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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 #19-0105

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: United Initiators, Inc.

Individual Name: Mr. Jeremy Pogorelec

Location State: OH Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

April 15, 2020

Mr. Jeremy Pogorelec
Product & Process Chemist
United Initiators, Inc.
555 Garden Street
Elyria, OH  44035

Reference No. 19-0105

Dear Mr. Pogorelec:

This letter is in response to your emails from August 15 and 26, 2019, as well as your August 26, 2019, telephone conversation with a member of my staff requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to the use of International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code) hazard class warning labels. Specifically, you ask whether these labels may remain on packages of "UN3116, Organic peroxide, type D, solid, temperature controlled (Dimyristyl peroxydicarbonate), Division 5.2," imported from Germany by vessel into the United States until these packages reach the final destination indicated on the shipping document.

You have noted the following:

  • Your company is the final destination that appears on the shipping documents when the organic peroxide is sent from Germany to the United States.
  • The organic peroxide your company receives is not a marine pollutant.
  • Your company prepares new shipping documents to forward this material to your client, a distributor that delivers the organic peroxide to an end user.
  • Sections 172.407(f) and 172.519(f) permit IMDG Code labels and placards, respectively, to be used in place of corresponding U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) labels and placards, but your client requests that your company cover each IMDG Code label with the appropriate DOT label before the packages are transported in the United States. Your client notes the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) clarification letter Reference No. 12-0253 supports this position by stating:
    • If the shipping document identifies the shipment as a through-shipment and identifies the final destination of the movement to be other than the logistic company's terminal, the shipment may continue to that final destination point in accordance with the IMDG Code.
    • However, if the shipping document identifies the logistic company's terminal as the final destination of the hazardous material, the shipment must be brought into full compliance with the HMR prior to any further movement.

The answer is yes, the IMDG labels can remain on the packages you describe as long as they accurately reflect the hazardous contents of the packages. In this instance, DOT labels are not necessary. The HMR contain exceptions concerning the labeling and placarding of hazardous materials during transportation. One exception permits a label, except for materials poisonous-by-inhalation, that conforms to applicable international requirements to be used in place of a corresponding label that conforms to the HMR (see § 172.407(f)). This labeling exception is not contingent on the use of international standards and may be applied to packages prepared solely in conformance with the HMR.

I hope this information is helpful.  Please contact us if we can be of further assistance.


T. Glenn Foster
Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention Branch
Standards and Rulemaking Division
172.407(f), 172.519(f)

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
172.407 Label specifications
172.519 General specifications for placards