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Interpretation Response #19-0108

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Explosives Test Center, LLC

Individual Name: Graham Walsh

Location State: CO Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

April 30, 2020

Graham Walsh
Explosives Test Center, LLC
5698 Brennan Ave
Colorado Springs, CO  80923

Reference No. 19-0108

Dear Mr. Walsh:

This letter is in response to your August 22, 2019, email requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to an approval of a new explosive. In your email, you describe scenarios in which your customer is an importer and/or package manufacturer that has paid for the development and testing of a new explosive but will not be manufacturing the new explosive itself. In these scenarios, you explain that your customers would like the EX number to be in their name to prevent the manufacturer from selling the exclusive product elsewhere. Therefore, you ask whether an EX number can be granted to the designer of an explosive instead of the manufacturer.

The definition of a new explosive in § 173.56 includes a person who has not previously produced that explosive. When a new person manufactures an explosive for the first time, they must obtain their own EX number and any changes to the explosive or explosive configuration would require reexamination and separate approval. As such, a person purchases an approved explosive in order to repackage and offer it for transportation would be defined as the manufacturer of a new explosive, and must have their configuration examined and approved in order to be issued a new EX number. A person who is merely importing an approved explosive without making changes is not producing a new explosive and would not be issued their own EX number. Therefore, the EX approval will be issued to the manufacturer.

Finally, although EX numbers are not transferable, any contracts or agreements made between the explosive manufacturer and importers, exporters or packaging designers to protect the interests of the relevant parties is outside the scope of PHMSA regulations.

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


Regulation Sections

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