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Interpretation Response #14-0047 ([Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A.] [Mr. Mark Ludwikowski, Esq.])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A.

Individual Name: Mr. Mark Ludwikowski, Esq.

Location State: DC Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

Mr. Mark Ludwikowski, Esq.
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, P.A.
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Suite 400
Washington, DC 20004-3062

Ref. No.: 14-0047

Dear Mr. Ludwikowski:

This is in response to your email dated March 11, 2014, requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) relating to the classification of airbag inflators. Your client produces the same model or same family of inflators using the same designs across multiple manufacturing sites.

Q1. You ask whether a single testing lab report for a particular inflator model or inflator family can be used across your client’s multiple manufacturing sites and if this is dependent upon whether the inflator is classed as Class 9 (UN3268) or if the company submits an application to PHMSA for and EX approval.

A1. An EX approval for an explosive article remains valid for the same article produced by the same manufacturer at multiple facilities within the United States. However, approvals issued for explosive articles manufactured at a facility outside the United States are only valid for articles produced at that facility unless an authorized laboratory has examined the article and issued a test report conforming to the provisions of §173.166(b)(1) for the article as produced at each additional facility outside of the United States. This applies regardless of whether the article is ultimately classed as a Class 9 (UN3268) or classed and approved as Division 1.4G and assigned an EX number by the PHMSA Associate Administrator.

Q2. You also ask whether the energetics used in the inflators must be exactly the same across manufacturing sites and if the energetics must be of the same origin.

A2. The energetic formulations used in inflators must be exactly the same in order to be included in a single design type under the provisions of § 173.166(b)(1). Variations in energetic formulations may be authorized under the provisions of the EX approval process in § 173.56 if the explosive examination laboratory documents the variations in a report by analogy to an inflator previously tested, and PHMSA concurs by issuing an EX approval for the inflator.

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


Shane C. Kelley
Acting International Standards Coordinator
Standards and Rulemaking Division

173.166(b)(1), 173.56

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.166 Safety devices
173.56 New explosives-definition and procedures for classification and approval