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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 #13-0174 ([Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary, P.C.] [Mr. Brandon K. Wiseman])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary, P.C.

Individual Name: Mr. Brandon K. Wiseman

Location State: IN Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

September 25, 2013

Mr. Brandon K. Wiseman
Attorney for Rotel North American Tours, LLC
Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary, P.C.
10 West Market Street, Suite 1500
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Ref. No. 13-0174

Dear Mr. Wiseman:

This responds to your August 21, 2013, letter regarding the applicability of the materials of trade exception under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180).  Specifically you ask if the small propane tank (i.e., less than 20 pounds) used to power a stove that is stowed on a tour bus in an exterior built-in kitchenette would meet the definition of a “material of trade” as specified in § 171.8.  Furthermore, you ask if this propane stove would qualify for the materials of trade exception in § 173.6 and would exempt your client from the hazardous materials training and shipping paper requirements set forth in parts 172 and 177.  

The answer is no.  As defined in § 171.8, material of trade means “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.”  The stove does not satisfy the requirements of the material of trade definition in § 171.8 for the following reasons:

1. The propane stove does not protect the health and safety of the motor vehicle operator or passengers;

2. The stove and its respective propane tank is not considered “auxiliary equipment” in that “auxiliary equipment” in this definition means that the equipment must provide supplementary or additional help and support to operate or maintain the motor vehicle itself, not equipment for the purpose of heating food for passengers on the motor vehicle; and

3. Your client is not a private motor carrier.  

I hope this information is helpful.  If you have further questions, please contact this office.


Robert Benedict
Chief, Standards Development
Standards and Rulemaking Division

171.8, 173.6

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.8 Definitions and abbreviations
173.6 Materials of trade exceptions