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Interpretation Response #18-0111

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Texas Highway Patrol

Individual Name: Corporal Casey Jones

Location State: TX Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

February 11, 2019

Corporal Casey Jones
Texas Department of Public Safety
Texas Highway Patrol – Commercial Vehicle Enforcement
600 W. Kilpatrick
Cleburne, TX  76033

Reference No. 18-0111

Dear Corporal Jones:

This letter is in response to your July 20, 2018, email requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to package markings.  Specifically, you describe a scenario in which a company transports a chemical mixture that contains ethylene glycol in a concentration that is less than the reportable quantity (RQ) for a hazardous substance classification.  You further state that the mixture’s packaging is marked with a UN ID number and the proper shipping name “NA3082, Other regulated substances, liquid, n.o.s.”

We have paraphrased and answered your questions as follows:

Q1. You ask whether it is permissible to mark a package with an ID number and the proper shipping name of a hazardous material when it contains a material that, because of the concentration when shipped, does not meet the definition of a hazardous substance or hazardous material.  See 49 CFR § 171.8.
A1. The answer is no, except as provided in § 172.303(b).  Unless the product being shipped meets another hazard class or any other defining criteria of a hazardous material, a mixture or solution containing a hazardous substance below the RQ is not a hazardous material and should not be represented as such.  See 49 CFR § 171.2(k).
Q2. You ask whether the scenario in Q1 would be permissible if the marking includes a disclaimer statement, such as “Not regulated for transportation in containers less than RQ amount.”
A2. The answer is no.  The HMR do not contain provisions allowing for disclaimer language on packagings, and including such language may cause confusion and frustration of the shipment.  Therefore, a packaging that incorrectly displays markings or labels that indicate that it contains a hazardous material is in violation of § 171.2(k).

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

171.8, 172.303(b), 171.2(k)

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.2 General requirements
171.8 Definitions and abbreviations