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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 #23-0004

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: APRAGAZ (Notified Body 0029)

Individual Name: Chris Vleugels

Location City: Brussels Country: BE

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

July 25,2023

Chris Vleugels
APRAGAZ (Notified Body 0029)
Head of Department ADR/RID/IMDG/CSC
Vilvoordsesteenweg 156, 1120 Brussels, Belgium

Reference No. 23-0004

Dear Mr. Chris Vleugels:

This letter is in response to your January 23, 2023, letter requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to foreign-made United Nations (UN) portable tanks which are approved and inspected by a foreign approval agency. You state that a customer believes that UN portable tanks manufactured outside of the United States must be approved by a PHMSA-designated agency prior to use in the United States. Specifically, you ask whether a UN portable tank inspected by a foreign approval agency that is recognized by the competent authority—in this case APRAGAZ and the country of Belgium—respectively, may be loaded and unloaded with a hazardous material before and after transportation into, from, and/or within the United States. You note that the UN portable tanks:

  • Comply with Tank Instruction T1 and T22 and are manufactured by a Belgian manufacturer;
  • Are designed according to American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code Section VIII - Rules for Constructions of Pressure Vessels, Div.1 and/or European Standard EN14025, Tanks for the transport of dangerous goods - Metallic pressure tanks - Design and construction;
  • Comply with the rules of Agreements Concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Rail (RID) and by Road ADR § 6.7 and the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code § 6.7; and
  • Are approved and inspected by APRAGAZ, which is not a United States approval agency but is recognized by the competent authority of Belgium for the approval and inspection of UN portable tanks.

Based on the information provided, the answer is yes. APRAGAZ is authorized to approve and inspect portable tanks as the HMR does not require foreign facilities that manufacture UN portable tanks to be inspected by a DOT designated approval agency or approved by PHMSA's Associate Administrator for Hazardous Materials Safety. However, when offered for transportation or transported to, from, or within the United States, as outlined in your previous letter of interpretation, Reference No. 13-0151, there may be additional requirements that apply under § 171.25(c)(1).

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
171.25 Additional requirements for the use of the IMDG Code