49 CFR Part 178 Package Compliance Testing


As an ISTA and ISO 17025 certified lab, we realize the importance of 49 CFR compliance testing. Meeting the CFR package requirements can be difficult. We understand the challenges and guide companies through the process.

Our proven process helps avoid product launch delays. Our pricing is competitive and we offer volume discounts. We are in constant communication throughout the test process. Keystone takes a consultative approach throughout the entire test program.

Request a quote and find out first hand about our competitive pricing, timely process, and outstanding reputation. Have a question about regulatory CFR package testing? Contact us and we will determine the best course of action.

Summary of 49 CFR Package Integrity Compliance

The US Department of Transportation provides 49 CFR Part 178 with the purpose of outlining the test specifications for packaging and containers. More specifically, 49 CFR evaluates packages used for the transportation of hazardous materials in commerce. Transportation includes the entire transportation cycle and includes ground, air, and sea transportation. Generally, air transportation is the most restrictive.

Hazardous materials must be packaged in performance packaging, comprised of inner receptacles, cushioning, and absorbing materials. Additionally, the outer container or packaging must be designed, manufactured, and certified for the containment of specified packaging groups and hazardous material classes. All packaging must be tested in conditions similar to the designed shipment.

Furthermore, most testing is conducted in lots of units. In most cases, the test of one unit can be applied to the rest of the lot. If a failure occurs, technically that entire lot has failed. The testing of other units in a lot can be completed to attempt to overcome a previous failure.

Scope of 49 CFR Transportation Regulatory Testing

Every hazardous material has a related packaging authorization reference, which relates to a specific section of 49 CFR 178. These sections call out the approved outer and inner components of the performance packaging.

As previously mentioned, air transportation generally has the strictest requirements which can include a specification for closures, quantity restrictions for inner packaging, pressure differential testing for packaging designed to contain liquids, provisions for handling cylinders, and specifications for absorbent material.

According to UPS, hazardous materials shipments authorized for non-specification packaging that require a shipping paper must be in outer packages at the following minimum levels (overpacks are excluded from this requirement):

  • All packages must meet the requirements of International Safe Transit Association (ISTA) Procedure 3A testing.
  • Packages must be a minimum of 200 lbs. Burst Strength or 32 Edge Crush Test (ECT) certified box. The box must also be of sufficient strength to protect the contents while in transit.
  • Any non-specification package that displays the ISTA seal indicating the package has been tested and certified to ISTA Procedure 3A is not subject to the minimum ECT or burst strength requirements.

Expert 49 CFR Laboratory Package Testing

Keystone Compliance can meet your 49 CFR Part 178 package testing needs. Keystone Compliance can assist manufacturers with their package testing needs including the testing requirements of 49 CFR Part 178, 49 CFR Part 173, ISTA 3A, IATA Section 5, and IATA Section 6.

Please contact us to learn how we can meet your ingress protection testing needs.