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Small Arms Limited Quantity Exception

As mentioned in my previous blog, limited quantities are one of the more common exceptions used in the dangerous goods world. Just to recap, shipping in Limited Quantities offers us a chance to follow certain parts of the regulations and essentially be exempt from others. But what if you are shipping cartridges for weapons or small arms, would the limited quantity exemption apply? And where would you find this in the regulations?

Can I use The Limited Quantity Exemption?

If you are shipping small arms or cartridges for weapons, the short answer is, it depends. In the 49CFR if you look in column 8A for exceptions, if your UN number lists 173.63 as a reference, you may be in luck. For example, for UN 0012, Cartridges for weapons, inert projectile or Cartridges, small arms, it lists the number “63” in column 8A, meaning there is an exception located at 173.63.  In this case under 173.63 (b) it mentions the Limited quantities exemption for Cartridges, small arms, Cartridges, power device, Cartridges for tools, blank, and Cases, cartridge, empty with primer. Similarly, in TDG your UN number may list Special provision 125 in column 5 which refers you to 1.17 (2) to (4), which is where the limited quantity exemption is referenced.

What does this mean?

In the cases mentioned above, in the 49CFR at 173.63 (b) (II), it lists the types of cartridges and small arms that can utilize the limited quantity exemption such as different types of ammunition and cartridges. Packages containing these articles can be shipped in limited quantities if the maximum gross weight is limited to 30KG and packaged inside strong outer packaging (non-UN is acceptable). In addition, ammunition must be packed in either inner boxes or in partitions securely packaged in the strong outer packaging and primers must be protected from accidental activation. The outer box must be marked with the limited quantity marking as well. In this case shipper’s declarations and hazard class labels would not be required. If you are shipping domestically by road, rail, or vessel within Canada, Special Provision 125 defers you to 1.17 (2) through (4), which is where the limited quantity exemption is located. However, it mentions in the special provision that each inner container must not exceed 5 kg in addition to the outer containers gross mass being less than or equal to 30KG. Although the outer packaging does not have to be UN rated, it must be capable of passing a Test Series 6 (d) of part I of the Manual of Tests and Criteria. As mentioned in 1.17, the limited quantity marking would be required as well, and shipper’s declarations and hazard class labels are not required. Keep in mind these are references to the 49CFR and TDG, so if you are shipping by air you will notice that under columns G and H in the List of Dangerous Goods in IATA, which lists the limited quantity information, it will likely say “forbidden” for these types of articles, meaning you cannot ship them as limited quantities.  Always check section 14 of your SDS to see how your small arms are classified. If you are allowed to ship your small arms as limited quantities and need limited quantity labels, feel free to contact us at 888.442.9628 (USA) or 888.977.4834 (Canada) or send us an email.

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Michael Zendano

Michael Zendano started with ICC Compliance Center back in 2016 with several years in the packaging field as a Quality Control Manager. In addition, he has 8 years experience in teaching. Michael works at the Niagara Falls Office as the Regulatory Packaging Expert where he manages packaging projects and procedures and is a member of the Institute of Packaging Professionals (IOPP) and The Chemical Packaging Committee (CPC) . Degrees: M.S. Science of Education.