Interpretation Response #18-0063
Below is the interpretation response detail and a list of regulations sections applicable to this response.
Interpretation Response Details
March 13, 2019
Mr. Daniel Stoehr
Daniels Training Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 1232
Freeport, IL 61032-1232
Reference No. 18-0063
Dear Mr. Stoehr:
This letter is in response to your April 17, 2018, email requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to specification packaging. Specifically, you ask several questions about the use of specification packaging for the transportation of non-hazardous materials in commerce when the specification marking is visible on the packaging.
We have paraphrased and answered your questions as follows:
Q1. You ask if a bulk specification packaging (e.g., IBC, tank car, portable tank) that is filled with a non-hazardous material (e.g., water) and offered for transportation after the test or re-inspection date marked on the packaging would comply with the HMR.
A1. The answer is yes. For example, under § 173.35(a), a specification IBC, for which the prescribed periodic retest or inspection under subpart D of part 180 of the HMR is past due, may not be filled and offered for transportation until the retest or inspection have been successfully completed. This requirement is not applicable to an IBC filled with a non-hazardous material. The periodic retest and inspection must be successfully performed before the IBC may be filled with a hazardous material and offered for transportation and transported in commerce. However, if the United Nations (UN) standard or Department of Transportation (DOT) specification packaging is not maintained in accordance with the HMR, we recommend securely covering any identifying marks or specification plates representing it as such.
Q2. You ask if a non-bulk specification packaging (e.g., 208 L steel drum) that is filled with a non-hazardous material that exceeds the marked specific gravity and offered for transportation in commerce would comply with the HMR.
A2. Although not recommended, such a practice is not a violation of the HMR provided the specification packaging design is manufactured, fabricated, marked, maintained, reconditioned, repaired, and retested in accordance with the applicable requirements of the HMR when used to package hazardous materials for transportation in commerce. Please note that a specification packaging exceeding the limitations to which the packaging design was tested may degrade its capabilities.
Q3. You ask if a non-bulk specification packaging (e.g., fiberboard box) that is filled with a non-hazardous solid material and offered for transportation in commerce would comply with the HMR if the completed package exceeds the marked gross mass.
A3. See answer A2.
Q4. You ask if the requirements of the HMR regarding the use of a specification packaging apply when the packaging is used for the transportation in commerce of a non-hazardous material and the specification marking is visible during transport.
A4. Generally, no. However, under § 171.2(g), no person may represent or offer a packaging as meeting the requirements of the HMR unless the packaging is manufactured, fabricated, marked, maintained, reconditioned, repaired, and retested in accordance with the applicable requirements of the HMR. These requirements are applicable whether or not the packaging is used for the transportation of a hazardous material. Therefore, if the specification packaging is not maintained in accordance with the HMR, we recommend you securely cover any identifying marks representing it as such. Otherwise, a specification packaging may be used to package a non-hazardous material and be offered for transportation in commerce.
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
|§ 173.35||Hazardous materials in IBCs|