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PHMSA Relaxes Position on Hazmat Package Closures and Tape

Posted on 6/8/2018 by Roger Marks

Tape-on-orange.jpgIn May 2018, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a new interpretation of the 49 CFR hazmat rules to clarify the agency’s position on package closures.

In the past, PHMSA has held that “changing the size (e.g., width) of tape from that specified in the packaging test report and closure notification constitutes a change in design.“

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This meant that if the closure instructions for your package call for a one-inch wide strip of “XYZ tape” to secure the box, and you instead use a two-inch piece of XYZ tape, you’ve will have violated the HMR by using a package of a different “design” to ship your material.  

The consultant who requested clarification from PHMSA argued successfully in his letter that using a wider strip of tape would only improve package performance, provided that the tape was of the same type required in the closure instructions/notification.

In response, PHMSA rescinded its previous interpretations and now says: 

“…increasing the width of the tape from that specified in the packaging test report and closure notification does not constitute a change in design, provided the tape is otherwise of the same specification originally tested.”
tape-Class-9.JPG
Hopefully, this latest PHMSA interpretation will stick. See the PHMSA letter of interpretation here.


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Tags: dangerous, goods, hazmat, hazmat shipping, new rules, PHMSA

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