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 I have low self-esteem and because of it, I am needy, ask my wife, children and customers, they know. That’s why I am a seminar instructor!  It’s one of the few jobs where you're able to charge for a service, and at the same time have a captive audience. Because of this and other proclivities, “me, myself and I”, are my favorite words. Entrenched behind a podium, or in the spotlight, is my terrene, for physical, spiritual and emotional rejuvenation.

And, since our seminar schedule only runs from October to June each year, by mid July, I once again find myself overtaken and consumed by shame, guilt and doubt. So you can surely understand how happy I was to receive a call from a long time sponsor.

His concern was packaging, in this particular case, it was a hazardous waste, if discarded, but it was not a hazardous material when shipped as a product.  A 40 CFR EPA hazardous waste, under the 49 CFR DOT hazardous materials shipping regulations, what should be, my bread and butter. 

He had a damaged electrical component, which was considered to be a hazardous waste, so it was required to be shipped on an EPA hazardous waste manifest. However, because of the size and shape of this piece of equipment, it could not be practically shipped in a traditional Department of Transportation specification container ( i.e. 1A1, steel drum, or off the shelf 4G, fiberboard box), that seem to be required by column 8 of the 49 CFR 172.101 Hazardous Material Table for the Shipping description. “NA3077, Hazardous Waste Solid, N.O.S., 9, PG III”.


A lot of my customers ship hazardous waste. They know EPA hazardous waste, is always a DOT hazardous material when shipped for disposal. They know if the waste is a flammable liquid, they must ship it, as Class 3,  if a poison, as a Division 6.1 and if corrosive, the waste must be shipped as Class 8. Which makes perfect sense. What worries me is that, I’m not sure they all understand that if they ship any hazardous waste that meets no DOT hazard class definition, that hazardous waste must be shipped as a class 9. 

The Miscellaneous hazardous material or the Class 9 designation is not just for hazardous wastes, they’re also used when shipping hazardous substances and marine pollutants when they also meet no hazard classification under DOT, but are still regulated because of their constituent amounts or percentages, respectively. Think about  “Asbestos”, “PCBs”, and “Dry ice”, which are excellent examples of materials listed by proper shipping name in the 172.101 Hazardous Materials Table which meet none of the DOT hazard classes, but because of transportation safety concerns are regulated, as mentioned above, as class 9’s.


Because of its “lead” and the amounts, in my customers waste, it was not regulated as a product when shipped, because it met no DOT hazard class, we both agreed this hazardous waste should be shipped as Class 9.  Now, the Department of Transportation has provided a domestic “Generic N.O.S.” shipping name for materials which would not be regulated unless they were hazardous wastes, the proper shipping name HAZARDOUS WASTE LIQUID or SOLID, N.O.S,  9, PG III, and it is used consistently for wastes when they meet no DOT hazard class.

 So, I recommended the use of , “NA3077, Hazardous waste, solid, n.o.s., 9, PG III”, and then reviewed his limited container options, when using this name, namely the UN 1A1, steel drums, or the UN 4G, fiberboard boxes, authorized in column 8B non-bulk containers, in “173.213 Non-bulk packaging for solids in packing group III”. 

However, if these containers were not feasible, I mentioned, he could possibly manufacture, test and certify his own waste containers, to United Nation Specification requirements under 178.500, to the packing group III level, I even suggested he could search the DOT website or even call DOT to inquire about applying for, or joining a current packaging Special Permit, under Part 107. Which both, I admitted, seemed to me at the very least, very expensive and unnecessary.


I think one of the biggest mistakes we make when we ship hazardous materials, hazardous waste, marine pollutants and hazardous substances, is we fail to identify the material under the correct Proper Shipping Name. It’s not just the classification, more importantly it’s the identification of the material that matters. In most cases, shippers know the hazard class of the material, they know the packing group and they usually know if the material has a subsidiary hazard class. But, most people forget they must identify the material under one of 4 different and distinct proper shipping names.


All pure chemicals listed in the Hazardous Material Table, must be shipped using the proper chemical name as it appears in column number 2, of the 172,101 table, like 1) “Acetone” which is a Class 3 Flammable liquid or in the case of a waste; “Waste Acetone”, Class 3.  Then pure chemicals not listed or mixtures, must be described by “End-use” names, like, 2) “Paint”, as a Class 3. However if a pure chemical name or end-used name is not listed, the shipper must choose between a, 3) “Specific N.O.S., (not otherwise specified) name like Alcohols N.O.S. Class 3, or finally, 4) a “Generic N.O.S.” name such as Flammable liquid N.O.S. Class 3. 


A few days later, I was so generously informed, by this same kind patron, that through his further research, namely his quick call to the Department of Transportation Hotline, (1-800-467-4922), A specialist had suggested that the shipping description “UN3363, Waste, Dangerous Goods in Apparatus”, Class 9,  would seem to be more appropriate for this waste shipment. With the word “waste” in front of the shipping name, as required by 49 CFR 171.101(c)(9)), the shipping name “Dangerous Goods in Apparatus”, for this Class 9, (with no packing group), would make available more appropriate packaging,(i.e. non-spec containers). By using this “Specific N.O.S.”, shipping name, column 8 would authorize the use of non UN specification containers. That is because, Section 173.222, Dangerous goods in equipment, machinery or apparatus allows for the use of any appropriate ”strong outside packaging” or even the “apparatus itself”, as the shipping container.

(  page 649)



Section 173.222, states; that hazardous materials in machinery or apparatus does not require UN specification packaging, if the hazardous materials in machinery or apparatus is packaged in a strong outer packaging, or even it ‘s receptacle, if it affords adequate protection. 

The container, machinery or apparatus, must be marked with the “ID” number, “UN3363”, the shipping names, “Dangerous goods in machinery” or “Dangerous goods in apparatus,” and any required orientation marks under 172.312.

This only is provided, if the total net quantity of hazardous materials contained in one item of machinery or apparatus, does not exceed 1 kg (2.2 pounds), for solids or 0.5 L (0.1 gallons) for liquids. The package or receptacle must be secured and cushioned, to prevent any movement, or degradation, so that a release is unlikely, even in the event of damage.


Then as they like to say on TV, “THAT’S NOT ALL”. This Class. 9 Proper Shipping Name contains a Special Provision in column number 7, for which the shipping name “Hazardous Waste Solid N.O S.”, does not provide, Special provision 136. 

It seems that Special provision 136 states; that materials identified as “dangerous goods in apparatus” are also excepted from the Class 9 label, (unless offered by aircraft) and are never subject to vehicle placarding,


It’s all about identification when shipping hazardous materials, hazardous wastes, hazardous substances and marine pollutants. Shipping containers, labels and placards are never based on the material’s hazard class. They are based solely on identification; the proper shipping name. I had forgotten the golden rule of shipping hazardous materials ; “IDENTIFICATION, NOT CLASSIFICATION, DETERMINES REGULATION”.

I see now, I was wrong, but I am glad together, we, that is, both my customer and I (mostly he and not I), were able to answer, the question he asked me. I am fading fast, so with over a month until my next seminar, please keep those cards, calls and emails coming.

Thank you for your readership and support.

Robert J Keegan 

Publisher and President 

Hazardous Material Publishing Company

Transportation Skills Program Inc