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Interpretation Response #16-0057 ([American Pyrotechnics Association] [Ms. Julie Heckman])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: American Pyrotechnics Association

Individual Name: Ms. Julie Heckman

Location State: MD Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

173.56(f) 173.65 173.56  173.157(cJune 30, 2016

Ms. Julie Heckman
Executive Director
American Pyrotechnics Association
7910 Woodmont Ave #1220
Bethesda, MD 20814

Reference No. 16-0057

Dear Ms. Heckman:

This is in response to your April 8, 2016 email requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to reverse logistics shipments of fireworks.  We have paraphrased and answered your questions as follows:

Q1. On March 31, 2016 [81 FR 18527], the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published the Reverse Logistics final rule under Docket PHMSA-2011-0143 (HM-253).  You indicate that PHMSA should have written
§ 173.157(c)(1) to state that Division 1.4G materials should be offered for transport or transported in accordance with sections §§ 173.56(b)(1), 173.56(f), or 173.65.  You believe that adding these sections would more appropriately address all possible approval routes for the classification of 1.4G consumer fireworks rather than the single reference to § 173.56.   

A1. In this final rule, PHMSA intended to allow 1.4G fireworks to be shipped from retail facilities back to distribution centers provided the packaging met the terms of the original approval and the shipment was made by private carrier.  Section 173.157(c)(2) permits all Division 1.4G and 1.4S fireworks “sold in retail facilities” regardless of how the fireworks were originally approved, therefore if the products under §§ 173.56(b)(1), 173.56(f), 173.64 or 173.65 they are permitted under this section.  PHMSA may consider adding clarification language in a future rulemaking.

Q2. You note that § 173.157(c)(2) requires fireworks shipped as reverse logistics to use packaging that meets the terms of the original approval.  You ask if Department of Transportation (DOT) 4G fiberboard boxes could be used for these reverse logistics shipments of consumer fireworks.

A2. As noted in § 173.157(c)(2), the packaging used to ship fireworks as reverse logistics must meet the terms of the original approval.  Therefore, if the DOT fiberboard 4G box was listed in the approval or authorized for shipment in the forward logistics of the fireworks, it would also be approved or authorized for the reverse logistics shipments.

Q3. You note that many of the packagings you use to move fireworks already display an orange 1.4G label and UN 0336 number.  You ask if the 1.4G label, the proper shipping name, and the UN number must be removed from the package in order to take advantage of the reverse logistics exception.

A3.   The answer is yes.  In order to utilize the reverse logistics exception in § 173.157, shippers must only display the limited quantity or reverse logistics marking, thereby distinguishing between fully regulated shipments of fireworks and reverse logistics shipments.

Q4. You ask if reverse logistics shipments of fireworks that exceed 1,000 pounds gross weight require placards under § 173.157, as this would trigger the requirement for the driver of the vehicles to possess a commercial driver’s license (CDL) with a hazmat endorsement.

A4. The answer is no.  Provided the fireworks shipment meets all the requirements in         § 173.157, the reverse logistics shipment would not require placards.

Q5. You ask if there is a shipping paper requirement for reverse logistics shipments of consumer fireworks under § 173.157.

A5. The answer is no.  Provided the fireworks shipment meets all the requirements in          § 173.157, the reverse logistics shipment would not require a shipping paper.

Q6. You ask if 1.4G fireworks shipped under the reverse logistics section are still considered fireworks under the HMR or if they are considered reverse logistics materials.

A6. Shipments of consumer fireworks that are eligible for shipment under the reverse logistics section in § 173.157 are fireworks.  The exceptions provided in § 173.157 are intended to provide minimum packaging, training, and hazard communication to address the risk posed by hazardous materials that are returned from retail facilities to the manufacturer, supplier, or distribution center.  These requirements do not provide an option to reclassify the material, but are an exception that facilitates the movement of these materials from a retail facility back to the distribution centers.

I hope this information is helpful.  Please contact us if we can be of further assistance.

Sincerely,

T. Glenn Foster
Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention Branch
Standards and Rulemaking Division

173.157(c)(1), 173.56(b)(1), 173.56(f), 173.65, 173.56,  173.157(c)(2),  173.64, 173.157,

)(2)  173.64 173.157

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.157 Reverse logistics-General requirements and exceptions for reverse logistics
173.157 Reverse logistics-General requirements and exceptions for reverse logistics
173.157 Reverse logistics-General requirements and exceptions for reverse logistics
173.56 New explosives-definition and procedures for classification and approval
173.56 New explosives-definition and procedures for classification and approval