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Interpretation Response #21-0009

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: BCA Packaging Services

Individual Name: Nelson Kays

Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

April 30, 2021

Nelson Kays
Packaging Engineering Specialist
BCA Packaging Services

Reference No. 21-0009

Dear Mr. Kays:

This letter is in response to your January 29, 2021, letter and previous phone conversations requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to Series 6(d) testing.  Specifically, you describe a scenario in which your company repackages and reoffers an explosive that is currently approved under EX2003030247; however, the approval is issued to a different company. Furthermore, you state that when repackaged, the explosive continues to be identified and associated with the manufacturer and product designation/part number specified in the EX approval.

We have paraphrased and answered your questions as follows:

Q1. You ask whether your company can reproduce the packaging authorized in EX2003030247 without conducting UN Series 6(d) testing. You indicate that the reproduced packaging retains the specified segregation dimensions, spacing, and materials of construction of the original inner and intermediate packaging, but is designed to hold less than 20 intermediate packagings (i.e., the maximum specified in the EX approval).

A1. The answer is yes. The EX approval authorizes the transportation of the explosive in the packaging configuration outlined in the Competent Authority Approval (i.e., the EX approval) letter, and indicates that the explosive meets the UN Series 6(d) test criteria when in the prescribed configuration. Therefore, when the reproduced packaging meets all of the conditions prescribed in the packaging notes, the approval remains valid without needing new UN Series 6(d) testing. Please note that the explosive still must be offered under the EX approval, and must be associated with the manufacturer and product designation/part number specified in the EX approval.

Q2. You ask whether an UN Specification 4G (fiberboard) box must be used as the outer packaging when reproducing the packaging, as described in Q1.

The answer is yes. See answer A1 as well as the EX approval for outer packaging requirements.

Q3. You ask whether the materials of construction (i.e., the specific fiberboard material, fluting, number of corrugate layers or edge crush/burst strength of board, etc.) must be identical to the UN Specification 4G (fiberboard) box in the EX approval, when reproducing the packaging as described in Q1.

A3. The answer is no, unless a difference in the outer packaging would impact the classification of the explosive. As specified in the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria, Section, explosives shall be submitted for UN Series testing "in the same condition and form in which they are offered for transport." While the EX approval does not specify criteria regarding the UN Specification 4G (fiberboard) box, the classification of an explosive article or substance is based on the packaging configuration used during testing. Therefore, a change to the packaging configuration, such as a change to the UN Specification 4G (fiberboard) box, that would impact the classification of the explosive article or substance (e.g., a change that would affect test results), would constitute a "new explosive" in accordance with § 173.56(a)(2).

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


Regulation Sections

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