U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Feb 17, 2020
(a) Durability. Each label, whether printed on or affixed to a package, must be durable and weather resistant. A label on a package must be able to withstand, without deterioration or a substantial change in color, a 30-day exposure to conditions incident to transportation that reasonably could be expected to be encountered by the labeled package.
(2) The dotted line border shown on each label is not part of the label specification, except when used as an alternative for the solid line outer border to meet the requirements of § 172.406(d) of this subpart.
(c) Size. (1) Each diamond (square-on-point) label prescribed in this subpart must be at least 100 mm (3.9 inches) on each side with each side having a solid line inner border approximately 5 mm inside and parallel to the edge. The 5 mm measurement must be located from the outside edge of the label to the outside of the solid line forming the inner border. The width of the solid line forming the inner border must be at least 2 mm.
(i) If the size of the package so requires, the dimensions of the label and its features may be reduced provided the symbol and other elements of the label remain clearly visible. The solid line forming the inner border must remain approximately 5 mm from the outside edge of the label and the minimum width of the line must remain 2 mm.
(iii) Transitional exceptions for domestic transportation, a label in conformance with the requirements of 49 CFR 172.407(c)(1) (revised as of October 1, 2014), may continue to be used until December 31, 2018.
(iv) For domestic transportation, a packaging labeled prior to January 1, 2017, and in conformance with the requirements of this paragraph in effect on December 31, 2014, may continue in service until the end of its useful life.
(2) The CARGO AIRCRAFT ONLY label must be a rectangle measuring at least 110 mm (4.3 inches) in height by 120 mm (4.7 inches) in width. The words “CARGO AIRCRAFT ONLY” must be shown in letters measuring at least 6.3 mm (0.25 inches) in height.
(3) Except as otherwise provided in this subpart, the hazard class number, or division number, as appropriate, must be at least 6.3 mm (0.25 inches) and not greater than 12.7 mm (0.5 inches).
(4) When text indicating a hazard is displayed on a label, the label name must be shown in letters measuring at least 7.6 mm (0.3 inches) in height. For SPONTANEOUSLY COMBUSTIBLE or DANGEROUS WHEN WET labels, the words “Spontaneously” and “When Wet” must be shown in letters measuring at least 5.1 mm (0.2 inches) in height.
(5) The symbol on each label must be proportionate in size to that shown in the appropriate section of this subpart.
(2) The symbol, text, numbers, and border must be shown in black on a label except that -
(i) White may be used on a label with a one color background of green, red or blue.
(ii) White must be used for the text and class number for the CORROSIVE label.
(iii) White may be used for the symbol for the ORGANIC PEROXIDE label.
(A) If white is used for the symbol for the ORGANIC PEROXIDE label then the solid line forming the inner border on the upper half of the label must also be white.
(B) Transitional exception. A label in conformance with the requirements of this paragraph in effect on December 31, 2014, may continue to be used until December 31, 2016.
(C) For domestic transportation, a packaging labeled prior to January 1, 2017 and in conformance with the requirements of this paragraph in effect on December 31, 2014, may continue in service until the end of its useful life.
(iv) The FLAMMABLE GAS label displayed on cylinders and gas cartridges for liquefied petroleum gases may be shown in the background color of the receptacle if adequate contrast is provided.
(3) Black and any color on a label must be able to withstand, without substantial change, a 72-hour fadeometer test (for a description of equipment designed for this purpose, see ASTM G 23-69 (1975) or ASTM G 26-70).
(4)(i) A color on a label, upon visual examination, must fall within the color tolerances -
(A) Displayed on color charts conforming to the technical specifications for charts set forth in table 1 or 2 in appendix A to this part; or
(B) For labels printed on packaging surfaces, specified in table 3 in appendix A to this part.
(ii) Color charts conforming to appendix A to this part are on display at the Standards and Rulemaking Division, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, East Building, 2nd Floor, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.
(5) The following color standards in the PANTONE ® formula guide coated/uncoated (see § 171.7(b) of this subchapter) may be used to achieve the required colors on markings and hazard warning labels and placards:
(i) For Red - Use PANTONE ® 186 U
(ii) For Orange - Use PANTONE ® 151 U
(iii) For Yellow - Use PANTONE ® 109 U
(iv) For Green - Use PANTONE ® 335 U
(v) For Blue - Use PANTONE ® 285 U
(vi) For Purple - Use PANTONE ® 259 U
(6) Where specific colors from the PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM ® are applied as opaque coatings, such as paint, enamel, or plastic, or where labels are printed directly on the surface of a packaging, a spectrophotometer or other instrumentation must be used to ensure a proper match with the color standards in the PANTONE ® formula guide coated/uncoated for colors prescribed in paragraph (d)(5) of this section. PANTONE ® is the property of Pantone, Inc.
(7) The specified label color must extend to the edge of the label in the area designated on each label, except for the CORROSIVE, RADIOACTIVE YELLOW-II, and RADIOACTIVE YELLOW-III labels on which the color must extend only to the inner border.
(e) Form identification. A label may contain form identification information, including the name of its maker, provided that information is printed outside the solid line inner border in no larger than 10-point type.
(f) Exceptions. Except for materials poisonous by inhalation (see § 171.8 of this subchapter), a label conforming to specifications in the UN Recommendations, the ICAO Technical Instructions, the IMDG Code, or the Transport Canada TDG Regulations (IBR, see § 171.7 of this subchapter) may be used in place of a corresponding label that conforms to the requirements of this subpart.
(g) Trefoil symbol. The trefoil symbol on the RADIOACTIVE WHITE-I, RADIOACTIVE YELLOW-II, and RADIOACTIVE YELLOW-III labels must meet the appropriate specifications in appendix B of this part.