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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 #22-0107

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Roadrunner Transportation System LLC

Individual Name: Mr. Karl Kronau

Location State: WI Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

February 1, 2024

Mr. Karl Kronau
CSA Compliance Manager
1100 Milwaukee Ave.
South Milwaukee, WI  53172

Reference No. 22-0107

Dear Mr. Kronau:

This is in response to your October 10, 2022, letter requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to shipping papers. Specifically, you ask about shipping paper format and provisions that provide regulatory relief from the HMR.

We have paraphrased and answered your questions as follows:

Q1. When utilizing a provision offering regulatory relief from the HMR, you ask whether you must comply with all conditions of the provision.

A1. In general, a person must comply with all conditions in a provision in order to qualify for the regulatory relief allowed by the HMR. However, although not recommended, a person may take advantage of part of the relief provided by the provision in certain situations. For example, a person may place a "FLAMMABLE LIQUID" label on a packaging that—under a provision that does not require labeling—provided the package contains a flammable liquid as defined in § 173.120.

Q2. You outline a scenario involving highway transportation where a shipper chooses to use the limited quantity provision specified in § 173.150(b) which allows relief from the shipping paper requirements for a limited quantity of a Class 3 material. However, the shipper provides the shipping description "UN1263, Paint, 3, II, Ltd Qty" on a shipping document. You state that the shipping document includes a column marked "HM" and ask whether an "X" must be placed in the "HM" column in association with the entry for the limited quantity shipment. You also ask whether an emergency response telephone number must be provided by the shipper.

QuantityHMDescriptionWeight# of Items
2 Pallets LED light fixtures700 lbs.72 ctns
2 fiberboard boxes UN1263, Paint, 3, II, LTD QTY60 lbs.30 btls
1 pallet Nails1,100 lbs.50 ctns

A2. A hazardous materials shipping description on a shipping document will usually be regarded as an indication that the material is a hazardous material, and that the document is a "shipping paper" as required under Subpart C of Part 172 of the HMR. In addition, placing an "X" in the "HM" column of a shipping document in association with the entry for the limited quantity shipment will further indicate that the material is subject to shipping paper requirements. See § 172.201(a)(1). While use of the shipping description "UN1263, Paint, 3, II, Ltd Qty" on paperwork accompanying a shipment does not constitute a declaration that a material is a fully regulated hazardous material, please note that the use of the full shipping description, even when identified as "LTD QTY," may frustrate shipments.

Q3. You ask whether in the scenario in Q3, the shipper must comply with the requirements to provide an emergency response telephone number in accordance with § 172.201(d) and emergency response information in accordance with § 172.602.

A3. As specified in § 172.604(d)(1), hazardous materials that are offered for transportation under the provisions applicable to limited quantities or excepted quantities are excepted from the emergency response telephone number requirements in § 172.604. Further, as described in § 172.600(d), material which is excepted from the shipping paper requirements are not required to provide the emergency response information described in Subpart G of Part 172 of the HMR.

Q4. You ask whether two shipping descriptions may appear sequentially on the same line or row of a shipping paper if they are both contained in the same "safety kit." You also ask whether the quantity of each material must be displayed separately. You provide the following example:

14 CtnsXNA1325, Fusee, 4.1, II, (ERG#133), UN1044, Fire Extinguishers, 2.2, (Cylinder, ERG#126)450 pounds14 Kits

A4. The quantity of each hazardous material must be displayed—see § 172.202(a)(5)—and except as otherwise provided by the HMR, the basic description on a shipping paper must be entered in sequence with no additional information interspersed. See § 172.202(b). The number and type of packages must appear either before or after the basic description and any additional information must be entered after the basic description. See § 172.202(c)(1). It is recommended that each hazardous material in the "safety kit" be entered on sequential rows so that the total quantity for each basic description may be clearly identified even when combined in an overpack under § 173.25. See the below example:

14 CtnsXNA1325, Fusee, 4.1, II, (ERG#133) UN1044, Fire extinguishers, 2.2, (Cylinder, ERG#126)50 pounds
400 pounds
14 Kits

Q5. You ask whether the display of the aggregate gross quantity of the 14 cartons (450 pounds)—without specifying the gross quantity of each hazardous material in the safety kit—is acceptable under § 172.202(c)(1).

A5. See answer A4.

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

173.120, 173.150(b), 172.201(a)(1), 172.201(d), 172.602, 172.604(d)(1), 172.604, 172.600(d), 172.202(a)(5), 172.202(b), 172.202(c)(1), 173.25

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
172.201 Preparation and retention of shipping papers
172.202 Description of hazardous material on shipping papers
172.600 Applicability and general requirements
172.602 Emergency response information
172.604 Emergency response telephone number