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Interpretation Response #13-0221 ([3M Center] [Mr. William Gramer])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: 3M Center

Individual Name: Mr. William Gramer

Location State: MN Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

January 16, 2014


Mr. William Gramer
Packaging Engineering, Dangerous Goods
3M Center, 216-02N-08
St. Paul, MN 55144

Ref. No.: 13-0221

Dear Mr. Gramer:

This is in response to your email dated November 14, 2013, requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) relating to the § 172.313(b) requirement that each non-bulk plastic outer packaging used as a single or composite packaging for materials meeting the definition of Division 6.1 shall be permanently marked, by embossment or other durable means with the word “POISON.”  
You present a scenario where solid Division 6.1 poison materials are sealed inside an impermeable plastic bag.  The sealed plastic bag is placed into either a UN 1H plastic drum or a UN 6HA composite drum.  You contend that since the poisonous materials are contained within the impermeable plastic bag and do not directly contact the interior of the 1H plastic drum or the liner of the 6HA composite drum that the § 172.313(b) “POISON” marking is not required.

You are correct.  The described packagings meet the definition of combination packagings. The marking requirement of § 172.313(b) does not apply to combination packagings.

Section 171.8 defines a receptacle as a containment vessel for receiving and holding materials, including any means of closure.  It is the opinion of this office that a plastic bag meets the definition of a plastic receptacle and may be used, where suitable, as the inner packaging of a combination package.  

An authorized single packaging for a hazardous material, such as the UN 6HA composite drum, may contain inner receptacles, such as the sealed plastic bag, that are compatible with the lading as long as the inner receptacles would not adversely affect the level of performance of the packaging.  The packaging would remain marked as a single packaging.

A package consisting of an outer packaging and a separate inner receptacle placed within the outer packaging is defined as a combination packaging.  Therefore, both the UN 1H plastic drum and the UN 6HA composite drum containing the separate inner receptacle (the sealed plastic bag) would meet the definition of a combination packaging.

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


Duane A. Pfund
International Standards Coordinator
Standards and Rulemaking Division


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
172.313 Poisonous hazardous materials