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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 #18-0129

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: AmeriGas Propane

Individual Name: Christopher Wagner

Location State: PA Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

May 1, 2019

Christopher Wagner
Director of Safety Compliance
AmeriGas Propane
460 N. Gulph Road
King of Prussia, PA 19406

Reference No. 18-0129

Dear Mr. Wagner:

This letter is in response to your October 11, 2018, email requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to labeling exemptions provided by special permit. Specifically, you question a citation you were issued despite being party to Special Permit (SP) 13544, which states that you are exempt from "§ 172.401 in that each cylinder must be labeled."

You indicate that during a roadside inspection you were cited for a violation of § 172.407 because a flammable gas warning label on a cylinder had faded from red to yellow, thus no longer meeting the hazard label specifications. You further state that your company routinely retrieves DOT 4BA240 cylinders, which you find in varying conditions (e.g., bearing DOT labels that are worn, damaged, discolored or unreadable, or in conditions that prohibit you from permanently affixing a label), from propane exchange facilities. Therefore, you seek confirmation of your understanding that SP 13544 allows you to transport cylinders that are labeled improperly.

The answer is yes. It is the opinion of this Office that while not explicitly stated, the intent of SP 13544 is to authorize the transportation of cylinders that are not be properly marked or labeled when they are collected for the purpose of reconditioning, reuse, or disposal as part of a cylinder collection operation like the one you described. Note that relief from marking and labeling requirements similar to the exemptions provided in SP 13544 have been added to the HMR under Special Provision N95 for certain shipments of "UN1075, Liquefied petroleum gas" and "UN1978, Propane" and may render party status to SP 13544 unnecessary.

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

172.401, 172.407

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
172.401 Prohibited labeling
172.407 Label specifications