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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 #98-0169 ([Mind2Market Inc.] [Mr. Ray Williams])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Mind2Market Inc.

Individual Name: Mr. Ray Williams

Location State: CO Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

AUG 7, 1998


Mr. Ray Williams                              Ref. No: 98-0169
Mind2Market Inc.
12270 Cherrywood St.
Broomfield, CO 80020

Dear Mr. Williams:

This is in response to your letter of June 21, 1998, requesting clarification on the requirements for limited quantity shipments of compressed gas under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180). In your letter you describe a small balloon signaling device with an alloy steel cylinder pressurized to approximately 7,000 psi packaged as an integral part of the balloon inflation mechanism. The whole device is intended to be marketed to the public as a retail item. The cylinder of helium is non-refillable and has an internal volume of less than 7.2 cubic inches. Your questions have been paraphrased and answered as follows:

Q1.  You first asked us to confirm that your cylinders would qualify for the limited quantity provision.

A1.  Section 173.306(a) excepts certain limited quantities of compressed gases from labeling (except when offered for transportation by air) and, unless otherwise required, the specification packaging requirements when packed in accordance with the provisions in § 173.306. The limited quantity provision excepts compressed gases when in containers of not more than 4 fluid ounces capacity (7.22 cubic inches or less) except cigarette lighters 173.306(a)(1)). In addition, each package must not exceed 30 kg (66 pounds) gross weight. Assuming that each of your packages does not exceed 66 pounds gross weight, it appears that your scenario would meet the conditions of this limited quantity exception.

Q2.  Other than normal OSHA standards, are there any other    government or DOT regulations regarding the manufacture,   shipping or transportation of a pressurized cylinder of this nature that we must comply with?

A2.  If the helium cylinders described in your scenario meet the limited quantity provisions, the cylinders would not have to meet the specification packaging requirements and, if; not transported by aircraft, the labeling requirements of the HMR. Shipments of compressed gases packaged in limited quantities must comply with all other requirements in the HMR from which they have not been excepted.

Q3.  Will the DOT need to be involved in reviewing manufacturing facilities or destructive testing data prior to the start of production this summer?

A3.  If the cylinders do not meet the limited quantity provisions, they would be required to meet the specification packaging requirements in 49 CFR Part 178, and be re-tested in accordance with § 173.34(e). For most cylinders, inspections and verifications required by Part 178 must be performed by an independent inspection agency approved in writing by the Associate Administrator, in accordance with § 173.300a (§ 178.35(b)(1)). DOT is not directly involved with the review of manufacturing facilities or destructive testing data prior to the start of production.

Q4.  Does this item qualify to be classified as an ORM-D material?

A4.  Additional exceptions are provided in § 173.306(h) for limited quantity shipments of compressed gases which meet the definition for consumer commodity.  A limited quantity which conforms to the provisions of § 173.306(a)(1), (a)(3), or (b) and is a “consumer commodity” as defined in § 171.8, may be re-named “consumer commodity” and reclassed as ORM-D material. Assuming that your helium cylinders meet the limited quantity provisions of   § 173.306(a)(1), and the signaling devices meet the efinition of “consumer commodity” in § 171.8, your material may be re-classed as ORM-D material, and qualify for the exceptions in § 173.306(h).

Q5.  What labeling and shipping paper requirements would pertain   to this product for normal ground transportation, if any?

A5.  Each package containing an ORM-D material must be marked on   at least one side or end with the ORM-D designation (§ 172.316).  In addition, ORM-D materials are not subject to the shipping paper requirements of Part 172, Subpart C, unless the materials meet the definition of a hazardous substance or hazardous waste or unless offered for transportation or transported by aircraft
(§ 173.306(h)(2)).

I hope this satisfies your request.



John A. Gale
Transportation Regulations Specialist
Office of Hazardous Materials Standards


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.306 Limited quantities of compressed gases