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Interpretation Response #12-0208 ([Occidental Chemical Company] [Mr. Norman Dodson])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Occidental Chemical Company

Individual Name: Mr. Norman Dodson

Location State: KS Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

December 11, 2012

Mr. Norman Dodson
Occidental Chemical Company
6200 South Ridge Road
Wichita, KS  67026

Reference No. 12-0208

Dear Mr. Dodson:

This is in response to your September 14, 2012 e-mail requesting clarification of the exceptions for Materials of Trade (MOTs) under § 173.6 of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180).  In your letter, you state that to analyze the quality of the chemicals your company supplies to its customers, these customers send samples of these chemicals in amounts of one pint or less to your company for testing. 

You state customers return the following materials to your company for testing:

  1. UN 1496 Sodium Chlorite, 5.1 (oxidizer), PG II
  2. UN 1593 Dichloromethane, 6.1 (poisonous), PG III
  3. UN 1789 Hydrochloric acid, 8 (corrosive), PG II and III
  4. UN 1846 Carbon tetrachloride, 6.1, PG II
  5. UN 1888 Chloroform, 6.1, PG III
  6. UN 1897 Tetrachloroethylene, 6.1, PG III
  7. UN 1908 Chlorite solution, 8, PG II and III (the primary material being shipped)

You also state some of your customers do not have employees trained to prepare and offer hazardous materials for transport in conformance with the HMR, but a carrier informed you that your customers can transport their chemicals as MOTs by motor vehicle to the carrier for its staff to properly package and transport because your customers are not transporting the samples for commercial purposes.  You ask if this statement is correct. The answer is no.  A "Material of trade" is a hazardous material, other than a hazardous waste, that is carried on a motor vehicle: (1) for the purpose of protecting the health and safety of the motor vehicle operator or passengers; (2) for the purpose of supporting the operation or maintenance of a motor vehicle (including its auxiliary equipment); or (3) by a private motor carrier (including vehicles operated by a rail carrier) in direct support of a principal business that is other than transportation by motor vehicle (see § 171.8).  Your customers are transporting chemical samples to the carrier solely for the purpose of offering them for transportation in commerce, not to perform tasks that are in direct support of a business that is other than transportation by motor vehicle, criteria (3) in the definition of "material of trade."  Therefore, the chemicals must be transported under other provisions in the HMR authorized for the specific hazards each sample contains at the time it is offered for transportation. 

I hope this satisfies your request.


T. Glenn Foster
Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention Branch
Standards and Rulemaking Division


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.8 Definitions and abbreviations
173.6 Materials of trade exceptions