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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 #14-0073 ([United States Postal Service] [Ms. Joan Hall])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: United States Postal Service

Individual Name: Ms. Joan Hall

Location State: DC Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

September 22, 2014

Ms. Joan Hall
Classification Specialist
United States Postal Service
475 L"Enfant Plaza Rm. 4666
Washington DC 20260

Ref. No. 14-0073

Dear Ms. Hall:

This responds to your April 2, 2014 e-mail regarding the approval of lighter design under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180).  Specifically, you ask whether a previously-approved lighter design must be reexamined and reapproved if the testing agency’s competent authority approval has expired prior to subsequent shipments.  In addition, you express concern that letter of interpretation Ref. No. 12-0006, dated March 22, 2012 creates a conflict with the regulations.

Letter of interpretation Ref. No. 12-0006 is still accurate.  As prescribed in § 173.21(i), except for a design sample, the transportation in commerce of a lighter design containing a Division 2.1 flammable gas that has not been examined and successfully tested by an authorized person (i.e. lighter testing agency) in accordance with  § 173.308(a) is forbidden.  As prescribed in § 173.308(b)(1), a lighter design is considered as not having been examined and successfully tested if it differs from the original design in any manner that may affect the escape (leakage) of gas.  Provided the previously-approved lighter design meets this criterion, the HMR do not mandate the expiration of its approval.  For your information, the expiration of approval you refer to in your letter applies to the authorized testing agency as a condition of its competent authority approval and authorizes the testing agency to examine, test, and classify lighter designs for a period of five years.  Therefore, lighter design classifications made by the testing agency prior to the expiration of the testing agency’s approval can continue to be transported.

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

173.21(i), 173.308(a), 173.308(b)(1),

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.21 Forbidden materials and packages
173.308 Lighters
173.308 Lighters