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Interpretation Response #08-0112 ([Southwest Electronic Energy Corp.                                     ] [Mr. Randy Tanner                                           ])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Southwest Electronic Energy Corp.                                     

Individual Name: Mr. Randy Tanner                                           

Location State: TX Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

August 14, 2008






Mr. Randy Tanner                                           

Traffic Manager

Southwest Electronic Energy Corp.

12701 Royal Drive

P.O. Box 848

Stafford, Texas   77497-0848


Ref. No. 08-0112


Dear Mr. Tanner:


This responds to your April 21, 2008 letter requesting clarification of requirements applicable to shipping lithium battery packs by aircraft under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180.)  Specifically, you ask if you may ship these battery packs in UN specification packaging in accordance with the HMR and International Air Transport Association (IATA) requirements.  The IATA requirements are industry guidelines and are not recognized by the HMR.  Therefore, our response is framed in terms of the requirements of the HMR and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Technical Instructions (TI).

In your letter, you state that your overseas customers need to send lithium battery packs (UN 3090, Lithium batteries, 9, PG II) back to your facility in the United States for recycling or additional evaluation. Your customers request shipment by air. You believe that you may ship these lithium batteries if they are packaged in UN specification packaging for Class 9 materials. You ask if there any other regulatory issues that need to be addressed.

In accordance with the provisions of the HMR, you may ship these lithium battery packs as Class 9 material, provided they meet the requirements of §173.185(a) including UN specification packagings, and the applicable Special Provisions in §172.102 in the HMR.

However, you should also be aware that toHhe ICAO published an addendum/corrigendum applicable to the 2007-2008 ICAO Technical Instructions effective August 1, 2007.  The addendum added a new Special Provision 154 to the entry for Lithium Batteries, UN 3090; Lithium Batteries in equipment, UN3091; and Lithium Batteries packed with equipment, UN3091.  Special Provision 154 states, Lithium batteries, identified by the manufacturer as being defective for safety reasons, or that have been damaged, that have the potential of producing a dangerous evolution of heat, fire or short circuit are forbidden for transport (e.g. those being returned to the manufacturer for safety reasons).  It would be incumbent upon the offeror of the material to ensure compliance with this special provision.

I hope this answers your inquiry.




Susan Gorsky

Acting Chief, Standards Development

Office of Hazardous Materials Standards

173.185(a), 172.102




Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.185 Lithium cells and batteries