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Interpretation Response #17-0057

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Elkhart Plastics, Inc.

Individual Name: Mr. Jason Furrer

Location State: IN Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

November 16, 2017
Jason Furrer, P.E.
Project Engineer
Elkhart Plastics, Inc.
51703 Packard Drive
Middlebury, IN  46540
Reference No. 17-0057
Dear Mr. Furrer:
This letter is in response to your May 16, 2017, e-mail requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to § 178.801(c)(7)(iv).  Specifically, you state you have an intermediate bulk container (IBC) that has a 9-inch lid and a 2-inch center fill port opening.  You also state the center fill port opening can be fitted with a pump, micro-valve, or plug.  You ask for confirmation of your understanding that this IBC’s one port opening is authorized to operate with the pump, micro-valve, and plug connectors it is designed to be attached to, and that the use of these three connectors is authorized under this IBC’s one United Nations certification test because they are considered the same design type (i.e., same wall thickness, tank material, and tank size). 
Based on the information you provided, your understanding is correct.  The HMR require that an IBC must be considered a “different intermediate bulk container” and tested as a new package only if it differs from a previously qualified IBC design type in structural design, including changes to fittings or threads where a pump or other service equipment is designed to be attached; size; material of construction; wall thickness; or manner of construction (see § 178.801(c)).  The pump, micro-valve, and plug connectors you describe are considered service equipment.  The definition of “different intermediate bulk container” does not include a packaging that differs in surface treatment; differs with regard to additives used to comply with §§ 178.706(c), 178.707(c), or 178.710(c); differs only in its lesser external dimensions (i.e., height, width, length); or differs in service equipment.  The HMR define IBC service equipment as filling and discharge, pressure relief, safety, heating and heat-insulating devices, and measuring instruments (see § 178.700(c)(2)). 
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
178.801(c)(7)(iv), 178.706(c), 178.707(c), or 178.710(c), 178.700(c)(2)

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
178.700 Purpose, scope and definitions
178.706 Standards for rigid plastic IBCs
178.707 Standards for composite IBCs
178.710 Standards for flexible IBCs
178.801 General requirements