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Interpretation Response #20-0049

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date: 09-24-2020
Individual Name: Joseph Mukoko
Country: KE

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

September 24, 2020

Mr. Joseph Mukoko
PO Box 20389-00100
Nairobi, Mua Park No. 17
Aga Khan Close, Waiyaki Way
Nairobi 00100, Kenya

Reference No. 20-0049

Dear Mr. Mukoko:

This letter is in response to your June 29, 2020, email requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to the manufacture and international shipment of DOT-39 specification cylinders. Specifically, you describe the following scenario:

  • Your company plans to procure DOT-39 specification cylinders from an international cylinder manufacturer that has not been in operation for the past 6 years.
  • The cylinder manufacturer has a valid approval number (CA2007110004) that expires December 2023.
  • The cylinder manufacturer has sold all its machinery related to the manufacture of DOT-39 specification cylinders but plans to buy new machinery to restart operations.

We have paraphrased and answered your questions as follows:

Q1. You ask whether your company can procure DOT-39 specification cylinders from this manufacturer.

A1. The answer is no. Section 6 of the manufacturer's approval letter specifically states that, "if DOT specification cylinder production has not been undertaken for more than 6 months, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration [PHMSA] must be notified prior to resumption of production," and that, "[a]dditional sample testing and/or an onsite inspection may be required prior to resumption of production, at the discretion of PHMSA." Furthermore, there can be no deviation from designs, materials, method of manufacture, inspection procedures, or technical information without advance notice and written approval. Any changes in equipment would be considered a change in the manufacturing process, therefore triggering an onsite inspection.

As such, because you explain in your scenario that the manufacturer has not been in operations for 6 years and will be buying new machinery to restart operations, the manufacturer should notify PHMSA's Approvals and Permits Division at (202) 366-4535 or by email at to determine if a new design type approval and/or inspection is required.

Q2. You ask whether DOT-39 cylinders must be marked as UN pressure receptacles in accordance with the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code (i.e., section when shipped to the United States from India.

A2. Section of the IMDG Code authorizes the use of pressure receptacles other than those that bear "UN" certification marks if approved by the competent authorities in the countries of transport and use. Provided the material being shipped is authorized by the HMR for transportation in DOT-39 specification cylinders, this is considered a competent authority approval (see the definition in § 107.1 of the HMR) for the purposes of section of the IMDG Code. Please note that section requires the approval of the countries of transport and use.

I hope this information is helpful.Please contact us if we can be of further assistance.


T. Glenn Foster
Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention Branch
Standards and Rulemaking Division


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
§ 107.1 Definitions