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 #99-0283 ([Paperboard Products] [Mr. Jonathan A. Marks])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Paperboard Products

Individual Name: Mr. Jonathan A. Marks

Location State: NJ Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

January 20, 2000


Mr. Jonathan A. Marks               Ref.   No:   99-0283
Paperboard Products
21 Shafer Place
Hackensack, NJ 07601-2266

Dear Mr. Marks:

This is in response to your letter of October 14, 1999, requesting clarification of the  marking
requirements for UN standard packagings in § 178.503 of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR 49 CFR Parts 171-180).

You reference a letter from this Office dated June 29, 1992, which states for combination  or
composite packagings, the actual date of manufacture may be considered to be either the date on which the Outer Packagings was manufactured or the date on which the packaging was assembled (i.e., inner packagings placed in outer packaging with cushioning material). You ask whether it is permitted for a packaging manufacturer to mark a combination packaging as meeting a UN standard but leave the date, element blank so that the customer may fill in the date the packaging is “assembled” as discussed in our June 29, 1992, letter.  You also ask what the packaging manufacturer’s liability is when leaving an element in the specification marking blank.

As previously stated, a combination or composite packaging may be marked as being “manufactured” on the date on which the packaging was assembled.  “Assembly” is the physical act of placing inner packagings or a liner into an outer packaging.  A packaging manufacturer may leave the date element blank in the packaging certification marking; however, as required by § 178.2© each person to whom a packaging is transferred must be notified of all requirements not met at time of transfer.  The notification for such a packaging should include a statement advising that the packaging is considered to meet the marked standards only when the customer has marked the year of assembly on the packaging.  This is also true if the packaging manufacturer chooses to mark a future date on the packaging per a customer's request.  The notification for such a packaging should state that the packaging is considered to meet the marked standard only if assembled in the year marked.

Another option would be for a packaging manufacturer to manufacture the packaging to a tested UN standard, but not place any packaging certification marks on the packaging.  The customer would then self certify as the manufacturer by placement of the complete required UN standard marking on the packaging.

I hope this information is helpful.



Edward T. Mazullo
Office of Hazardous Materials Standards


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
178.503 Marking of packagings