49 CFR Placarding Regulations
Parts 172.500-172.560

Find Your Placard With Placard Finder


§ 172.500 Applicability of placarding requirements.

(a) Each person who offers for transportation or transports any hazardous material subject to this subchapter shall comply with the applicable placarding requirements of this subpart.

(b) This subpart does not apply to—

(1) Infectious substances;

(2) Hazardous materials classed as ORM-D;

(3) Hazardous materials authorized by this subchapter to be offered for transportation as a limited quantity when identified as such on a shipping paper in accordance with § 172.203(b) or when marked as such in accordance with § 172.315.

Infectious Substance  ORM-D Labels  Limited Quantity Labels

(4) Hazardous materials prepared in accordance with § 173.13 of this subchapter;

(5) Hazardous materials which are packaged as small quantities under the provisions of §§ 173.4, 173.4a, 173.4b of this subchapter; and

(6) Combustible liquids in non-bulk packagings.

[Amdt. 172-123, 55 FR 52599, Dec. 21, 1990, as amended by Amdt. 172-149, 61 FR 27173, May 30, 1996; 74 FR 2253, Jan. 14, 2009; 76 FR 3367, Jan. 19, 2011]

§ 172.502 Prohibited and permissive placarding.

(a) Prohibited placarding. Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, no person may affix or display on a packaging, freight container, unit load device, motor vehicle or rail car—

(1) Any placard described in this subpart unless—

(i) The material being offered or transported is a hazardous material;

(ii) The placard represents a hazard of the hazardous material being offered or transported; and

(iii) Any placarding conforms to the requirements of this subpart.

(2) Any sign, advertisement, slogan (such as “Drive Safely”), or device that, by its color, design, shape or content, could be confused with any placard prescribed in this subpart.

(b) Exceptions.

(1) The restrictions in paragraph (a) of this section do not apply to a bulk packaging, freight container, unit load device, transport vehicle or rail car which is placarded in conformance with TDG Regulations, the IMDG Code or the UN Recommendations (IBR, see §171.7 of this subchapter).

Canadian TDG  IMDG Code, 38th Amendment  UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods

(2) The restrictions of paragraph (a) of this section do not apply to the display of a BIOHAZARD marking, a “HOT” marking, a sour crude oil hazard marking, or an identification number on a white square-on-point configuration in accordance with §172.323(c), §172.325(c), §172.327 (a), or §172.336(b) of this part, respectively.

Biohazard Marking  HOT Marking  Sour Crude Oil Hazard Marking

(c) Permissive placarding. Placards may be displayed for a hazardous material, even when not required, if the placarding otherwise conforms to the requirements of this subpart.

[Amdt. 172-123, 55 FR 52599, Dec. 21, 1990, as amended at 56 FR 66259, Dec. 20, 1991; Amdt. 172-151, 62 FR 1230, Jan. 8, 1997; 62 FR 39389, 39407, July 22, 1997; 66 FR 8647, Feb. 1, 2001; 66 FR 33426, June 21, 2001; 67 FR 53137, Aug. 14, 2002; 68 FR 75741, Dec. 31, 2003; 76 FR 3367, Jan. 19, 2011; 80 FR 72923, Nov. 23, 2015]

§ 172.503 Identification number display on placards.

For procedures and limitations pertaining to the display of identification numbers on placards, see § 172.334.

Find Your UN Identification Number With Placard Finder


Flammable Liquid 4 Digit Placards  Corrosive 4 Digit Placards  Poison Inhalation Hazard 4 Digit Placards

[Amdt. 172-58, 45 FR 34701, May 22, 1980]

§ 172.504 General placarding requirements.

(a) General. Except as otherwise provided in this subchapter, each bulk packaging, freight container, unit load device, transport vehicle or rail car containing any quantity of a hazardous material must be placarded on each side and each end with the type of placards specified in tables 1 and 2 of this section and in accordance with other placarding requirements of this subpart, including the specifications for the placards named in the tables and described in detail in §§ 172.519 through 172.560.

Dangerous Placard (b) DANGEROUS placard. A freight container, unit load device, transport vehicle, or rail car which contains non-bulk packages with two or more categories of hazardous materials that require different placards specified in table 2 of paragraph (e) of this section may be placarded with a DANGEROUS placard instead of the separate placarding specified for each of the materials in table 2 of paragraph (e) of this section. However, when 1,000 kg (2,205 pounds) aggregate gross weight or more of one category of material is loaded therein at one loading facility on a freight container, unit load device, transport vehicle, or rail car, the placard specified in table 2 of paragraph (e) of this section for that category must be applied.


(c) Exception for less than 454 kg (1,001 pounds). Except for bulk packagings and hazardous materials subject to § 172.505, when hazardous materials covered by table 2 of this section are transported by highway or rail, placards are not required on—

(1) A transport vehicle or freight container which contains less than 454 kg (1001 pounds) aggregate gross weight of hazardous materials covered by table 2 of paragraph (e) of this section; or

(2) A rail car loaded with transport vehicles or freight containers, none of which is required to be placarded.

The exceptions provided in paragraph (c) of this section do not prohibit the display of placards in the manner prescribed in this subpart, if not otherwise prohibited (see § 172.502), on transport vehicles or freight containers which are not required to be placarded.

(d) Exception for empty non-bulk packages. Except for hazardous materials subject to § 172.505, a non-bulk packaging that contains only the residue of a hazardous material covered by Table 2 of paragraph (e) of this section need not be included in determining placarding requirements.

(e) Placarding tables. Placards are specified for hazardous materials in accordance with the following tables:

Table 1

Category of material (Hazard class or division number and additional description, as appropriate)Placard namePlacard design section reference (§ )
1.1EXPLOSIVES 1.1172.522
1.2EXPLOSIVES 1.2172.522
1.3EXPLOSIVES 1.3172.522
2.3POISON GAS172.540
4.3DANGEROUS WHEN WET172.548
5.2 (Organic peroxide, Type B, liquidorsolid, temperature controlled)ORGANIC PEROXIDE172.552
6.1 (material poisonous by inhalation (see § 171.8 of this subchapter))POISON INHALATION HAZARD172.555
7 (Radioactive Yellow III label only)RADIOACTIVE 1172.556
1 RADIOACTIVE placard also required for exclusive use shipments of low specific activity material and surface contaminated objects transported in accordance with § 173.427(b)(4) and (5) or (c) of this subchapter.


Table 2

Category of material (Hazard class or division number and additional description, as appropriate)Placard namePlacard design section reference (§ )
1.4EXPLOSIVES 1.4172.523
1.5EXPLOSIVES 1.5172.524
1.6EXPLOSIVES 1.6172.525
2.1FLAMMABLE GAS172.532
2.2NON-FLAMMABLE GAS172.528
3FLAMMABLE172.542
Combustible liquidCOMBUSTIBLE172.544
4.1FLAMMABLE SOLID172.546
4.2SPONTANEOUSLY COMBUSTIBLE172.547
5.1OXIDIZER172.550
5.2 (Other than organic peroxide, Type B, liquid or solid, temperature controlled)ORGANIC PEROXIDE172.552
6.1 (other than material poisonous by inhalation)POISON172.554
6.2(None) 
8CORROSIVE172.558
9Class 9 (see § 172.504(f)(9)) 172.560
ORM-D(None) 

(f) Additional placarding exceptions.

(1) When more than one division placard is required for Class 1 materials on a transport vehicle, rail car, freight container or unit load device, only the placard representing the lowest division number must be displayed.

(2) A FLAMMABLE placard may be used in place of a COMBUSTIBLE placard on—

Flammable Liquid Placard  Combustible Liquid Placard


(i) A cargo tank or portable tank.

(ii) A compartmented tank car which contains both flammable and combustible liquids.

(3) A NON-FLAMMABLE GAS placard is not required on a transport vehicle which contains non-flammable gas if the transport vehicle also contains flammable gas or oxygen and it is placarded with FLAMMABLE GAS or OXYGEN placards, as required.

Non-Flammable Gas Placard  Flammable Gas Placard  Oxygen Placard

(4) OXIDIZER placards are not required for Division 5.1 materials on freight containers, unit load devices, transport vehicles or rail cars which also contain Division 1.1 or 1.2 materials and which are placarded with EXPLOSIVES 1.1 or 1.2 placards, as required.

Oxidizer Placard  Explosive 1.1 Placard  Explosive 1.2 Placard

(5) For transportation by transport vehicle or rail car only, an OXIDIZER placard is not required for Division 5.1 materials on a transport vehicle, rail car or freight container which also contains Division 1.5 explosives and is placarded with EXPLOSIVES 1.5 placards, as required.

Oxidizer Placard  Explosive 1.5 Placard

(6) The EXPLOSIVE 1.4 placard is not required for those Division 1.4 Compatibility Group S (1.4S) materials that are not required to be labeled 1.4S.

Explosive 1.4 Placard

(7) For domestic transportation of oxygen, compressed or oxygen, refrigerated liquid, the OXYGEN placard in § 172.530 of this subpart may be used in place of a NON-FLAMMABLE GAS placard.

Oxygen Placard  Non-Flammable Gas Placard

(8) For domestic transportation, a POISON INHALATION HAZARD placard is not required on a transport vehicle or freight container that is already placarded with the POISON GAS placard.

Hazard Class 6 Poison Inhalation Hazard Placard  Hazard Class 2 Inhalation Hazard Placard

(9) For Class 9, a CLASS 9 placard is not required for domestic transportation, including that portion of international transportation, defined in § 171.8 of this subchapter, which occurs within the United States. However, a bulk packaging must be marked with the appropriate identification number on a CLASS 9 placard, an orange panel, or a white square-on-point display configuration as required by subpart D of this part.

Hazard Class 9 Miscellaneous Placard  Orange Panels

(10) For Division 6.1, PG III materials, a POISON placard may be modified to display the text "PG III" below the mid line of the placard.

Poison Placard  PG III Placard

(11) For domestic transportation, a POISON placard is not required on a transport vehicle or freight container required to display a POISON INHALATION HAZARD or POISON GAS placard.

Poison Placard  Hazard Class 6 Poison Inhalation Hazard Placard  Hazard Class 2 Inhalation Hazard Placard

Class 1 Explosives Placard (g) For shipments of Class 1 (explosive materials) by aircraft or vessel, the applicable compatibility group letter must be displayed on the placards, or labels when applicable, required by this section. When more than one compatibility group placard is required for Class 1 materials, only one placard is required to be displayed, as provided in paragraphs (g)(1) through (g)(4) of this section. For the purposes of paragraphs (g)(1) through (g)(4), there is a distinction between the phrases explosive articles and explosive substances. Explosive article means an article containing an explosive substance; examples include a detonator, flare, primer or fuse. Explosive substance means a substance contained in a packaging that is not contained in an article; examples include black powder and smokeless powder.

(1) Explosive articles of compatibility groups C, D or E may be placarded displaying compatibility group E.

(2) Explosive articles of compatibility groups C, D, or E, when transported with those in compatibility group N, may be placarded displaying compatibility group D.

(3) Explosive substances of compatibility groups C and D may be placarded displaying compatibility group D.

(4) Explosive articles of compatibility groups C, D, E or G, except for fireworks, may be placarded displaying compatibility group E.

[Amdt. 172-123, 55 FR 52600, Dec. 21, 1990]

Editorial Note: For Federal Register citations affecting § 172.504, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and at www.fdsys.gov.

§ 172.505 Placarding for subsidiary hazards.

(a) Each transport vehicle, freight container, portable tank, unit load device, or rail car that contains a poisonous material subject to the “Poison Inhalation Hazard” shipping description of §172.203(m) must be placarded with a POISON INHALATION HAZARD or POISON GAS placard, as appropriate, on each side and each end, in addition to any other placard required for that material in §172.504. Duplication of the POISON INHALATION HAZARD or POISON GAS placard is not required.

Hazard Class 6 Poison Inhalation Hazard Placard  Hazard Class 2 Inhalation Hazard Placard

(b) In addition to the RADIOACTIVE placard which may be required by §172.504(e), each transport vehicle, portable tank or freight container that contains 454 kg (1,001 pounds) or more gross weight of non-fissile, fissile-excepted, or fissile uranium hexafluoride must be placarded with a CORROSIVE placard and a POISON placard on each side and each end.

Radioactive Placard  Corrosive Placard  Poison Placard

(c) Each transport vehicle, portable tank, freight container or unit load device that contains a material which has a subsidiary hazard of being dangerous when wet, as defined in §173.124 of this subchapter, shall be placarded with DANGEROUS WHEN WET placards, on each side and each end, in addition to the placards required by §172.504.

Dangerous When Wet Placard

(d) Hazardous materials that possess secondary hazards may exhibit subsidiary placards that correspond to the placards described in this part, even when not required by this part (see also §172.519(b) (4) of this subpart).

[Amdt. 172-123, 55 FR 52601, Dec. 21, 1990, as amended at 56 FR 66260, Dec. 20, 1991; 57 FR 45460, Oct. 1, 1992; Amdt. 172- 127, 59 FR 49133, Sept. 26, 1994; Amdt. 172-151, 62 FR 1231, Jan. 8, 1997; 62 FR 39398, July 22, 1997; 65 FR 58626, Sept. 29, 2000; 72 FR 55692, Oct. 1, 2007; 79 FR 40610, July 11, 2014; 82 FR 15874, Mar. 30, 2017]

§ 172.506 Providing and affixing placards: Highway.

(a) Each person offering a motor carrier a hazardous material for transportation by highway shall provide to the motor carrier the required placards for the material being offered prior to or at the same time the material is offered for transportation, unless the carrier's motor vehicle is already placarded for the material as required by this subpart.

Placing Placards  Placing Placards

(1) No motor carrier may transport a hazardous material in a motor vehicle, unless the placards required for the hazardous material are affixed thereto as required by this subpart.

(2) [Reserved]

(b) [Reserved]

[Amdt. 172-29, 41 FR 15996, Apr. 15, 1976, as amended by Amdt. 172-29A, 41 FR 40679, Sept. 20, 1976]

§ 172.507 Special placarding provisions: Highway.

(a) Each motor vehicle used to transport a package of highway route controlled quantity Class 7 (radioactive) materials (see § 173.403 of this subchapter) must have the required RADIOACTIVE warning placard placed on a square background as described in § 172.527.

Radioactive Placard

(b) A nurse tank, meeting the provisions of § 173.315(m) of this subchapter, is not required to be placarded on an end containing valves, fittings, regulators or gauges when those appurtenances prevent the markings and placard from being properly placed and visible.

[Amdt. 172-103, 51 FR 5971, Feb. 18, 1986, as amended by Amdt. 172-143, 60 FR 50305, Sept. 28, 1995]

§ 172.508 Placarding and affixing placards: Rail.

(a) Each person offering a hazardous material for transportation by rail shall affix to the rail car containing the material, the placards specified by this subpart. Placards displayed on motor vehicles, transport containers, or portable tanks may be used to satisfy this requirement, if the placards otherwise conform to the provisions of this subpart.

(b) No rail carrier may accept a rail car containing a hazardous material for transportation unless the placards for the hazardous material are affixed thereto as required by this subpart.

[Amdt. 172-29, 41 FR 15996, Apr. 15, 1976, as amended by Amdt. 172-123, 55 FR 52601, Dec. 21, 1990]

§ 172.510 Special placarding provisions: Rail.

(a) White square background. The following must have the specified placards placed on a white square background, as described in § 172.527:

(1) Division 1.1 and 1.2 (explosive) materials which require EXPLOSIVES 1.1 or EXPLOSIVES 1.2 placards affixed to the rail car;

Explosive 1.1 Placard  Explosive 1.2 Placard

(2) Materials classed in Division 2.3 Hazard Zone A or 6.1 Packing Group I Hazard Zone A which require POISON GAS or POISON placards affixed to the rail car, including tank cars containing only a residue of the material; and

Hazard Class 2 Inhalation Hazard Placard  Poison Placard

(3) Class DOT 113 tank cars used to transport a Division 2.1 (flammable gas) material, including tank cars containing only a residue of the material.

(b) Chemical ammunition. Each rail car containing Division 1.1 or 1.2 (explosive) ammunition which also meets the definition of a material poisonous by inhalation (see § 171.8 of this subchapter) must be placarded EXPLOSIVES 1.1 or EXPLOSIVES 1.2 and POISON GAS or POISON INHALATION HAZARD.

Explosive 1.1 Placard  Explosive 1.2 Placard  Hazard Class 2 Inhalation Hazard Placard   Hazard Class 6 Poison Inhalation Hazard Placard

[Amdt. 172-29, 41 FR 15996, Apr. 15, 1976, as amended by Amdt. 172-103, 51 FR 5971, Feb. 18, 1986; Amdt. 172-110, 52 FR 29528, Aug. 10, 1987; Amdt. 172-111, 52 FR 36671, Sept. 30, 1987; Amdt. 172-123, 55 FR 52601, Dec. 21, 1990; 56 FR 66260, Dec. 20, 1991; 57 FR 45460, Oct. 1, 1992; Amdt. 172-248, 61 FR 28676, June 5, 1996; Amdt. 172-151, 62 FR 1231, Jan. 8, 1997; 62 FR 39398, July 22, 1997]

§ 172.512 Freight containers and aircraft unit load devices.

(a) Capacity of 640 cubic feet or more. Each person who offers for transportation, and each person who loads and transports, a hazardous material in a freight container or aircraft unit load device having a capacity of 640 cubic feet or more shall affix to the freight container or aircraft unit load device the placards specified for the material in accordance with § 172.504. However:

(1) The placarding exception provided in § 172.504(c) applies to motor vehicles transporting freight containers and aircraft unit load devices,

(2) The placarding exception provided in § 172.504(c) applies to each freight container and aircraft unit load device being transported for delivery to a consignee immediately following an air or water shipment, and,

(3) Placarding is not required on a freight container or aircraft unit load device if it is only transported by air and is identified as containing a hazardous material in the manner provided in part 7, chapter 2, section 2.7, of the ICAO Technical Instructions (IBR, see § 171.7 of this subchapter).

(b) Capacity less than 18 m 3 (640 cubic feet).

(1) Each person who offers for transportation by air, and each person who loads and transports by air, a hazardous material in a freight container or aircraft unit load device having a capacity of less than 18 m3 (640 cubic feet) shall affix one placard of the type specified by paragraph (a) of this section unless the freight container or aircraft unit load device:

(i) Is labeled in accordance with subpart E of this part, including § 172.406(e);

(ii) Contains radioactive materials requiring the Radioactive Yellow III label and is placarded with one Radioactive placard and is labeled in accordance with subpart E of this part, including § 172.406(e); or,

(iii) Is identified as containing a hazardous material in the manner provided in part 7, chapter 2, section 2.7, of the ICAO Technical Instructions.

(2) When hazardous materials are offered for transportation, not involving air transportation, in a freight container having a capacity of less than 640 cubic feet the freight container need not be placarded. However, if not placarded, it must be labeled in accordance with subpart E of this part.

(c) Notwithstanding paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section, packages containing hazardous materials, other than ORM-D, offered for transportation by air in freight containers are subject to the inspection requirements of § 175.30 of this chapter.

[Amdt. 172-29, 41 FR 15996, Apr. 15, 1976, as amended by Amdt. 172-29A, 41 FR 40680, Sept. 20, 1976; Amdt. 172-87, 48 FR 53712, Nov. 29, 1983; 48 FR 55469, Dec. 13, 1983; Amdt. 172-103, 51 FR 5971, Feb. 18, 1986; Amdt. 172-111, 52 FR 36671, Sept. 30, 1987; Amdt. 172- 123, 55 FR 52601, Dec. 21, 1990; 66 FR 33426, June 21, 2001; 66 FR 45182, Aug. 28, 2001; 68 FR 75741, Dec. 31, 2003; 69 FR 54046, Sept. 7, 2004; 76 FR 56314, Sept. 13, 2011]

§ 172.514 Bulk packagings.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section, each person who offers for transportation a bulk packaging which contains a hazardous material, shall affix the placards specified for the material in §§172.504 and 172.505.

(b) Each bulk packaging that is required to be placarded when it contains a hazardous material, must remain placarded when it is emptied, unless it—

(1) Is sufficiently cleaned of residue and purged of vapors to remove any potential hazard;

(2) Is refilled, with a material requiring different placards or no placards, to such an extent that any residue remaining in the packaging is no longer hazardous; or

(3) Contains the residue of a hazardous substance in Class 9 in a quantity less than the reportable quantity, and conforms to §173.29(b)(1) of this subchapter.

(c) Exceptions. The following packagings may be placarded on only two opposite sides or, alternatively, may be labeled instead of placarded in accordance with subpart E of this part:

(1) A portable tank having a capacity of less than 3,785 L (1000 gallons);

(2) A DOT 106 or 110 multi-unit tank car tank;

(3) A bulk packaging other than a portable tank, cargo tank, or tank car (e.g., a bulk bag or box) with a volumetric capacity of less than 18 cubic meters (640 cubic feet);

(4) An IBC. For an IBC labeled in accordance with subpart E of this part, the IBC may display the proper shipping name and UN identification number markings in accordance with §172.301(a)(1) in place of the UN number on an orange panel, placard or white square-on-point configuration as prescribed in §172.336(d); and

(5) A Large Packaging as defined in §171.8 of this subchapter.

[Amdt. 172-136, 59 FR 38064, July 26, 1994; Amdt. 172-148, 61 FR 50255, Sept. 25, 1996, as amended by 66 FR 45379, Aug. 28, 2001; 69 FR 64473, Nov. 4, 2004; 75 FR 5392, Feb. 2, 2010; 76 FR 43528, July 20, 2011; 77 FR 60942, Oct. 5, 2012; 81 FR 35540, June 2, 2016]

§ 172.516 Visibility and display of placards.

(a) Each placard on a motor vehicle and each placard on a rail car must be clearly visible from the direction it faces, except from the direction of another transport vehicle or rail car to which the motor vehicle or rail car is coupled. This requirement may be met by the placards displayed on the freight containers or portable tanks loaded on a motor vehicle or rail car.

(b) The required placarding of the front of a motor vehicle may be on the front of a truck-tractor instead of or in addition to the placarding on the front of the cargo body to which a truck-tractor is attached.

(c) Each placard on a transport vehicle, bulk packaging, freight container or aircraft unit load device must—

(1) Be securely attached or affixed thereto or placed in a holder thereon. (See appendix C to this part.);

(2) Be located clear of appurtenances and devices such as ladders, pipes, doors, and tarpaulins;

(3) So far as practicable, be located so that dirt or water is not directed to it from the wheels of the transport vehicle;

(4) Be located away from any marking (such as advertising) that could substantially reduce its effectiveness, and in any case at least 3 inches (76.0 mm.) away from such marking;

(5) Have the words or identification number (when authorized) printed on it displayed horizontally, reading from left to right;

(6) Be maintained by the carrier in a condition so that the format, legibility, color, and visibility of the placard will not be substantially reduced due to damage, deterioration, or obscurement by dirt or other matter;

(7) Be affixed to a background of contrasting color, or must have a dotted or solid line outer border which contrasts with the background color.

(d) Recommended specifications for a placard holder are set forth in appendix C of this part. Except for a placard holder similar to that contained in appendix C to this part, the means used to attach a placard may not obscure any part of its surface other than the borders.

(e) A placard or placard holder may be hinged provided the required format, color, and legibility of the placard are maintained.

[Amdt. 172-29, 41 FR 15996, Apr. 15, 1976, as amended by Amdt. 172-101, 45 FR 74668, Nov. 10, 1980; Amdt. 172-123, 55 FR 52601, Dec. 21, 1990; 65 FR 50460, Aug. 18, 2000]

§ 172.519 General specifications for placards.

Labelmaster Clarifies Hazmat Placard Specifications and Requirements


(a) Strength and durability. Placards must conform to the following:

(1) A placard may be made of any plastic, metal or other material capable of withstanding, without deterioration or a substantial reduction in effectiveness, a 30-day exposure to open weather conditions.

(2) A placard made of tagboard must be at least equal to that designated commercially as white tagboard. Tagboard must have a weight of at least 80 kg (176 pounds) per ream of 610 by 910 mm (24 by 36-inch) sheets, waterproofing materials included. In addition, each placard made of tagboard must be able to pass a 414 kPa (60 p.s.i.) Mullen test.

(3) Reflective or retroreflective materials may be used on a placard if the prescribed colors, strength and durability are maintained.

See Our Placard Material Types


(b) Design.

(1) Except as provided in §172.332 of this part, each placard must be as described in this subpart, and except for size and color, the printing, inner border and symbol must be as shown in §§172.521 through 172.560 of this subpart, as appropriate.

(2) The dotted line border shown on each placard is not part of the placard specification. However, a dotted or solid line outer border may be used when needed to indicate the full size of a placard that is part of a larger format or is on a background of a non-contrasting color.

(3) For other than Class 7 or the DANGEROUS placard, text indicating a hazard (for example, “FLAMMABLE”) is not required. Text may be omitted from the OXYGEN placard only if the specific identification number is displayed on the placard.

(4) For a placard corresponding to the primary or subsidiary hazard class of a material, the hazard class or division number must be displayed in the lower corner of the placard. However, a permanently affixed subsidiary placard meeting the specifications of this section which were in effect on October 1, 2001, (such as, a placard without the hazard class or division number displayed in the lower corner of the placard) and which was installed prior to September 30, 2001, may continue to be used as a subsidiary placard in domestic transportation by rail or highway, provided the color tolerances are maintained and are in accordance with the display requirements in this subchapter.

(c) Size.

(1) Each diamond (square-on-point) placard prescribed in this subpart must measure at least 250 mm (9.84 inches) on each side and must have a solid line inner border 12.5 mm inside and parallel to the edge. The 12.5 mm measurement is from the outside edge of the placard to the outside of the solid line forming the inner border.

(i) Transitional exceptions. A placard in conformance with the requirements of this paragraph in effect on December 31, 2014, may continue to be used until December 31, 2016.

(ii) For domestic transportation, a placard manufactured prior to January 1, 2017 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 provided the color tolerances are maintained and are in accordance with the display requirements of this subchapter.

(2) Except as otherwise provided in this subpart, the hazard class or division number, as appropriate, must be shown in numerals measuring at least 41 mm (1.6 inches) in height.

(3) Except as otherwise provided in this subpart, when text indicating a hazard is displayed on a placard, the printing must be in letters measuring at least 41 mm (1.6 inches) in height.

(d) Color.

(1) The background color, symbol, text, numerals and inner border on a placard must be as specified in §§172.521 through 172.560 of this subpart, as appropriate.

(2) Black and any color on a placard must be able to withstand, without substantial change—

(i) A 72-hour fadeometer test (for a description of equipment designed for this purpose, see ASTM G 23-69 or ASTM G 26-70); and

(ii) A 30-day exposure to open weather.

(3) Upon visual examination, a color on a placard must fall within the color tolerances displayed on the appropriate Hazardous Materials Label and Placard Color Tolerance Chart (see §172.407(d)(4)). As an alternative, the PANTONE® formula guide coated/uncoated as specified for colors in §172.407(d)(5) may be used.

(4) The placard color must extend to the inner border and may extend to the edge of the placard in the area designated on each placard except the color on the CORROSIVE and RADIOACTIVE placards (black and yellow, respectively) must extend only to the inner border.

(e) Form identification. A placard may contain form identification information, including the name of its maker, provided that information is printed outside of the solid line inner border in no larger than 10-point type.

(f) Exceptions. When hazardous materials are offered for transportation or transported under the provisions of subpart C of part 171 of this subchapter, a placard conforming to the specifications in 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 placard conforming to the requirements of this subpart. However, a bulk packaging, transport vehicle, or freight container containing a material poisonous by inhalation (see §171.8 of this subchapter) must be placarded in accordance with this subpart (see §171.23(b)(10) of this subchapter).

(g) Trefoil symbol. The trefoil symbol on the RADIOACTIVE placard must meet the appropriate specification in appendix B of this part.

[Amdt. 172-123, 55 FR 52601, Dec. 21, 1990, as amended at 56 FR 66260, Dec. 20, 1991; 57 FR 45460, Oct. 1, 1992; Amdt. 172- 143, 60 FR 50305, Sept. 28, 1995; 65 FR 50460, Aug. 18, 2000; 66 FR 33426, June 21, 2001; 66 FR 44255, Aug. 22, 2001; 67 FR 15743, Apr. 3, 2002; 70 FR 34075, June 13, 2005; 69 FR 64473, Nov. 4, 2004; 72 FR 25176, May 3, 2007; 76 FR 43528, July 20, 2011; 76 FR 56314, Sept. 13, 2011; 80 FR 1151, Jan. 8, 2015]

§ 172.521 DANGEROUS placard.

(a) Except for size and color, the DANGEROUS placard must be as follows:

Dangerous Placard

(b) In addition to meeting the requirements of §172.519, and appendix B to this part, the DANGEROUS placard must have a red upper and lower triangle. The placard center area and 1⁄2 -inch (12.7 mm.) border must be white. The inscription must be black with the 1⁄8 -inch (3.2 mm.) border marker in the white area at each end of the inscription red.

[Amdt. 172-29, 41 FR 15996, Apr. 15, 1976, as amended by Amdt. 172-29A, 41 FR 40680, Sept. 20, 1976]

§ 172.522 EXPLOSIVES 1.1, EXPLOSIVES 1.2 and EXPLOSIVES 1.3 placards.

(a) Except for size and color, the EXPLOSIVES 1.1, EXPLOSIVES 1.2 and EXPLOSIVES 1.3 placards must be as follows:

Explosives Placard

(b) In addition to complying with §172.519 of this subpart, the background color on the EXPLOSIVES 1.1, EXPLOSIVES 1.2, and EXPLOSIVES 1.3 placards must be orange. The “*” shall be replaced with the appropriate division number and, when required, appropriate compatibility group letter. The symbol, text, numerals and inner border must be black.

[Amdt. 172-123, 55 FR 52602, Dec. 21, 1990, as amended at 56 FR 66260, Dec. 20, 1991]

§ 172.523 EXPLOSIVES 1.4 placard.

(a) Except for size and color, the EXPLOSIVES 1.4 placard must be as follows:

Explosives 1.4 Placard

(b) In addition to complying with §172.519 of this subpart, the background color on the EXPLOSIVES 1.4 placard must be orange. The “*” shall be replaced, when required, with the appropriate compatibility group letter. The division numeral, 1.4, must measure at least 64 mm (2.5 inches) in height. The text, numerals and inner border must be black.

[Amdt. 172-123, 55 FR 52602, Dec. 21, 1990, as amended at 56 FR 66261, Dec. 20, 1991]

§ 172.524 EXPLOSIVES 1.5 placard.

(a) Except for size and color, the EXPLOSIVES 1.5 placard must be as follows:

Explosives 1.5 Blasting Agents Placard

(b) In addition to complying with the §172.519 of this subpart, the background color on EXPLOSIVES 1.5 placard must be orange. The “*” shall be replaced, when required, with the appropriate compatibility group letter. The division numeral, 1.5, must measure at least 64 mm (2.5 inches) in height. The text, numerals and inner border must be black.

[Amdt. 172-123, 55 FR 52602, Dec. 21, 1990, as amended at 56 FR 66261, Dec. 20, 1991]

§ 172.525 EXPLOSIVES 1.6 placard.

(a) Except for size and color the EXPLOSIVES 1.6 placard must be as follows:

Explosives 1.6 Placard

(b) In addition to complying with §172.519 of this subpart, the background color on the EXPLOSIVES 1.6 placard must be orange. The “*” shall be replaced, when required, with the appropriate compatibility group letter. The division numeral, 1.6, must measure at least 64 mm (2.5 inches) in height. The text, numerals and inner border must be black.

[Amdt. 172-123, 55 FR 52603, Dec. 21, 1990, as amended at 56 FR 66261, Dec. 20, 1991; Amdt. 172-130, 58 FR 51531, Oct. 1, 1993]

§ 172.526 [Reserved]

§ 172.527 Background requirements for certain placards.

(a) Except for size and color, the square background required by §172.510(a) for certain placards on rail cars, and §172.507 for placards on motor vehicles containing a package of highway route controlled quantity radioactive materials, must be as follows:

Blank Placard

(b) In addition to meeting the requirements of §172.519 for minimum durability and strength, the square background must consist of a white square measuring 141⁄4 inches (362.0 mm.) on each side surrounded by a black border extending to 151⁄4 inches (387.0 mm.) on each side.

[Amdt. 172-29, 41 FR 15996, Apr. 15, 1976, as amended by Amdt. 172-64, 46 FR 5316, Jan. 19, 1981; Amdt. 172-78, 48 FR 10226, Mar. 10, 1983]

§ 172.528 NON-FLAMMABLE GAS placard.

(a) Except for size and color, the NON-FLAMMABLE GAS placard must be as follows:

Non-Flammable Gas Placard

(b) In addition to complying with §172.519, the background color on the NON-FLAMMABLE GAS placard must be green. The letters in both words must be at least 38 mm (1.5 inches) high. The symbol, text, class number and inner border must be white.

[Amdt. 172-123, 56 FR 66261, Dec. 20, 1991]

§ 172.530 OXYGEN placard.

(a) Except for size and color, the OXYGEN placard must be as follows:

Oxygen Placard

(b) In addition to complying with §172.519 of this subpart, the background color on the OXYGEN placard must be yellow. The symbol, text, class number and inner border must be black.

[Amdt. 172-123, 56 FR 66262, Dec. 20, 1991]

§ 172.532 FLAMMABLE GAS placard.

(a) Except for size and color, the FLAMMABLE GAS placard must be as follows:

Flammable Gas Placard

(b) In addition to complying with §172.519, the background color on the FLAMMABLE GAS placard must be red. The symbol, text, class number and inner border must be white.

[Amdt. 172-123, 56 FR 66262, Dec. 20, 1991]

§ 172.536 [Reserved]

§ 172.540 POISON GAS placard.

(a) Except for size and color, the POISON GAS placard must be as follows:

Inhalation Hazard Class 2 Placard

(b) In addition to complying with §172.519, the background on the POISON GAS placard and the symbol must be white. The background of the upper diamond must be black and the lower point of the upper diamond must be 65 mm (25⁄8 inches) above the horizontal center line. The text, class number, and inner border must be black.

[62 FR 39408, July 22, 1997]

§ 172.542 FLAMMABLE placard.

(a) Except for size and color, the FLAMMABLE placard must be as follows:

Flammable Liquids Placard

(b) In addition to complying with §172.519, the background color on the FLAMMABLE placard must be red. The symbol, text, class number and inner border must be white.

(c) The word “GASOLINE” may be used in place of the word “FLAMMABLE” on a placard that is displayed on a cargo tank or a portable tank being used to transport gasoline by highway. The word “GASOLINE” must be shown in white.

[Amdt. 172-123, 56 FR 66262, Dec. 20, 1991]

§ 172.544 COMBUSTIBLE placard.

(a) Except for size and color, the COMBUSTIBLE placard must be as follows:

Combustible Placard

(b) In addition to complying with §172.519, the background color on the COMBUSTIBLE placard must be red. The symbol, text, class number and inner border must be white. On a COMBUSTIBLE placard with a white bottom as prescribed by §172.332(c)(4), the class number must be red or black.

(c) The words “FUEL OIL” may be used in place of the word “COMBUSTIBLE” on a placard that is displayed on a cargo tank or portable tank being used to transport by highway fuel oil that is not classed as a flammable liquid. The words “FUEL OIL” must be white.

Fuel Oil Placard

[Amdt. 172-123, 56 FR 66262, Dec. 20, 1991]

§ 172.546 FLAMMABLE SOLID placard.

(a) Except for size and color, the FLAMMABLE SOLID placard must be as follows:

Flammable Solid Placard

(b) In addition to complying with §172.519, the background on the FLAMMABLE SOLID placard must be white with seven vertical red stripes. The stripes must be equally spaced, with one red stripe placed in the center of the label. Each red stripe and each white space between two red stripes must be 25 mm (1.0 inches) wide. The letters in the word “SOLID” must be at least 38.1 mm (1.5 inches) high. The symbol, text, class number and inner border must be black.

[Amdt. 172-123, 56 FR 66263, Dec. 20, 1991]

§ 172.547 SPONTANEOUSLY COMBUSTIBLE placard.

(a) Except for size and color, the SPONTANEOUSLY COMBUSTIBLE placard must be as follows:

Spontaneously Combustible Placard

(b) In addition to complying with §172.519, the background color on the SPONTANEOUSLY COMBUSTIBLE placard must be red in the lower half and white in upper half. The letters in the word “SPONTANEOUSLY” must be at least 12 mm (0.5 inch) high. The symbol, text, class number and inner border must be black.

[Amdt. 172-123, 56 FR 66263, Dec. 20, 1991, as amended by Amdt. 172-139, 59 FR 67490, Dec. 29, 1994]

§ 172.548 DANGEROUS WHEN WET placard.

(a) Except for size and color, the DANGEROUS WHEN WET placard must be as follows:

Dangerous When Wet Placard

(b) In addition to complying with §172.519, the background color on the DANGEROUS WHEN WET placard must be blue. The letters in the words “WHEN WET” must be at least 25 mm (1.0 inches) high. The symbol, text, class number and inner border must be white.

[Amdt. 172-123, 56 FR 66263, Dec. 20, 1991]

§ 172.550 OXIDIZER placard.

(a) Except for size and color, the OXIDIZER placard must be as follows:

Oxidizer Placard

(b) In addition to complying with §172.519, the background color on the OXIDIZER placard must be yellow. The symbol, text, division number and inner border must be black.

[Amdt. 172-123, 56 FR 66263, Dec. 20, 1991]

§ 172.552 ORGANIC PEROXIDE placard.

(a) Except for size and color, the ORGANIC PEROXIDE placard must be as follows:

Organic Peroxide Placard

(b) In addition to complying with §172.519, the background on the ORGANIC PEROXIDE placard must be red in the top half and yellow in the lower half. The text, division number and inner border must be black; the symbol may be either black or white.

(c) For transportation by highway, a Division 5.2 placard conforming to the specifications in this section in effect on December 31, 2006 may continue to be used until January 1, 2014.

[71 FR 78628, Dec. 29, 2006, as amended at 76 FR 43528, July 20, 2011]

§ 172.553 [Reserved]

§ 172.554 POISON placard.

(a) Except for size and color, the POISON placard must be as follows:

Poison Placard

(b) In addition to complying with §172.519, the background on the POISON placard must be white. The symbol, text, class number and inner border must be black. The word “TOXIC” may be used in lieu of the word “POISON”.

Toxic Placard

[Amdt. 172-123, 56 FR 66264, Dec. 20, 1991, as amended by Amdt. 172-139, 59 FR 67490, Dec. 29, 1994]

§ 172.555 POISON INHALATION HAZARD placard.

(a) Except for size and color, the POISON INHALATION HAZARD placard must be as follows:

Inhalation Hazard Class 6 Placard

(b) In addition to complying with §172.519, the background on the POISON INHALATION HAZARD placard and the symbol must be white. The background of the upper diamond must be black and the lower point of the upper diamond must be 65 mm (25⁄8 inches) above the horizontal center line. The text, class number, and inner border must be black.

[62 FR 39409, July 22, 1997]

§ 172.556 RADIOACTIVE placard.

(a) Except for size and color, the RADIOACTIVE placard must be as follows:

Radioactive Placard

(b) In addition to complying with §172.519, the background color on the RADIOACTIVE placard must be white in the lower portion with a yellow triangle in the upper portion. The base of the yellow triangle must be 29 mm ±5 mm (1.1 inches ±0.2 inches) above the placard horizontal center line. The symbol, text, class number and inner border must be black.

[Amdt. 172-123, 56 FR 66264, Dec. 20, 1991; Amdt. 172-130, 58 FR 51531, Oct. 1, 1993; 65 FR 58627, Sept. 29, 2000]

§ 172.558 CORROSIVE placard.

(a) Except for size and color, the CORROSIVE placard must be as follows:

Corrosive Placard

(b) In addition to complying with §172.519, the background color on the CORROSIVE placard must be black in the lower portion with a white triangle in the upper portion. The base of the white triangle must be 38 mm ±5 mm (1.5 inches ±0.2 inches) above the placard horizontal center line. The text and class number must be white. The symbol and inner border must be black.

[Amdt. 172-123, 56 FR 66264, Dec. 20, 1991, as amended at 65 FR 58627, Sept. 29, 2000]

§ 172.560 CLASS 9 placard.

(a) Except for size and color the CLASS 9 (miscellaneous hazardous materials) placard must be as follows:

Miscellaneous Class 9 Placard

(b) In addition to conformance with §172.519, the background on the CLASS 9 placard must be white with seven black vertical stripes on the top half extending from the top of the placard to one inch above the horizontal centerline. The black vertical stripes must be spaced so that, visually, they appear equal in width to the six white spaces between them. The space below the vertical lines must be white with the class number 9 underlined and centered at the bottom.

[Amdt. 172-123, 56 FR 66264, Dec. 20, 1991, as amended at 57 FR 45460, Oct. 1, 1992]

NOTE: Last Update - July 17, 2018. This reference is provided for informational purposes only.
Please see the latest regulations for regulatory guidance.

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