In the United States, the revised Class 9 hazard label for shipping became effective on October 1st 2014. For those not aware, the former U.S. Class 9 hazard label had a horizontal line across the bottom of the stripes (see left column). In 2011, the DOT changed the label and removed the line in order to be consistent with the international Class 9 hazard label (see right column). The old labels with the horizontal line were permitted until October 1, 2014.
The Council on Safe Transport of Hazardous Articles (COSTHA) petitioned the DOT for an extension to this enforcement. Instead of the extension, the DOT responded with a letter of interpretation stating that the line will now be optional. This means that if you continue to use the old label past October 1, 2014, your package should not be flagged for rejection or fines, as the line is now an option. The key phrase is:
While the line no longer appears in the pictorial illustrations within the HMR or international regulations, it is the opinion of this Office the use of the horizontal line does not pose a safety concern and we further note that § 172.446(b) provides that the solid horizontal line dividing the lower and upper half of the label is optional.
The new text has been uploaded to the on-line regulations
Regardless of this change, it should be noted that shipments using IATA-member carriers might still require that the new label be consistent with the IATA Dangerous Goods regulations, and that any international shipments will require the international Class 9 hazard label (see right column).