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Interpretation Response #18-0124

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary, PC

Individual Name: Timothy W. Wiseman

Location State: TN Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

March 18, 2019

Timothy W. Wiseman
Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary, PC
10 West Market Street, Suite 1400
Indianapolis, IN  46204

Reference No. 18-0124

Dear Mr. Wiseman:

This letter is in response to your September 24, 2018, email requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to the requirement to obtain an explosive classification approval (EX approval).  Specifically, you describe two scenarios in which your client manufactures a jet perforating gun (JPG) and holds an EX approval classifying the JPG as either a 1.4D or 1.1D explosive, depending on the exact configuration.

Scenario 1:  Your client would ship a partially assembled JPG to a customer.  Your client would provide training and detailed instructions on the assembly process to the customer to allow them to assemble the explosive to the tested configuration.  The customer would then complete assembly of the JPG and transport the device for use.

Scenario 2:  Your client would transport fully assembled JPGs to their customer.  The customer would make no modifications to the JPG and transport the device for use.

We have paraphrased and answered your questions as follows:

Q1. Regarding Scenario 1, you ask if your client's customer needs their own EX approval to transport the JPG after assembling it per your client's instructions.
A1. The answer is yes.  In the scenario you have described, your client's customer has produced a new explosive, as defined in § 173.56(a).  All new explosives must be examined, classed, and approved in accordance with § 173.56.
Q2. Regarding Scenario 1, you ask if your client's customer may rely on your client's test report to obtain an EX approval.
A2. The answer is no.  Your client's customer may not submit the test report that was issued to your client for the required EX approval.  EX approvals are not granted on a "party status" basis to persons who have not previously produced the explosive.  The JPG design, as assembled by your client’s customer, must be submitted for review by an approved explosive test laboratory as provided in § 173.56(b).
Q3. Regarding Scenario 2, you ask if your client's customer could transport the fully assembled JPG under your client's EX approval.
A3. The answer is yes.  Provided your client's customer does not modify the explosive in any way, the assembled JPG may be transported in accordance with the existing EX approval.
Additionally, please note that in Scenario 1 your client must ensure that the pieces of the partially assembled JPG containing energetic materials have been appropriately examined, classed, and approved for transportation, since they would be considered new explosives compared to the fully assembled JPG.

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

173.56(a), 173.56, 173.56(b)

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.56 New explosives-definition and procedures for classification and approval