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Interpretation Response #13-0241 ([S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.] [Ms. Georgia Barr])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.

Individual Name: Ms. Georgia Barr

Location State: WI Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

March 18, 2014

Ms. Georgia Barr
S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.
1525 Howe Street
MS 306, ATTN: Georgia Barr
Racine, WI   53403

Ref. No. 13-0241

Dear Ms. Barr:

This responds to your December 11, 2013 request for clarification of the packaging requirements for a consumer commodity under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180).  Specifically, you ask for clarification on the definition of a tray as is referenced in a previous letter of interpretation (Ref. No. 07-0162).

According to your letter you want to use a re-useable package for transportation between your    manufacturing plants and your contract manufacturers or co-packers.  The re-useable package  would be made of corrugate or plastic and would have two full sides, a bottom, and would have stretch wrap as the overpack in accordance with § 173.25 to consolidate the inner packages.   A previous letter of Interpretation (Ref. No. 07-0162) defined a tray as referenced in § 173.156(b)(2) as, “a shallow  flat receptacle with a raised edge or rim used to carry, hold, or display articles.” Furthermore, you ask if in order to be considered a tray, must all four sides have some type of raised edge.  You seek confirmation that your re-useable package meets the criteria for a tray.

A tray may be composed of any material that is compatible with the lading provided it meets all other applicable requirements prescribed in § 173.156.  The HMR do not require a tray to have four raised sides; however, the raised edges must be sufficient to contain the inner packaging.  It is the opinion of this office that your re-useable package with two raised edges meets the definition of a tray.   

I hope this answers your inquiry.  If you need additional assistance, please contact this office at (202) 366-8553.


Robert Benedict
Chief, Standards Development Branch
Standards and Rulemaking Division

173.25, 173.156

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.156 Exceptions for limited quantity and ORM
173.25 Authorized packagings and overpacks