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Interpretation Response #18-0147

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Evonik Corporation

Individual Name: Robert Miller

Location State: NJ Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

April 18, 2019

Robert Miller
Manager – Transportation Safety
Evonik Corporation
299 Jefferson Road
Parsippany, NJ  07054

Reference No. 18-0147

Dear Mr. Miller:

This letter is in response to your November 8, 2018, letter requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to the shipment of marine pollutants. 

We have paraphrased and answered your questions as follows:

Q1. You note that § 171.23(b)(7) lists requirements for specific materials transported under the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code.  You add that § 171.23(b)(7) requires that, except for marine pollutants transported in accordance with the IMDG Code, marine pollutants transported in bulk packages must meet the shipping paper requirements in § 172.203(l) and the marking requirements in § 172.322.  You ask the rationale for this section referring only to bulk packages and not non-bulk packages. 

A1. The provisions of § 171.23(b)(7) are intended to address marine pollutants transported in accordance with standards other than the IMDG Code authorized in Subpart C of Part 171.  Therefore, a bulk package containing a marine pollutant transported in accordance with a standard other than the IMDG Code is subject to the requirements of § 172.203(l) and § 172.322.  For example, a bulk package containing a marine pollutant transported in accordance with the International Civil Aviation Code (ICAO) Technical Instructions (TI) must to be marked with the MARINE POLLUTANT mark on at least two opposing sides even though is not a requirement of the ICAO TI.   In addition, the provisions of § 171.23(b)(7) only contemplate bulk packages as non-bulk packages are not subject to the above requirements when transported by modes other than vessel.  When all or part of transportation is by vessel, the non-bulk packages would be required to be transported in accordance with the IMDG Code or HMR.

Q2. You ask if “transported in accordance with the IMDG Code” means that a material shipped to the United States as “not regulated” due to it not being a marine pollutant under Section of the IMDG Code is not subject to the HMR when transported under the IMDG Code.

A2.   A material or solution that meets the definition of a marine pollutant in § 171.8 of the HMR but does not meet the criteria for a marine pollutant as provided in Sections and of the IMDG Code may be excepted from the requirements of the HMR as a marine pollutant if that exception is approved by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s Associate Administrator for Hazardous Materials Safety (see § 172.101, appendix B, paragraph 5).


T. Glenn Foster
Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention
Standards and Rulemaking Division

171.23(b)(7), 172.203(l), 172.322, 171.8, 172.101

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
171.23 Requirements for specific materials and packagings transported under the ICAO Technical Instructions, IMDG Code, Transport Canada TDG Regulations, or the IAEA Regulations
171.8 Definitions and abbreviations
172.101 Purpose and use of hazardous materials table
172.203 Additional description requirements
172.322 Marine pollutants