Interpretation Response #16-0122
Below is the interpretation response detail and a list of regulations sections applicable to this response.
Interpretation Response Details
July 25, 2016
Mr. Vincent Vitollo
The Journal of HazMat Transportation
President & Publisher
PRI International, Inc.
404 Price Street
West Chester, PA 19382
Reference No. 16-0122
Dear Mr. Vitollo:
Thank you for your inquiry of July 8, 2016 regarding the appearance of Globally Harmonized System for the Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) pictograms on transport packagings, such as portable tanks. In your correspondence, you note that we indicated under a previous interpretation (13-0038) that the appearance of such pictograms did not constitute a violation of the U.S. Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 100-180), as labels conforming to the GHS (see 49 CFR § 172.401(c)) are specifically authorized. As such, the display of a label not required by DOT but consistent with the GHS, while not required in transportation or storage incidental thereto, is not a violation of the HMR. This includes packages meeting the definition of a "bulk package" as defined by the HMR.
Subsequent to the issuance of interpretation letter 13-0038 the provisions of the GHS were amended to specify that "in transport, a GHS pictogram not required by the UN Model Regulations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods Model Regulations should only appear as part of a complete GHS label (see 126.96.36.199.4.1) and not independently." See GHS Rev. 6, 188.8.131.52.4. This amendment to the GHS is consistent with OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), 29 CFR § 1910.1200. The provisions of 49 CFR § 172.401(c) apply only to labeling in accordance with the GHS, and subsequently in accordance with OSHA 29 CFR § 1910.1200(f).
Based on this recent clarification to the provisions of the GHS, we are updating our response in interpretation letter 13-0038. We note that the examples provided in the incoming letter included GHS pictograms visible in transportation and not displayed as a part of a complete GHS label. Such display would not meet the provisions of § 172.401(c)(5) and would therefore be subject to § 172.401(b) which prohibits "any marking or label which by its color, design, or shape could be confused with or conflict with a label prescribed by" the HMR.
We appreciate you bringing this matter to our attention and hope this information is helpful.
Duane A. Pfund
International Standards Coordinator
Standards and Rulemaking Division
172.401(c), 172.401(c)(5), 172.401(b)
|§ 172.401||Prohibited labeling|