Interpretation Response #17-0105
Below is the interpretation response detail and a list of regulations sections applicable to this response.
Interpretation Response Details
March 20, 2018
Mr. Paul Dambek
12 Kimball Hill Road
Hudson, NH 03051-3915
Reference No. 17-0105
Dear Mr. Dambek:
This letter is in response to your September 15, 2017, email and subsequent phone conversations requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to package testing as it relates to U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) approved United Nations (UN) Third Party Certification Agencies. You note that packages shipped under certain exceptions, such as small quantities (§ 173.4), excepted quantities (§ 173.4a), and limited quantities (§ 173.27(f)(2)), require some degree of testing, to include drop test, compressive load, and/or pressure test.
We have paraphrased and answered your questions as follows:
Q1: You ask if a third-party package testing facility must be approved by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) pursuant to § 107.401 to test packages used for shipping hazardous materials under the exceptions for small quantities, excepted quantities, and limited quantities.
A1: The answer is no. However, a shipper is responsible for ensuring that any package used to transport a hazardous material in commerce complies with the HMR.
Q2: You ask for confirmation of your understanding that packages tested under exceptions for small quantities, excepted quantities, and limited quantities do not require preparation and testing under Part 178, Subpart M (Testing of non-bulk packages), provided the exception used does not reference a particular requirement in the subpart. You provide the following example: a fiberboard package shipped under § 173.4 (small quantities exception) would not be subject to the conditioning requirements of § 178.602(d).
A2: Your understanding is correct. Unless explicitly specified, packages tested under exceptions for small quantities, excepted quantities, and limited quantities would not require preparation in accordance with Part 178, Subpart M of the HMR.
Q3: The internal pressure testing described in § 173.27(c) is required for many inner containers that do not require UN specification packaging. You ask if this testing may be performed by a third-party party package testing facility that is not approved by PHMSA pursuant to § 107.401.
A3: The answer is yes. There is no approval required to test packages in accordance with § 173.27(c). However, a shipper is responsible for ensuring that any package used to transport hazardous materials in commerce complies with the HMR.
I hope this information is helpful. Please contact us if we can be of further assistance.
T. Glenn Foster
Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention
Standards and Rulemaking Division
173.4, 173.4a, 173.27(f)(2), 107.401, 178.602(d), 173.27(c)
|§ 178.602||Preparation of packagings and packages for testing|