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Interpretation Response #02-0314 ([Aero Vironment Inc.] [Erica Jenkins])

Below is the interpretation response detail and a list of regulations sections applicable to this response.

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Aero Vironment Inc.

Individual Name: Erica Jenkins

Location State: CA Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

JUN 20, 2003

Ms. Erica Jenkins                                         Ref. No.: 02-0314
Logistics Coordinator
Aero Vironment Inc.
4685-3H Industrial Street
Simi Valley, California 93063

Dear Ms. Jenkins:

This is in response to your letter regarding the use of the material of trade exception as it applies to highway shipments of lithium cells and batteries under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR parts 171-180). Your questions are paraphrased and answered as follows:

Q1: Would the lithium batteries qualify for the MOTs exception, while being transported to various locations for testing in solar powered aircraft and small-unmanned air vehicles?

A1: The answer is yes. The materials of trade definition in § 171.8 includes a private motor carrier transporting hazardous materials in direct support of a principal business that is other than transportation by motor vehicle.

Q2: Would the lithium batteries qualify for the MOTs exception, while they are transported between Aero Vironment facilities for testing and modifications?

A2: The answer is yes. One criteria for a MOT is that a hazardous material is transported by a private carrier in direct support of its principal business which is not transportation by motor vehicle. Therefore, a hazardous material transported between a company's facilities for purposes of quality control testing meets the definition of MOT. In addition, prototype lithium cells and batteries may be transported for performance testing (i.e., product evaluation) in connection with development programs when transported in conformance with § 173.1850).

Q3: You asked at what point does your hazardous material compliance liability terminate, after your customers accept delivery of lithium batteries at one your facilities?

A3: Each person who performs a function governed by the HMR is responsible for complying with the appropriate requirements of the HMR. The degree of regulatory liability is usually determined on a case-by-case basis, an determined by the facts of the issue.

I hope this information is helpful. Please contact us if you require additional assistance.


Delmer F. Billings
Chief, Standards Development
Office of Hazardous Materials Standards

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.6 Materials of trade exceptions