IL Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

June 22, 2011




Mr. Terry Iker

Ropak Packaging

1350 Arthur Avenue

Elk Grove Village, IL 60007

Reference No.: 11-0069

Dear Mr. Iker:

This responds to your March 17, 2011 email requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to closure methods. Specifically, you describe a scenario in which a company"s primary closure method for a specification plastic drum (included in its closing instructions) utilizes a pneumatic plunger type lidder. You ask if using alternative methods of closure (such as roller lidders or a mallet), in addition to the primary closure method for the specification plastic drum, constitutes a design change and thus, requires the package to be requalified?

The answer is yes. Section 173.22(a)(4) requires a person to perform all functions necessary to bring the package into compliance with parts 173 and 178. It is the opinion of this Office that using closure methods other than those specifically allowed by the specification packagings closure instructions would constitute a design change. Therefore, any package using a closure method other than required by the specified closing instructions for that package would need to be requalified. If you make a design change, you are required to maintain a record of each design qualification test in accordance with § 178.601(l). The test record must include a description of the packaging design type, including methods of closure. You may maintain a single test record and test report identification number for identical packagings that differ only in method of closure, provided each method of closure is documented in the test report and the packaging successfully passes the required tests when closed in accordance with each closure method identified in the test report.

I hope this satisfies your inquiry. Please contact us if we can be of further assistance.


T. Glenn Foster

Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention Branch

Standards and Rulemaking Division


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.22 Shipper's responsibility