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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 #13-0171 ([Aerospace] [Mr. Jeff Christafore])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Aerospace

Individual Name: Mr. Jeff Christafore

Location State: WV Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

May 1, 2014

Mr. Jeff Christafore
Dangerous Good Compliance Specialist
2400 Aviation Way
Bridgeport, WV  26330

Ref. No. 13-0171

Dear Mr. Christafore:

This is in response to your e-mail requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR 171-180) applicable to the marking and labeling requirements for boxes containing non-bulk packages.  Your scenarios and questions are paraphrased and answered below:

In your first scenario, you state that cylinders manufactured under DOT-SP 8162, that are marked as such, are packaged in an outer fiberboard box.  You state that while the cylinder has no hazardous materials markings or labels applied to it, the outer package is marked with “UN1072, Oxygen, compressed,” the shipper’s and consignee’s address, and an “OVERPACK” marking.  Further, you state that the outer packaging also displays Division 2.2 (Non-flammable compressed gas) and Division 5.1 (Oxidizer) hazard labels.  Finally, you state that this package is placed in an additional outer package that does not bear a DOT-SP number, and the accompanying shipping paper does not provide a notation of “DOT-SP” followed by the Special Permit number as required by § 172.203(a).

Q1: You ask whether this scenario represents an overpack according to §§ 173.25 and 171.8?

A1:   The fiberboard box containing the cylinder is the package.  The secondary box is an overpack as defined by § 171.8, and subject to the marking requirements for overpacks as specified in § 173.25.

Q2: Is the outer package required to be marked “DOT-SP 8162”?  

A2:   No.  According to paragraph 8.h. of DOT-SP 8162, the requirements to mark shipping papers and packages with the special permits number in accordance with §§ 172.202(a) and 172.301(c) is not required.

Q3: You ask if the package in your scenario were placed in an overpack, would the overpack need to indicate “inside packages comply with prescribed specifications” as well as “OVERPACK”?  It is your understanding that since a specification cylinder is not contained anywhere in the package, this statement would not be required, but that the “DOT-SP 8162” and “OVERPACK” markings would be required.

A3: Section 7.c.(5) of DOT-SP 8162 requires cylinders under this special permit to be packaged in accordance with § 173.301(a)(9) which requires an outer packaging.  The “OVERPACK" marking is required on the secondary box which is considered an overpack under § 173.25.  

Q4: Does this package needs to be marked with an indication that the inner packaging conforms to the prescribed specifications, since this packaging (cylinder) is authorized by a special permit and is not a specification cylinder that is listed in § 173.301(a)(9)?

A4:   The answer is no.  Because these cylinders are not listed in § 173.301(a)(9), they are not required to be marked with an indication that inner packagings conform to the prescribed specifications.

Q5: You ask if cylinders must be placed inside an overpack (outer package) and marked “OVERPACK” if the specification markings on the cylinder inside are not visible?  You further ask if the combination package must be correctly marked as well as the overpack?

A5: The visibility of the specification markings on the cylinder would not affect whether a combination package could be placed inside an overpack.  You are correct that the combination package (cylinder in a fiberboard box) is required to have all the required markings and labels.  In addition, the overpack (the second box) is required to display all markings and labels required under § 173.25.

In your second scenario, you state that cylinders used as fire extinguishers are manufactured under “DOT-SP 7945” or “DOT-SP 8495,” marked with the special permit numbers, and packaged in an outer fiberboard box.  Further, you state that the cylinders have no hazardous materials markings or labels applied to them, but the outer package is marked  with the proper shipping name “UN1044, Fire Extinguishers,” the shipper’s and consignee’s address, the DOT-SP number, and displays a 2.2 (Non-flammable compressed gas) hazard label.  You ask if this scenario would represent an overpack or would it be a combination package?

In your second scenario, the package you describe would be a combination package because it is  required to be shipped in a strong outer packaging in accordance with § 173.301(a)(9) as described in paragraph 8.(f) of “DOT SP-7945” and paragraph 8.(g) of “DOT SP-8495.”

I trust this information is helpful.  Please contact us if you require further assistance.


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

173.25, 173.301

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.8 Definitions and abbreviations
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