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Interpretation Response #05-0076 ([Wiley Rein & Fielding LLP] [Mr. George A. Kerchner])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Wiley Rein & Fielding LLP

Individual Name: Mr. George A. Kerchner

Location State: DC Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

Aug 16, 2005


Mr. George A. Kerchner                    Reference No. 05-0076
Wiley Rein & Fielding LLP
1776 K Street NW
Washington, DC 20006

Dear Mr. Kerchner:

This is in response to your letter requesting clarification of shipping requirements under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) and the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG) for the SEGWAY mobility device when it contains two 36 g lithium ion batteries. Your questions are paraphrased and answered as follows:

Q1:      May the SEGWAY mobility device and related chassis and power base that contain two 36 g lithium ion batteries be shipped by ground in the United States under an exception in 49 CFR 173.220?

Al:        Yes. Section l73.220(g)(l) as amended by HM-224E interim final rule provides that a battery-powered vehicle or equipment that meets the other provisions of § 173.220 and contains no other hazardous materials is “not subject to any other requirements of [HMR] for transportation by motor vehicle or rail car.” The batteries must be securely fastened in the battery holder of the vehicle or engine, and be protected in such a manner as to prevent damage and short circuits. Lithium batteries must be of a type that have successfully passed each test in the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria as specified in § 173.185, unless approved by the Associate Administrator. A more limited exception for battery-powered vehicles and equipment applies to transportation by aircraft or vessel, and vehicles and machinery containing primary lithium batteries are forbidden aboard passenger-carrying aircraft except as provided in 49 CFR 172.101 (Special Provision A 102).

Q2:      Is the SEGWAY mobility device and related chassis and power base that contain two 36 g lithium ion batteries and classified as Battery-powered vehicle, or Battery-powered equipment UN 3171 excepted from the requirements of the IMDG Code, when transported by vessel?

A2:       Yes. The option to use Battery-powered vehicle or Battery-powered equipment UN 3171 as a hazardous materials shipping description for your SEGWAY mobility device dose not exist under the IMDG Code. Therefore, Battery-powered vehicle or Battery-powered equipment UN 3171 is not regulated under the IMDG Code. In addition, Special provision 106 of the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, states that UN 3171 is subject to the regulations only when transported by air. However, in accordance with 49 CFR 171.12(b)(3), a material that is designated as a hazardous material under the HMR, but is not subject to the requirements of the IMDG Code may not be transported in accordance with the IMDG Code and is subject to the requirements of the HMR.

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



Susan Gorsky
Acting Director
Office of Hazardous Materials Standards

173.220(f)(1), 173.185

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.185 Lithium cells and batteries
173.220 Internal combustion engines, vehicles, machinery containing internal combustion engines, battery-powered equipment or machinery, fuel cell-powered equipment or machinery