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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 #16-0143 ([Mr. Mark Hawk])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name:

Individual Name: Mr. Mark Hawk

Location State: TN Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

March 30, 2017

Mark B. Hawk
Packaging Management Council Coordinator
49 Palisades Parkway
Oak Ridge, TN 37830

Reference No. 16-0143

Dear Mr. Hawk:

This letter is in response to your August 29, 2016, letter requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to DOT Specification 7A Type A (Type A) packagings. Specifically, you ask about changes made to information requirements for Type A package documentation.

We have paraphrased and answered your questions as follows:

Q1. You ask if an offeror may satisfy the requirements of § 173.415(a)(1)(i) by documenting a "good faith effort" to obtain missing elements of Type A packagings that were in existence prior to the changes made under the HM-250 final rule (July 11, 2014; 79 FR 40589) if they prove to be unobtainable.

A1. The answer is no. No provisions in the HMR state that a "good faith effort" may serve as a substitute for compliance with HMR requirements.

Q2. You ask if an offeror may use other (non-testing) methods in accordance with § 173.461 to satisfy the missing elements of § 173.415(a)(1)(i) for existing Type A packagings that had been subjected to the physical tests of § 173.465.

A2. The answer is yes. For demonstration of compliance, the HMR permit the use of non-testing methods in § 173.461.

Q3. You ask if it was PHMSA's intent in HM-250 to require retroactive retesting of Type A packagings that had already successfully passed testing under § 173.415(a)(1)(i).

A3. The answer is no. The intent of HM-250 was to clarify the type of information required to be maintained as part of the Type A packaging documentation. The rulemaking does not impose retroactive package testing requirements to obtain missing data elements for Type A packagings already in existence.

Q4. You ask if PHMSA would limit the scope of § 173.415(a)(1)(i) to packagings constructed and tested after January 1, 2017, or for advice on the best way to achieve relief from paragraph (a)(1)(i) when one or more elements therein are found to be unobtainable for existing previously tested Type A packagings.

A4. The new detailed documentation requirements apply to packagings manufactured and offered after July 13, 2015.

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



Dirk Der Kinderen
Chief, Standards Development Branch
Standards and Rulemaking Division

173.415(a)(1)(i), 173.465, 173.461

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.415 Authorized Type A packages
173.461 Demonstration of compliance with tests
173.465 Type A packaging tests