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

Interpretation Response #17-0138

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Labelmaster

Individual Name: Jim Shimko

Location State: WA Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

February 5, 2018

Jim Shimko
Senior Manager
400 E. Pine Street, Suite 325
Seattle, WA 98122

Reference No. 17-0138

Dear Mr. Shimko:

This letter is in response to your December 1, 2017, email requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to the de minimis exception found in § 173.4b. Specifically, you seek clarification of the de minimis exception as it pertains to the HM-215J/224D final rule published January 14, 2009 [74 FR 2200] and certain international standards, including the International Civil Aviation Organization's (ICAO) Technical Instructions (TI) for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air and the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code.

We have paraphrased and answered your questions as follows:

Q1. You ask whether Division 6.1, PG I (oral and dermal toxicity only) materials are eligible for the de minimis exception in § 173.4b.

A1. The answer is no. Only PG II and III materials are eligible for the de minimis exception in § 173.4b.

Q2. You seek confirmation of your understanding that the de minimis exception in § 173.4b does not align with the ICAO TI and IMDG Code. You further ask if this was the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration's (PHMSA) intent.

A2. Your understanding is correct. The ICAO TI and IMDG Code currently allow Division 6.1, PG I materials with the excepted quantity provision "E5" to take the de minimis exception.

The HM-215J/224D final rule revised § 173.4 and created two new sections: Excepted quantity in § 173.4a and De minimis in § 173.4b. Section 173.4b was created by moving § 173.4(e) to its own section. Section 173.4(e) was created by the HM-218D final rule, published January 28, 2008 [73 FR 4699] in response to a petition that requested the exception for PG II and III materials only. The HM-215J/224D final rule did not propose a change to this applicability. PHMSA received no comments on this change and, therefore, adopted the provisions as proposed.

If you believe a rulemaking change—such as a revision, addition, or deletion—is warranted, we invite you to file a petition for rulemaking in accordance with §§ 106.95, 106.100, and 106.105 of the HMR, including all supporting information. Your request will be evaluated for merit to be addressed in an upcoming rulemaking. For regulations in 49 CFR Parts 171-180, submit the petition to: Standards and Rulemaking Division, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, PHH-10, U.S. Department of Transportation, East Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20590-0001. Please contact Mr. Steven Andrews in the Regulatory Review and Reinvention Branch of the Standards and Rulemaking Division at 202-366-8553 for more information.

I hope this information is helpful. Please contact us if we can be of further assistance.


Dirk DerKinderen
Chief, Standards Development
Standards and Rulemaking Division

173.4b, 173.4, 173.4(e), §§ 106.95, 106.100, 106.105

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
106.100 Required information for a petition for rulemaking
106.95 Requesting a change to the regulations
173.4 Small quantities for highway and rail