Interpretation Response #16-0055
Below is the interpretation response detail and a list of regulations sections applicable to this response.
Interpretation Response Details
September 29, 2016
Mr. Mark Connolly
Manager-Transportation Regulations and Security
Akzo Nobel Services, Inc.
525 W. Van Buren Street
Chicago, IL 60607-3823
Reference No. 16-0055
Dear Mr. Connolly:
This responds to your March 30, 2016 email regarding reduced size labels and markings under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180). Specifically, you seek confirmation that reduced size labels and markings are authorized for the packagings described in your scenario. In your incoming email, you note that your company is examining use of new small single packagings for transport of various organic peroxides for both domestic and international transport. In order to: (1) avoid the entanglement of tags containing standard size labels and markings during the automated package filling process; (2) allow stacking of packages without risk of labels or markings being pulled away from the package; and (3) ensure that all required labels and markings fit on the same side of the package, the reduced size labels and/or markings would be necessary. Your questions are paraphrased and answered as follows.
Q1. You provided a photograph for a 20 liter capacity specification package affixed with standard 100 x 100 mm hazard labels and marine pollutant mark along with the identification number and proper shipping name marked in accordance with the non-bulk 12 mm height requirement. You note that the hazard labels and marine pollutant mark must be bent over corners of the package in an attempt to fit them all on the same side with the identification number and proper shipping name. You also provided an illustration of the same package with reduced size 50 x 50 mm hazard labels and marine pollutant mark and ask if this is acceptable.
A1. In accordance with § 172.406(a)(1)(ii), labels must "[b]e located on the same surface of the package and near the proper shipping name marking, if the package dimensions are adequate." The dimensions of the package in your scenario do not appear to adequately provide space for all of the relevant labels and markings, therefore the requirement that they are all placed on the same side would not apply. Based on the example provided, it appears that standard size hazard labels and markings could be placed on different sides of the package and that reduced size labels and markings would not be necessary. In addition, in accordance with § 172.301(a)(1), for packages with a maximum capacity of 30 liters or less, the identification number may be reduced from 12 mm to 6 mm high.
Q2. You describe a smaller 6.5 liter specification package without a photograph and ask if reduced size 50 x 50 mm hazard labels and marine pollutant mark would be acceptable.
A2. See A1. If the dimensions of the package permit, standard size hazard labels and markings may be placed on different sides of the package. However, if the dimensions of the smaller 6.5 liter package cannot accommodate standard size labels and markings, it is the opinion of this Office that, to the extent necessary to prevent the labels and markings from being bent around the package corners and to accommodate the automated filling and subsequent stacking, the size of the labels and marking may be reduced. Based on the illustrations of the packages you provided, these packages would still satisfy the intent of the reduced size label provisions in § 172.407(c)(1)(i), the marine pollutant mark of § 172.322(e)(2)(i)(A) and the marking requirements of § 172.304 of the HMR.
Q3. When reducing hazard labels and the marine pollutant mark, must the size of all three be the same, such as 50 mm x 50 mm on each side?
A3. The answer is no. There is no requirement that all of the reduced size labels or marks displayed on the package must be equally reduced in size provided the symbol and other elements of the label and mark remain clearly visible.
Q4. Can the primary hazard label remain at a size of 100 mm x 100 mm while the subsidiary hazard label and marine pollutant mark are reduced to 50 mm x 50 mm?
A4. The answer is yes. There is no requirement that all of the reduced size labels or marks displayed on the package must be the same size provided the symbol and other elements of the label and mark remain clearly visible.
Q5. What is the minimum size of the reduced size labels and marine pollutant marking?
A5. A minimum size for reduced size labels is not prescribed. In accordance with § 172.407(c)(1)(i), if the size of the package so requires, the dimensions of the label and its features may be reduced provided the symbol and other elements of the label remain clearly visible. For non-bulk packages required to display the marine pollutant mark, a minimum size is not specified; however, in accordance with § 172.322(e)(2)(i)(A) "[i]f the size of the package so requires, the dimensions/line thickness may be reduced, provided the marking remains clearly visible and all features shall be in approximate proportion to those shown" in the image of the marine pollutant mark in § 172.322(e)(1).
Q6. You state that your package has an indented center band which is approximately 4 inches in height across the middle of the package side. Your marketing department would prefer to enhance the "look" of the package by reducing the size of all transport labels and markings to fit into the 4 inch center band. It is your understanding that this would be a violation of the HMR.
A6. Your understanding is correct, reduced size labels and markings may only be used if the size of the package so requires and not for aesthetic reasons (see §§ 172.407(c)(1)(i) and 172.322(e)(2)(i)(A).
I hope 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
172.406(a)(1)(ii), 172.301(a)(1), 172.407(c)(1)(i), 172.322(e)(2)(i)(A), 172.304, 172.322(e)(1)
|§ 172.304||Marking requirements|