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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 #19-0132

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Robatel Technologies

Individual Name: Mr. Jared Bower

Location State: VA Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

February 12, 2020

Mr. Jared Bower
Robatel Technologies
5115 Bernard Drive, Suite 304
Roanoke, VA  24018

Reference No. 19-0132

Dear Mr. Bower:

This letter is in response to your November 18, 2019, letter requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171–180) applicable to testing requirements for packages of Class 7 (radioactive) materials. You explain that it is not possible or practicable to assess the free drop test specified in § 173.465(c) in certain orientations of your Type A package due to its size and securement to the trailer during transportation. You note that the only possibility of impact to the top surface or lid of the package is if the entire package falls off the trailer, which you believe would be considered an accident condition. Specifically, you ask whether it is necessary to assess the free drop test specified for Type A packages in § 173.465(c) in certain packaging orientations that are not likely to occur under normal conditions of transport.

The answer is yes. Testing, or other demonstration of compliance in accordance with § 173.461(a), must be done to prove the package meets the requirements of §§ 173.412 and 173.465 regardless of whether you believe the package orientations are impossible or not likely to occur under normal conditions of transport.

If you are unable to demonstrate compliance with the testing requirements, you may apply for a special permit by submitting an application to the Associate Administrator for Hazardous Materials Safety in conformance with the requirements prescribed in 49 CFR Part 107, Subpart B. You may obtain information on the special permit application process from our website at, or by calling PHMSA's Approvals and Permits Division at (202) 366-4511.

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

173.465(c), 173.461(a), 173.412, 173.465

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.412 Additional design requirements for Type A packages
173.461 Demonstration of compliance with tests
173.465 Type A packaging tests