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Interpretation Response #22-0120

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date: 11-07-2022
Company Name: Hazmat Safety Consulting, LLC    Individual Name: Robert Richard
Location state: VA    Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

November 7, 2022

Mr. Robert Richard
Hazmat Safety Consulting, LLC
10036 Lake Occoquan Drive
Manassas, VA  20111

Reference No. 22-0120

Dear Mr. Richard:

This letter is in response to your October 24, 2022, letter requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to special permit markings on packages. Specifically, you seek clarification on the requirements in § 173.29(b) which states that an empty packaging is not subject to any other requirements of the HMR provided certain conditions are met, including paragraph (b)(1), which states that any hazardous material shipping name and identification number markings, any hazard warning labels or placards, and any other markings indicating that the material is hazardous (e.g., RQ, INHALATION HAZARD) must be removed, obliterated, or securely covered in transportation. You state that one of your clients ships empty multiple-element gas containers (MEGCs) that have previously contained hazardous material for retesting and refurbishment, and while they cover all hazardous material shipping names, identification numbers, and placarding; some of the MEGCs also have visible special permit (SP) markings which indicate that the tubes on the MEGC are requalified every 10 years vs. 5 years or that MEGCs are permitted to be retested via the ultrasonic test method. You ask whether the SP markings on the tubes of the MEGC need to be securely covered to satisfy the requirements of § 173.29(b)(1)

The answer is no. The mere presence of the SP marking on the packaging would not indicate that a hazardous material is present at a particular point in time. It is, rather, an indication that the package meets the minimum SP conditions represented by the marking.

This is similar to a package specification marking, which may remain visible in transportation provided the packaging meets the marked specification - whether containing a hazardous material or not.

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


Shane C. Kelley
Standards and Rulemaking Division
Office of Hazardous Materials Safety

173.29(b), 173.29(b)(1)

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
§ 173.29 Empty packagings