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Interpretation Response #13-0064 ([HMT Associates, L.L.C.] [Mr. E.A. Altemos])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: HMT Associates, L.L.C.

Individual Name: Mr. E.A. Altemos

Location State: VA Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

June 6, 2013


Mr. E.A. Altemos
HMT Associates, L.L.C.
600 King Street, Suite 300
Alexandria, VA 22314-3105

Ref No.: 13-0064

Dear Mr. Altemos:

This is a response to your March 27, 2013 email requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 100-185) with regard to the exceptions for the transport of black or smokeless powder for small arms.  Specifically, you request clarification of the term “motor vehicle” as used in §§ 173.170 and 173.171.

You note that by using the term “motor vehicle” instead of “transport vehicle,” the limitation of 45.4 kg (100 pounds) net mass is aggregated amongst all cargo-carrying bodies of a motor vehicle.  You believe that this is an error and the term intended to be used was “transport vehicle,” so that each cargo-carrying body could contain up to 45.4 kg (100 pounds) net mass of black or smokeless powder for small arms that is reclassified as a Division 4.1 material.

The term “motor vehicle” as defined in § 171.8 includes a vehicle, machine, tractor, trailer, or semitrailer, or any combination thereof.  Furthermore, the term “transport vehicle” is defined as a cargo-carrying vehicle such as an automobile, van, tractor, truck, semitrailer, tank car or rail car used for the transportation of cargo by any mode.  Each cargo-carrying body (trailer, rail car, etc.) is a separate transport vehicle.  The use of the term “motor vehicle” in the exceptions for black and smokeless powder for small arms in §§ 173.170 and 173.171 is accurate.  Please note that the reclassification of these materials to Division 4.1 is an exception and there is no limit on the amount of black and smokeless powder for small arms able to be transported on a single motor vehicle as fully regulated Class 1 explosives.  

I hope this information is helpful.  If you have any more questions, please do not hesitate to contact this office.


Charles E. Betts
Standards and Rulemaking Division

173.170, 173.171, 171.8

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.8 Definitions and abbreviations
173.170 Black powder for small arms
173.171 Smokeless powder for small arms