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 #11-0203 ([Henry, Oddo, Austin & Fletcher Attorneys and Counselors at Law] [Ms. Katherine Knight])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Henry, Oddo, Austin & Fletcher Attorneys and Counselors at Law

Individual Name: Ms. Katherine Knight

Location State: TX Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

November 22, 2011




Ms. Katherine Knight

Henry, Oddo, Austin & Fletcher

Attorneys and Counselors at Law

1700 Pacific Avenue, Suite 2700

Dallas, TX 75201

Reference No. 11-0203

Dear Ms. Knight:

This is in response to your August 8, 2011, and September 20, 2011 telephone conversation with a member of my staff on behalf of one of your law firm"s clients, a moving company, concerning the interstate transportation of scuba tank cylinders and oxygen tank cylinders under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180). You state that while moving a household, the moving company refused to transport two scuba-tank cylinders belonging to its client because the company did not know whether the cylinders contained a hazardous material and with which regulations they must comply. You also state the company later hired a hazardous materials expert who determined the cylinders were empty. You ask what requirements apply when a moving company offers cylinders as household goods for interstate transportation by motor vehicle.

Federal hazardous materials transportation law (49 U.S.C. § 5101 et seq.) applies to the transportation of hazardous materials in intrastate and interstate commerce, including packaging intended for such transportation. A cylinder containing a hazardous material that is transported in commerce is subject to the HMR and must comply with specific requirements applicable to its preparation for transportation. The HMR also impose registration requirements for shippers and carriers of certain classes and quantities of hazardous materials (see 49 CFR § 107.601). Furthermore, the employees that prepare, offer and move hazardous materials in transportation must be trained in conformance with 49 CFR Part 172, Subparts H (training) and I (security). The HMR provide exceptions for items that are not transported "in commerce" " e.g., when a private individual transports a cylinder for personal use, that transportation is not subject to the HMR. The HMR also provide exceptions for empty packagings which no longer qualify as hazardous materials (see § 173.29).

The HMR establish requirements for their design, manufacture, maintenance, and requalification of cylinders used to transport hazardous materials in commerce. A cylinder manufactured in conformance with the HMR must be marked with the applicable specification marks and maintained in accordance with applicable requirements to conform to the HMR regardless of whether the cylinder is in transportation in commerce (see § 180.3(a)). Similarly, a DOT Specification 3AA, 3AL, or other SCUBA cylinder marked to indicate conformance with applicable DOT requirements must be retested and otherwise maintained in accordance with the HMR whether or not it is being used to transport hazardous materials in commerce.

I hope this satisfies your request.


T. Glenn Foster

Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention Branch

Standards and Rulemaking Division

107.601, 173.29, 180.3,

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.29 Empty packagings
180.3 General requirements