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Interpretation Response #17-0082R

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Save the Situation

Individual Name: Eva Glimsche

Location City: Langwedel Country: DE

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

June 22, 2018

Eva Glimsche
Save the Situation
Mühlenstr. 30A
Langwedel, Germany 24631

Reference No. 17-0082R

Dear Ms. Glimsche:

This letter is a revised response to your July 14, 2017, email and subsequent phone conversation with a member of my staff on January 31, 2018, requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to emergency response information.  Specifically, you seek clarification regarding the requirements for emergency response information.

We have paraphrased and answered your questions as follows:

Q1. You ask does a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), now currently known as a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, accompanying a shipment satisfy the requirements of the emergency response information as per §§ 172.600 through 172.606.  In addition, you indicate the emergency response telephone number is included on the shipper's declaration (shipping paper) or IMO (International Maritime Organization) declaration.
A1. The answer is yes, provided the SDS satisfies § 172.602(b)(3)(ii) by providing the basic description and technical name of the hazardous material as required by §§ 172.202 and 172.203(k), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Technical Instructions, the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code, or the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) Regulations, as appropriate, and the emergency response information required by Part 172, Subpart G. 
Q2. You ask if referencing the NFPA 1 (National Fire Protection Association) Fire Code on the shipping paper or the IMO declaration satisfies the requirements of the emergency response information as per §§ 172.600 through 172.606.
A2. The answer is no, unless it meets the requirements of § 172.602(a)(1) through (a)(7).  It is our understanding that the NFPA 1 Fire Code is a document covering aspects of fire protection and prevention derived from other developed NFPA codes and standards and provides information for hazardous materials in an industrial or storage setting.  This document is not universally known to reference emergency response information and is not intended to mitigate or provide response information for hazardous materials in transportation. 
Q3. You ask would the requirements for emergency response information be fulfilled solely by the description of the dangerous goods on the shipping paper or on the IMO declaration if the shipper received written confirmation that aircraft crew had the IATA (International Aviation Transportation Association) Emergency Response Guide onboard the aircraft and confirmation from forwarding companies in the U.S. that they have the DOT Emergency Response Guide readily available.

A3. The answer is yes.  Emergency response information must contain the basic description and technical name of the hazardous material, as required by §§ 172.202 and 172.203(k).  Section 172.602(b)(3) requires that the emergency response information is presented (i) on a shipping paper; (ii) in a document, other than a shipping paper, that include both the basic description and technical name of the hazardous material; or (iii) related to information on a shipping paper, in a separate document in a manner that cross-references the description of the hazardous material on the shipping paper with the emergency response information contained in the document (e.g., aboard aircraft, the ICAO's "Emergency Response Guidance for Aircraft Incidents Involving Dangerous Good" or aboard vessels, the IMO's "Emergency Procedures for Ships Carrying Dangerous Goods").  Thus, your method satisfies the third option for presenting emergency response information.  Note, the emergency response information must be maintained in the same manner aboard aircrafts as the notification of pilot-in-command and aboard vessels in the same manner as the dangerous cargo manifest (see § 172.602(c)).
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

172.602(b)(3)(ii), 172.600 - 172.606, 172.202, 172.203(k), 172.602(a)(1) - (a)(7), 172.602(b)(3), 172.602(c)

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
172.202 Description of hazardous material on shipping papers
172.203 Additional description requirements
172.600 Applicability and general requirements
172.602 Emergency response information
172.606 Carrier information contact