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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Interpretation Response #13-0097 ([BASF Corporation] [Mr. Joseph Matousek])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: BASF Corporation

Individual Name: Mr. Joseph Matousek

Location State: NJ Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

June14, 2013


Mr. Joseph Matousek
Sr. Transp Support Specialist
BASF Corporation
100 Park Avenue
Florham Park, NJ 07932

Ref. No.: 13-0097

Dear Mr. Matousek:

This is in response to your letter requesting clarification of the the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) regarding the marking and labeling requirements when reshipping marine pollutants domestically.  Your letter states that your company imports marine pollutants by vessel, marked and labeled as either “UN3077, Environmentally hazardous substance, solid, n.o.s., Class 9” or “UN 3082, Environmentally hazardous substance, liquid, n.o.s., Class 9” in accordance with the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code.  It is your understanding that under the HMR, this material can be reshipped domestically as “not regulated” without removing the affixed markings and labels, provided the materials are not a marine pollutant as defined by the HMR and are not otherwise hazardous.

Your understanding is correct. Section 171.4 excepts marine pollutants in non-bulk packages from the requirements of the HMR when transported by motor vehicle, rail car, or aircraft.  That means they are not subject to the requirements for shipping papers, markings, labels or placards when transported by highway, rail or air.  The markings and labels that were required to be affixed to the packages for transportation by vessel in accordance with the IMDG Code need not be removed or covered for subsequent transportation by other modes.  

In addition, § 172.401(c) permits labeling in accordance with the IMDG Code and §172.303(b)(3) permits the marking of a shipping name on a package when the name describes a material not regulated under the HMR.  Although your material does not meet the definition of a hazardous material under the HMR, the package may remain appropriately marked and labeled in accordance with the IMDG Code and transit the United States without shipping papers.  However, if your shipment will not be accompanied by a shipping paper, the marks and labels on your package may cause delays or otherwise frustrate its transportation. To avoid this problem, we suggest the following:

1.     Remove, obliterate, or securely cover the markings and labels;

2.     Leave the marking and labeling in place and describe the material as "Environmentally hazardous substances, liquid or solid, n.o.s." in     
        accordance with § 172.102, Special Provision 146; or

3.     Provide an indication on the package or bill of lading that the material is not regulated by the HMR.

Alternatively, § 171.22(d) provides that a material subject to the IMDG code, but not subject to the HMR, may be transported in the United States when described on a shipping paper, marked, and labeled in accordance with the IMDG code.

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


Delmer Billings
Senior Regulatory Advisor
Standards and Rulemaking Division

171.4, 172.102 SP 146, 171.22

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.22 Authorization and conditions for the use of international standards and regulations
171.4 Marine pollutants