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Interpretation Response #07-0199 ([Department of Defense Explosive Safety Board] [Mr. Curtis M. Bowling])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Department of Defense Explosive Safety Board

Individual Name: Mr. Curtis M. Bowling

Location State: VA Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

March 28, 2008


Mr. Curtis M. Bowling

Department of Defense Explosive Safety Board

2461 Eisenhower Avenue

Alexandria, VA 22331-0600

Ref. No.: 07-0199

Dear Mr. Bowling:

This is in response to your October 11, 2007 letter regarding testing requirements for lithium batteries under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180). Your questions are paraphrased and answered as follows:

Q1. If a manufacturer ships a small production run of batteries to the Department of Defense (DoD) and DoD incorporates the batteries into a device, must DoD test the batteries before offering the device for transportation?

A1. No. Subsequent shipments of small production run batteries may be shipped under Special Provision 29. You should be aware that the exception for small production runs in Special Provision 29 does not apply to transportation by aircraft. Therefore, if DoD intends to ship the devices via commercial aircraft, testing of the batteries is required.

Q2. When transporting a device classified as an explosive that contains a primary lithium battery, do the new marking requirements for lithium batteries apply as amended in Docket HM 224C and HM 224E, published August 9, 2007 (72 FR 44929)?

A2. A device that contains an explosive must be examined and approved by the Associate Administrator for Hazardous Materials Safety in accordance with § 173.56(b). In the future, approvals issued by the Associate Administrator for devices containing explosives and lithium batteries will specify the marking requirements. Effective October 1, 2008, packages containing small lithium cells and batteries must be marked in accordance with Special Provision 188, including those classified by the DoD in accordance with § 173.56(b)(2).

Q3. DoD has a device containing an explosive and a small lithium battery. The device was examined and determined to be non regulated based on the size of the battery. Is DoD required to perform UN testing on the battery device based on the new requirements promulgated under Docket HM 224C?

A3. Yes. In accordance with Special Provision 188, effective October 1, 2009, the battery must be of a type proven to meet the requirements of each test in the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria for transport as Class 9 or excepted.

I hope this information is helpful. If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact this office.


Hattie L. Mitchell

Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention

Office of Hazardous Materials Standard

173.56(b), 173.185

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.185 Lithium cells and batteries