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Interpretation Response #14-0096 ([Evans Transportation Safety Consulting, LLC] [Mr. Joe Evans])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Evans Transportation Safety Consulting, LLC

Individual Name: Mr. Joe Evans

Location State: PA Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

July 31, 2014

Mr. Joe Evans

President
Evans Transportation Safety Consulting, LLC
922 Clearview Road
Moscow, PA 18444

Ref. No. 14-0096

Dear Mr. Evans:

This is a response to your May 9, 2014 letter requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) with regard to assembling new cargo tank motor vehicles and the requirements and responsibilities of the assembler and the manufacturer.  In your incoming letter you describe the following scenario:  

Your client is a cargo tank manufacturer who is registered with the U.S. DOT as a manufacturer and holds a valid ASME “U” stamp.  In the course of doing business, your client produces cargo tanks for customers for final assembly onto a new chassis to form a complete cargo tank motor vehicle (CTMV).  Your client provides installation instructions, which do not include welding on the cargo tank wall, a certificate of compliance with specification shortages, and a completed nameplate with your client’s name as the cargo tank manufacturer.  Your client also provides to his customers a specification plate to attach to the cargo tank motor vehicle after it has been assembled and tested.  The specification plate has no manufacturer’s name or certification date. 

Based on this scenario, your questions are paraphrased and answered below.

Q1.  Is a person registered as a cargo tank motor vehicle assembler in accordance with Part 107, Subpart F, but does not hold an ASME “U” stamp, who: attaches a new cargo tank to a motor vehicle by means other than welding on the cargo tank wall according to the requirements in the HMR and the cargo tank manufacturer’s instructions; conducts the appropriate tests and inspections; completes and signs a certificate of compliance; and stamps the certification date on the specification plate as authorized in § 178.345-15(e), considered a cargo tank motor vehicle manufacturer?

A1.  No.  Section 178.320 states that the term manufacturer means any person engaged in the manufacture of a DOT specification cargo tank, cargo tank motor vehicle, or cargo tank equipment that forms part of the cargo tank wall. This term includes attaching a cargo tank to a motor vehicle or to a motor vehicle suspension component that involves welding on the cargo tank wall.  A manufacturer must register with the U.S. DOT in accordance with Part 107, Subpart F.  The definition of manufacturer was revised in a final rule issued under Docket HM-189M (October 1, 1996; 61 FR 51334).  The preamble to the final rule stated that the definition was revised to clarify that the term does not include persons (i.e., assemblers) who attach a cargo tank to the motor vehicle or to a motor vehicle component if no welding to the cargo tank wall is involved (see also the enclosed copy of letter of interpretation Ref. No. 14-0010). 

Q2.  May the assembler stamp its name on the specification plate as the cargo tank motor vehicle manufacturer?

A2.  No.  According to § 178.345-15(e), regarding specification shortages, if a cargo tank is manufactured that does not meet all applicable specification requirements, thereby requiring subsequent manufacturing involving the installation of additional components, parts, appurtenances or accessories, the cargo tank manufacturer may affix the name plate and specification plate, as required by § 178.345-14(b) and (c), without the original date of certification stamped on the specification plate.  The manufacturer shall state the specification requirements not complied with on the manufacturer's certificate of compliance. When the cargo tank is brought into full compliance with the applicable specification, a Registered Inspector shall stamp the date of compliance on the specification plate.  The Registered Inspector shall also issue a certificate of compliance in accordance with § 180.417.  This certificate of compliance issued by a Registered Inspector must show the details of each of the particular operations performed on the cargo tank, the date when the operation was performed, and the name of the person performing the operation (e.g., the name of the manufacturer and the name of the assembler) that is bringing the cargo tank into compliance.  In the scenario you provide, the name of the manufacturer on the specification plate must be left blank, as the assembler is not considered to be the manufacturer; rather, the certificate of compliance will indicate that the cargo tank motor vehicle complies with the HMR.  

Q3.  If the assembler may not stamp its name on the specification plate as the cargo tank motor vehicle manufacturer, whose name should be stamped on the plate?

A3.  See A2 above. 

Q4.  Since the manufacturer of the cargo tank may not legally stamp its name on the specification plate as the cargo tank motor vehicle manufacturer because it is not completing the final assembly, testing, and certification, who is the cargo tank motor vehicle manufacturer and whose name should be stamped on the specification plate as the cargo tank motor vehicle manufacturer?

A4.  As described above, the name of the cargo tank motor vehicle manufacturer on the specification plate must be left blank; and the certificate of compliance issued by a Registered Inspector must show the details of each of the particular operations performed on the cargo tank, the date when the operation was performed, and the name of the person performing the operation (e.g., the name of the manufacturer and the name of the assembler) that is bringing the cargo tank into compliance. 

We appreciate you bringing this issue to our attention.  We realize that there is a gap in the regulations and intend to address it in a future rulemaking.  I hope this information is helpful.  If you have any more questions, please do not hesitate to contact this office.

Sincerely,

Robert Benedict
Chief, Standards Development
Standards and Rulemaking Division

178.345-15(e), 178.320, 178.345-14(b) and (c), 180.417

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
178.320 General requirements applicable to all DOT specification cargo tank motor vehicles
178.345-14 Marking
178.345-15 Certification
180.417 Reporting and record retention requirements