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By JHMT StaffApril 20, 2020

Today, April 20, the US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a Notice of Enforcement Discretion for the Manufacturing of Packaging Designs Beyond Periodic Retesting Dates. According to the notice, PHMSA is providing temporary relief from enforcement action if packaging manufacturers are unable to conduct periodic design qualification retesting within 90-days of a retest date due to COVID-19 operational disruptions.

Specifically, the relief applies to manufacturers of non-bulk packagings as well as intermediate bulk containers (IBCs), large packagings, and flexible bulk containers. This relief only applies to designs tested and certified for PG II (Y-marked) or PG III (Z-marked) hazardous materials. PG I (X-marked) designs are not eligible for this enforcement discretion. Additionally, remanufactured and reconditioned design types are excluded from this relief.

All liquid-rated nonbulk packagings and IBCs as well as IBCs intended to be discharged under pressure are subjected to production leakproofness testing in accordance with HMR requirements prior to filling.

View the full guidance (PDF). To qualify for this enforcement discretion, a manufacturer must document the reasons why compliance is not possible prior to manufacturing packagings which are not more than 90 days beyond the required periodic retesting date. 

Enforcement Discretion for Sanitizing and Disinfecting Products

Also on April 20th, PHMSA provided new guidance with a Notice of Enforcement Discretion for Sanitizing and Disinfecting Products. PHMSA’s enforcement discretion applies to the transport of cleansing necessities, including hand sanitizers or disinfectant spray, to locations, such as sorting facilities and loading and unloading facilities, where they will be used by employees that directly support the transportation operations of the carrier.  Additionally, enforcement discretion is limited to transportation by highway motor vehicle.

View the full guidance (PDF).


DOT has set up a helpful website compiling department and agency responses to the ongoing crisis. View Coronavirus Resources at the Department of Transportation.

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