USA Banner

Official US Government Icon

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure Site Icon

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Interpretation Response #19-0021

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Gayston Corporation

Individual Name: David Schmitz

Location State: OH Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

June 24, 2019

David Schmitz
Director of Sales & Product Development
Gayston Corporation
721 Richard Street
Miamisburg, OH 45342

Reference No. 19-0021

Dear Mr. Schmitz:

This letter is in response to your February 19, 2019, email and phone call requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to marking requirements for DOT-39 non-reusable cylinders. Specifically, you describe a scenario where the newly manufactured cylinders will be transported empty with no valves installed and bear the following markings:

  • "DOT-39 NRC"
  • Service pressure/Test pressure
  • M-number for the cylinder manufacturer
  • Date of manufacture

You state that the newly manufactured cylinder is not marked with the marking — "Federal law forbids transportation if refilled-penalty up to $500,000 fine and 5 years imprisonment (49 U.S.C. 5124)" which is a required marking for DOT-39 cylinders (see § 178.65(i)(2)(viii)(B)). You have a written agreement with your customer that they will apply this marking on a durable adhesive label prior to the cylinder being filled.

You state it is your customer's understanding that it is permissible to transport the empty, valve-less cylinders to their facility without the "Federal law forbids..." marking, and you ask for confirmation of their understanding.

The responsibility for complying with cylinder marking requirements found in Part 178 of the HMR is primarily placed on the packaging manufacturer (see § 178.2(a)(2)). By embossing "DOT-39 NRC" on the base of the cylinder, you have indicated that the packaging meets the requirements applicable to a DOT-39 cylinder, and is suitable for the transportation of hazardous materials in commerce. By placing your M-number on the cylinder, your company is certifying compliance with all DOT-39 requirements. The absence of a valve, which is not itself part of the DOT-39 specification, does not remove the requirement to comply with all DOT-39 requirements, which include the "Federal law forbids..." marking found in § 178.65(i)(2)(viii)(B).

Responsibility for applying this marking may be transferred to your customer through a contract or other agreement; however, both parties may be held responsible if hazardous materials are offered or transported in commerce in DOT-39 cylinders that do not bear all the required markings.

Additionally, please note that DOT-39 cylinders must be marked with the lot number in accordance with § 178.65(i)(2)(vi).

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

178.65(i)(2)(viii)(B), 178, 178.2(a)(2), 178.65(i)(2)(vi)


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
178.2 Applicability and responsibility
178.65 Specification 39 non-reusable (non-refillable) cylinders