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Interpretation Response #16-0198

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: C&J Energy Services Ltd.

Individual Name: Mr. George Doggett

Location State: TX Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

November 15, 2017
George Doggett
Radiation Safety Officer                                                               
C&J Energy Services Ltd.                                                                             
3990 Rogerdale
Houston, TX  77042
Reference No. 16-0198
Dear Mr. Doggett:
This letter is in response to your December 8, 2016, letter requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to marking and labeling.  Specifically, you ask about marking and labeling requirements and the applicability of using a tag for a nuclear density gauge that contains a Class 7 radioactive material. 
We have paraphrased and answered your questions as follows:
Q1.      You ask if the character height requirement in § 172.301(a)(1) that was introduced in a final rule entitled "Hazardous Materials: Harmonization with International Standards (RRR)" under Docket PHMSA-2012-0027 (HM-215L) [78 FR 65453] applies to proper shipping names in addition to United Nations (UN) identification numbers.
A1.      The answer is no.  The character height requirement only lists UN, North America (NA), and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) identification numbers as having a new standard size.  This requirement does not apply to proper shipping names.
Q2.      You ask what is the minimum character height for proper shipping names. 
A2.      The HMR do not specifically prescribe a minimum character height for proper shipping name markings.
Q3.      You ask if your company could be allowed a "variance" from the HMR in order to affix only one Yellow II Class 7 label due to the product in question being a special form radioactive material.
A3.      The answer is no.  Section 172.406(e) does not provide any exceptions for the placement of labels for special form materials.  However, special permits may authorize relief from any requirement in the HMR, provided the applicant demonstrates an equivalent level of safety to that intended by the regulation.  To apply, you must submit an application to the Associate Administrator for Hazardous Materials Safety in conformance with the requirements prescribed in 49 CFR Part 107, Subpart B.  You may obtain information on the special permit application process from our website at:  In addition, according to information provided by the manufacturer, the type A package is the entire device including source housing, and detector housing both mounted to pipe in opposing positions meaning the entire device may be used for marking and labeling purposes.    
Q4.      If the answer to Q3 is no, you ask if it is possible to affix a tag, on which the proper shipping name and UN number are printed, to the device in a manner that will preclude its easy removal in order to save space on the gauge to affix the two required labels.
A4.      Section 172.304 states that markings must be durable, in English, and printed on or affixed to the surface of a package or on a label, tag, or sign.  The marking must be displayed on a sharply contrasting background, unobscured by labels or attachments, and located away from any other marking that could substantially reduce its effectiveness.  If these requirements are met, a tag could be used to meet the requirements of § 172.301(a)(1).
 I hope this information is helpful.  Please contact us if we can be of further assistance.
T. Glenn Foster
Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention Branch
Standards and Rulemaking Division
172.301(a)(1), 172.304, 172.406(e)

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
172.301 General marking requirements for non-bulk packagings
172.304 Marking requirements
172.406 Placement of labels