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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Interpretation Response #08-0124 ([Dist-Trans Company] [Mr. Daniel Raver])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Dist-Trans Company

Individual Name: Mr. Daniel Raver

Location State: OH Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

June 11, 2008

Mr. Daniel Raver

Safety & Compliance Manager

Dist-Trans Co.

1654 Williams Road.

Columbus, OH 43207

Ref. No.: 08-0124

Dear Mr. Raver:

This responds to your April 24, 2008 letter requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180). Specifically, you ask if a carrier may use the exception for electric storage batteries provided in § 173.159(e) when the original shipper of the batteries chooses not to use the exception. Additionally, you ask if the bill of lading must include a statement indicating that the batteries are transported in accordance with § 173.159(e).

Section 173.159(e) provides relief from the requirements of the HMR for shipments of electric storage batteries containing electrolyte or corrosive battery fluid when the following conditions are met:

(1) Transportation is by highway or rail;

(2) No other hazardous materials are transported in the same vehicle;

(3) The batteries are loaded or braced to prevent damage or short circuits during transportation;

(4) Any other material loaded in the same vehicle is blocked, braced, or otherwise secured to prevent contact with or damage to the batteries; and

(5) The transport vehicle does not carry material shipped by any person other than the shipper of the batteries.

A carrier may use the exception in § 173.159(e), even when the offeror of the batteries does not use the exception. For example, if an offeror provides placards to the carrier for a shipment of batteries, the carrier may choose to ship the batteries in accordance with § 173.159(e) and not display the placards on the transport vehicle. In this situation, the carrier must ensure that the requirements in § 173.159(e) are met.

A shipment of batteries made in accordance with § 173.159(e) does not require a shipping paper. Therefore, the bill of lading is not required to indicate that the batteries are transported in accordance with § 173.159(e).

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


John A. Gale

Chief, Standards Development

Office of Hazardous Materials Standards


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.159 Batteries, wet