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Interpretation Response #08-0147 ([ComSonics, Inc.] [Mr. Daniel Brown])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: ComSonics, Inc.

Individual Name: Mr. Daniel Brown

Location State: VA Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

July 2, 2008

Mr. Daniel Brown
Product Support and Development Specialist
ComSonics, Inc.
1350 Port Republic Road
P.O. Box 1106
Harrisonburg, VA 22801

Ref. No. 08-0147

Dear Mr. Brown:

This is in response to your May 22, 2008 letter requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to lithium batteries. Specifically, you ask whether a secondary lithium battery is considered "small" if its equivalent lithium content (ELC) is less than 8 grams. You ask if there are any ground restrictions for such a battery and whether it is subject to the United Nations (UN) Manual of Tests and Criteria tests T1 through T8.

On August 9, 2007, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration (PHMSA) amended the HMR to enhance the safe transportation of lithium batteries, including both primary (non-rechargeable) and secondary (rechargeable) lithium batteries (HM-224C & HM-224E; 72 FR 44929). One amendment in this rulemaking was the addition of Special Provision 188 in
§ 172.102 of the HMR for small lithium cells and batteries. That provision specifies that a "small" lithium-ion battery has an aggregate ELC of not more than 8 grams. Except for hazardous communication requirements specified under this Special Provision, there are no restrictions for the ground transportation of a secondary lithium battery. Effective October 1, 2009, the cell or battery must be of a type proven to meet the requirements of tests T1 through T8 in the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria.

I hope this information is helpful.


Susan Gorsky,
Regulations Officer
Office of Hazardous Materials Standards


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.185 Lithium cells and batteries
175.10 Exceptions for passengers, crewmembers, and air operators