The General Requirements for Packagings and Packages at 49 CFR 173.24(c) of the PHMSA/USDOT Hazardous Material Regulations (HMR) require the shipper of a hazardous material to use only a packaging that is authorized for its use. What’s known as “authorized packaging”, therefore is required in one form or another for all shipments of hazardous materials. What may differ between shipments of HazMat is how an authorized packaging is determined, for there are several. The purpose of this article is to identify and explain the methods for determining an authorized packaging using the HMR.
Other Methods for Determining Authorized Packaging:
While columns 8 and 7 of the Hazardous Materials Table are used to determine authorized packaging for most HazMat (more on that in a little bit), some methods of transportation, HazMat quantities, and specific operations rely on other methods. Those “other methods” for determining authorized packaging are identified at §173.24(c)(1)(ii). A packaging may be authorized for transportation of a HazMat without referring to columns 8 and 7 of the Hazardous Materials Table if it is permitted under, and conforms to, the requirements of any one of the following:
- An approval or authorization issued by the Bureau of Explosives.
- The international transportation regulations of the ICAO Technical Instructions, the IMDG Code, Transport Canada TDG Regulations, or the IAEA Regulations.
- A packaging exception applicable to one of the following:
- Salvage drums and cylinders.
- Small quantities by highway or rail.
- Excepted quantities.
- De minimis exceptions.
- Agricultural operations.
- Oilfield service vehicles
- Mechanical displacement meter provers
- Roadway striping vehicles.
- Portable and mobile refrigeration systems.
- HazMat transported as Materials of Trade.
- Government operations and materials.
- Non-specification packagings used in intrastate transportation.
- Authorized packaging for transportation by aircraft.
- Exceptions for transportation of HazMat by vessel.
Using Columns 8 and 7 to Determine a HazMat’s Authorized Packaging:
Notwithstanding the above, a packaging is authorized for use in the transportation of a hazardous material if…
- The packaging is prescribed or permitted for the HazMat in column 8 of the Hazardous Materials Table at §172.101.
- It conforms to the requirements of the special provisions of column 7.
- If DOT specification packaging is required, it complies with the applicable packaging specifications in parts 178 or 179 of the HMR.
So, let’s start with column 8 of the Hazardous Materials table. Instructions for its use are found at §172.101(i). Column 8 is broken down into three sub-columns:
- Column 8A identifies exceptions from some of the requirements of the HMR for certain HazMat. These exceptions are in addition to those already listed in this article and some more that aren’t but can be found in 49 CFR 173, subpart A. “None” in column 8A means no packaging exceptions are authorized unless one is provided in column 7.
- Column 8B prescribes the authorized packaging – and other applicable packaging requirements – for a non-bulk packaging. “None” in column 8B means a non-bulk packaging is not authorized unless one is provided in column 7.
- Column 8C prescribes the authorized packaging – and other applicable packaging requirements – for a bulk packaging. “None” in column 8C means a bulk packaging is not authorized unless one is provided in column 7.
Authorized packagings for both bulk and non-bulk shipments of cylinders are identified in Column 8B. Unless “None” appears in Column 8C, a bulk cylinder may be used if specified through the section referenced in Column 8B.
Question: Yeah, but how? When I look at column 8 all I see are numbers or “None”. How does that tell me the authorized packaging? Answer: Columns 8A, 8B, and 8C specify the applicable sections of part 173 for available packaging exceptions (8A); non-bulk packaging requirements (8B), if applicable; and bulk packaging requirements (8C), if applicable. It is presumed that the numerical entry in column 8 – unless “None” appears – is preceded by “49 CFR 173.”. Therefore, the entry “226” in column 8B for Methyl chloroformate indicates that its non-bulk packaging requirements, including but not limited to its authorized packaging, can be found at 49 CFR 173.226.
And that’s not all because the packaging requirements identified in column 8 are in addition to the standard packaging requirements of §173.24 and other applicable requirements of subparts A and B of part 173. A shipper must research these areas of the HMR as well to determine any other applicable packaging requirements.
That leaves the special provisions of column 7 of the Hazardous Materials Table; the instructions for which are found at §172.101(h). The special provisions of column 7 are represented by codes – explained at §172.102 – for the special provisions that may or may not be applicable to a particular shipment of HazMat. As noted elsewhere in this article the special provisions of column 7 may indicate the authorized packaging or an exception for a HazMat even when “None” appears in column 8 for that packaging.
It helps that the codes in column 7 are categorized by packaging or mode of transportation. For example, a code beginning with “B” applies only to bulk packagings, while a code beginning with “R” applies only to transportation by rail. Read: The Meaning of the Special Provision Codes of Column 7.
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When not to use the Section Referenced in Column 8B or 8C to Determine Authorized Packaging:
There are two situations when a shipper must disregard the section of part 173 referenced in column 8 of the Hazardous Materials Table and instead refer to an alternative citation. These two situations are explained below.
If an entry in the Hazardous Materials Table contains an “A” – for aircraft – or “W” – for water – in column 1, that entry is only subject to the HMR if its mode of transportation is by aircraft or vessel (“W” = “Water” = vessel) unless it is a hazardous waste or hazardous substance. If such a HazMat is transported by air or vessel the section of part 173 specified in column 8 is used to determine the packaging requirements, including authorized packaging. If it is transported by motor vehicle or rail but is subject to the HMR due to it being a hazardous waste or hazardous substance, a shipper does not refer to the section of part 173 specified in column 8 but instead will refer to §173.203 if it is a liquid or §173.213 if it is a solid.
UN3506, Mercury contained in manufactured articles, 8 (6.1)
- If transported by aircraft or vessel it’s subject to the HMR. §173.164 must be referenced to determine packaging requirements.
- If transported by motor vehicle or rail and not a hazardous waste or hazardous substance it’s not subject to the HMR.
- If transported by motor vehicle or rail and is either a hazardous waste or hazardous substance it’s subject to the HMR. §173.213 must be referenced to determine the packaging requirements.
If a hazardous material is specifically named in column 2 of the Hazardous Materials Table and is shipped in a form that does not apply to the section of part 173 indicated in column 8, then the table at §172.101(i)(4) must be used to determine the appropriate section of part 173.
|Packaging section reference for solid materials||Corresponding packaging section for liquid materials|
UN2763, Triazine pesticides, solid, toxic, 6.1, I
- If in a liquid form at the time it is offered for transportation disregard the reference to §173.211 in column 8B and instead refer to §173.201.
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The selection of an authorized packaging by the shipper of a HazMat is only one part of the packaging requirements for transportation in commerce of a hazardous material; a critical part. When determining authorized packaging make certain you are not relying on information provided by someone else, or your “gut feeling”, or what you’ve always used for packaging in the past. Only the Hazardous Material Regulations of the PHMSA/USDOT used as outlined in this article can identify the correct authorized packaging.