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Interpretation Response #11-0164

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date: 09-27-2011
Company Name: UPS    Individual Name: Mr. Samuel Elkind
Location state: GA    Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

September 27, 2011




Mr. Samuel Elkind
Corporate Regulated Goods Manager
55 Glenlake Parkway, NE
Atlanta, GA 30328-3474

Ref. No.: 11-0164

Dear Mr. Elkind:

This responds to your July 13, 2011 letter seeking clarification of the requirements in the International Civil Aviation Organization's (ICAO) Technical Instructions and the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180). Specifically, you ask if the absorbent material requirements of the HMR in 173.27(e) apply to export air shipments, or if they apply to all air shipments, i.e, domestic, import and export shipments, when they are prepared and offered in accordance with the ICAO Technical Instructions.

Section 171.22 gives shippers and carriers the option of preparing shipments of hazardous materials offered or intended for transportation by aircraft in conformance with the ICAO Technical Instructions. However, as you state in your letter, § 171.22(g)(5) requires that export shipments conform to the general packaging requirements in §§ 173.24 and 173.24a. Section 173.24(i) states that "Except as provided in subpart C of part 171 of this subchapter, packages offered or intended for transportation by aircraft must conform to the general requirements for transportation by aircraft in § 173.27." Subpart C of part 171 includes § 171.22. Therefore, when using the ICAO Technical Instructions, the absorbent material requirements of the HMR in 173.27(e) apply to export air shipments.

ICAO recently adopted revised packing instructions for incorporation in the ICAO Technical Instructions. These packaging instructions require a secondary means of closure for all liquids in combination packagings, or when a secondary means of closure cannot be applied, this requirement may be satisfied by using a liner or other form of containment, such as absorbent material. ICAO Packing Instructions require enough absorbent material to absorb the entire contents for Packing Group I material and require absorbent material for certain materials within

specific Packing Instructions. As information, an upcoming final rule under Docket No. PHMSA"07"29364 (HM"231A), Hazardous Materials; Packages Intended for Transport by Aircraft, will address the ICAO revisions.

I hope this answers your inquiry. If you need additional assistance, please contact the Standards and Rulemaking Division at (202) 366-8553.


Ben Supko
Acting Chief, Standards Development
Standards and Rulemaking Division

173.27, 171.22, 173.24

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
§ 173.24 General requirements for packagings and packages