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Interpretation Response #12-0172 ([Detector Electronics Corporation] [Mr. Lee R. Zwiefelhofer])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Detector Electronics Corporation

Individual Name: Mr. Lee R. Zwiefelhofer

Location State: MN Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

October 18, 2012

Mr. Lee R. Zwiefelhofer
Senior Logistics/Hazmat Specialist
Detector Electronics Corporation
6901 West 110th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55438

Reference No.: 12-0172

Dear Mr. Zwiefelhofer:

This is in response to your August 08, 2012 e-mail requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180). You present several scenarios, and ask numerous questions pertaining to package makings and about HMR definitions. Your scenarios and questions are paraphrased and answered as follows:

Scenario 1: You state that shipments of Compressed Gases, N.O.S., UN 1956 in DOT-39 cylinders are required to be packaged in strong, non-bulk outer packagings with a marking of "Inner packagings conform to the prescribed specifications" in accordance with § 173.301(a)(9). The outer packaging would also include the proper shipping name, UN number, a Class 2.2 hazard label, consignee and consignor address markings, and a "Net Qty xx kg" marking for air shipments. You further state that § 173.25(a)(4) requires overpacks to be marked with the word "OVERPACK" when specification packagings are required, unless specification markings on the inside packages are visible.

Q1. If DOT-39 cylinders are packaged and marked as described in Example 1 above, and then are either palletized or placed into another non-specification outer box for consolidation purposes with inner package markings not visible, is an "OVERPACK" marking required on the enclosure that is being used to consolidate the strong non-bulk outer packagings that are not a specification packaging? Does it make any difference that the inner receptacle in the outer non-specification packaging is a DOT-39 specification cylinder? Under § 173.301(a)(9), it does state that this configuration is a combination packaging. My interpretation is that an "OVERPACK" marking would not be required as this is a combination packaging that uses a non-specification "strong non-bulk outer packaging."

A1. Your understanding of the requirement for marking the word "OVERPACK" on an overpacked DOT-39 cylinder package is incorrect. Section 173.25(a)(4) requires the marking of the word "OVERPACK" when specification packagings are required. You are correct that a DOT-39 cylinder correctly packaged in accordance with § 173.301(a)(9) is a combination package. However, because the cylinder itself is a specification package, the "OVERPACK" marking is required when overpacked.

Q2. If an "OVERPACK" marking is not required, would the overpack be required to have the "Inner packagings conform to the prescribed specifications" marking be placed on it to comply with §§ 173.25(a)(2) and 173.301(a)(9)?

A2. See A3.

Q3. If an "OVERPACK" marking is required, would the overpack be required to have the "Inner packagings conform to the prescribed specifications" marking placed on it to comply with §§ 173.25(a)(2) and 173.301(a)(9)?
A3. The answer is no. There is no requirement to carry over the "inner packagings conform to the prescribed specifications" marking in § 173.301(a)(9).

Scenario 2: Shipments of UN2911, Radioactive Material, Excepted Package " Article, per requirements in §§ 173.424 and 173.422, are required to be contained in an outer package (non-specification) for shipment and marked with "UN2911" under CFR 49, and have the Radioactive Material, Excepted Package red hatched label and permissible gross weight label for air shipments under the International Air Transport Association (IATA) or International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), along with the consignor and consignee address markings.

Q4. If UN2911 material that is packaged in an outer package (non-specification) is then placed into an overpack where the inner box markings are not visible, would an "OVERPACK" marking have to be placed on the box or pallet load being used for consolidation purposes, or would only the markings applied to the outer non-specification outer packaging be applied to the pallet or box being used for consolidation purposes?

A4. As your package contains no specification packaging, no "OVERPACK" marking is required by § 173.25.
Scenario 3: You state that as specified in § 171.8, the definition of a non-bulk packaging for a solid is a maximum net mass of 882 lbs or less and a maximum capacity of 450 L (119 gallons) or less as a receptacle for a solid.

Q5. Do combination packagings that contain inner packagings with solids, liquids or gases fall under the category of solids under the non-bulk packaging definition?

A5. The answer is no. The physical state of the commodity being shipped should be used in making a bulk or non-bulk determination.

Q6. Is the maximum package size for a non-bulk packaging for solids defined by the volume of the 119 gallon capacity? By my calculations that equates to 15.9 cubic feet. Under the non-bulk definition for solids (combination packagings) are you then limited to 882 lbs and 15.9 cubic feet per package to comply with this definition? If not, what purpose does the 119 gallon reference have for non-bulk solid packagings (including combination packagings)?

A6. Section 171.8 defines a non-bulk packaging, as a receptacle for a solid, as a packaging which has a maximum net mass of 400 kg (882 pounds) or less and a maximum capacity of 450 L (119 gallons). In order to meet the definition of a non-bulk packaging, a receptacle for a solid must have both a maximum net mass of 400 kg (882 pounds) or less and a maximum capacity of 450 L (119 gallons).

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



Delmer Billings
Senior Regulatory Advisor
Standards and Rulemaking Division

173.309, 173.25

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.25 Authorized packagings and overpacks
173.301 General requirements for shipment of compressed gases and other hazardous materials in cylinders, UN pressure receptacles and spherical pressure vessels