USA Banner

Official US Government Icon

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure Site Icon

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Interpretation Response #98-0603 ([United Parcel Service Airlines] [Mr. Samuel S. Elkind])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: United Parcel Service Airlines

Individual Name: Mr. Samuel S. Elkind

Location State: KY Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

MAY 5, 1998


Mr. Samuel S. Elkind
Air Operations
United Parcel Service Airlines
8203 National Turnpike
Louisville, KY 40213

Dear Mr. Elkind:

This is in response to your letter requesting clarification of the package marking statement in
49 CFR 175.30(e)(3), "inside packages comply with prescribed specifications." Specifically, you asked for guidance as to what reasonable steps an aircraft operator must take to establish that a shipment conforms to the requirements of 49 CFR parts 172 and 173.

In the case ofa DOT-39 specification cylinder, § 173.301(k) requires that a cylinder must be further contained within a strong outside packaging. Furthermore, the outside packaging required under § 173.301(k) is not an "overpack" as defined in § 171.8 and applied in § 173.25. Section 175.30(e) refers only to overpacks, it does not apply to individual packages that are properly prepared for shipment. There is no requirement in the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) to mark the strong outside packaging required by § 173.301(k) with the statement "inside packages comply with prescribed specifications." However, we plan to propose that the strong outside packaging conform to the requirements of § 173.25 in a future action.

In its acceptance of a shipment of hazardous materials, no carrier may simply rely on the shipper's certification as a basis for its determination that a package conforms to the requirements of the HMR when there are obvious discrepancies. Section 175.30 requires, in part, that an air carrier verify that a hazardous material is authorized for transportation aboard aircraft and the quantity of material in one package when offered for transportation aboard a passenger-carrying or cargo­only aircraft is within the limitations prescribed by § 172.101. For overpacks, a carrier has an obligation to verify the presence of the inside containers comply statement within a reasonable limit. Section 175.3 states that a hazardous material not prepared for shipment in accordance
with Subchapter C, including part 173, of the HMR may not be accepted for transportation or transported aboard an aircraft. Therefore, within recognizable limitations and reasonable discretion, a carrier must be able to recognize discrepancies of packaging, shipping papers, labeling, and placarding.

I hope this information is helpful. If we can be of further assistance, please contact us.



Hattie L. Mitchell
Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention
Office of Hazardous Materials Standards


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.301 General requirements for shipment of compressed gases and other hazardous materials in cylinders, UN pressure receptacles and spherical pressure vessels