USA Banner

Official US Government Icon

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure Site Icon

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Interpretation Response #16-0154 ([TEN-E Packaging Services Inc.] [Mr. Robert TenEyck])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: TEN-E Packaging Services Inc.

Individual Name: Mr. Robert TenEyck

Location State: MN Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

January 11, 2017

Mr. Robert TenEyck
Director, Technical Services
TEN-E Packaging Services, Inc.
1666 County Road 74
Newport, MN 55055

Reference No. 16-0154

Dear Mr. TenEyck,

This letter is in response to your September 21, 2016, email requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to the testing of non-bulk performance oriented packaging. Specifically, you ask about language in § 178.601(k)(2) that states, "provided the validity of the test results is not affected, several tests may be performed on one sample with the approval of the Associate Administrator."

You seek confirmation of your understanding that the approval of the Associate Administrator as referenced in § 178.601(k)(2) authorizes the reduction in number of samples for a particular test—such as reducing the number of drums for the drop test from 6 drums to 3 drums—and does not apply to the reuse of samples from one test sequence to the next. You further ask how this section has changed over time.

Your understanding is not correct. Section 178.601(k)(2) authorizes the use of one sample for more than one test, such as using one sample for both the drop test and stacking test, provided the validity of the tests is not affected and approval is granted from the Associate Administrator. The HMR requirements and guidance for modification of the testing protocol for non-bulk performance oriented packaging has remained consistent. See letters of interpretation 97-0215, 10-0016, and 12-0120, which are consistent with the 2001 guidance. It is the opinion of this Office that the October 11, 1995, denial letter was a misunderstanding of the incoming question because Steel Shipping Container Institute (SSCI) asked for approval to reduce the number of test samples and we responded with regard to reuse of a sample across multiple tests.

To reduce the number of samples for a particular test method, such as reducing the number of samples for a drop test from 6 drums to 3 drums, approval is required from the Associate Administrator in accordance with § 178.601(h). We apologize for any confusion.

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

178.601(k)(2), 178.601(h)

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
178.601 General requirements