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Interpretation Response #11-0170 ([Orica USA, Inc.] [Ms. Lisa Nitschke])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Orica USA, Inc.

Individual Name: Ms. Lisa Nitschke

Location State: CO Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

March 30, 2012







Ms. Lisa Nitschke

Product Compliance Specialist

Orica USA, Inc.

33101 East Quincy Avenue

Watkins, CO   80137


Ref. No. 11-0170


Dear Ms. Nitschke:                                                       


This responds to your July 12, 2011, letter requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) and subsequent emails providing additional information.  Specifically, you ask whether UN 1942, Ammonium Nitrate, 5.1, PGIII, in a non-bulk package with rigid plastic receptacles as inner packaging and 4G fiberboard box as outer packaging (see § 173.213(b)) and meets the requirements for loading or unloading from a vessel at any waterfront facility without a permit (see § 176.415(b)(1)).


It is the shipper"s responsibility to determine whether it is necessary to apply for a permit in accordance with § 176.415(a). In general, a noncombustible material is not capable of burning. According to the information provided by your chemists, the rigid plastic receptacle is made of polypropylene and it will melt and burn if exposed to flame.


After review of this additional information, it is the opinion of this office that if the packaging  burns when exposed to extreme heat or flame, it is combustible.  The rigid plastic receptacles you describe are combustible and do not meet the requirements of 49 CFR 176.415(b)(1).  Therefore, your options may be to use combination packaging with metal, glass, or earthenware inner packaging, or to comply with the § 176.415(a) requirements.


I hope this answers your inquiry.  If you need additional assistance, do not hesitate to contact this office at (202) 366-8553.





Ben Supko

Acting Chief, Standards Development

Standards and Rulemaking Division


176.415, 173.213

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.213 Non-bulk packagings for solid hazardous materials in Packing Group III
176.415 Permit requirements for Division 1.5, ammonium nitrates, and certain ammonium nitrate fertilizers