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Interpretation Response #09-0255 ([Wiley Rein LLP] [Mr. George 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 LLP

Individual Name: Mr. George Kerchner

Location State: DC Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

March 1, 2010




Mr. George Kerchner
Wiley Rein LLP
1776 K Street NW
Washington, DC 20006

Ref. No.: 09-0255

Dear Mr. Kerchner:

This is in response to your November 1, 2009 email requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to the transport of small production runs of lithium batteries. The HMR except production runs of not more than 100 lithium cells or batteries from UN design type testing requirements under the conditions specified in § 172.102(c) Special provision 29. Your questions are paraphrased and answered below:

Q1. When untested lithium batteries contained in equipment are intended for transport in accordance with the provisions of Special provision 29, must the equipment be packaged in accordance with Special provision 29?
A1. Yes. Equipment containing lithium batteries offered for transportation in accordance with Special provision 29 must be placed in an outer packaging that is a metal, plastic or plywood drum or metal, plastic or wooden box that meets the criteria for Packing Group I packagings.
Q2. May equipment containing low production cells and batteries be transported in accordance with Special provision 188?

A2. Low production lithium cells and batteries, including cells and batteries packed with or contained in equipment, may be shipped in accordance with Special provision 188. However, the lithium cells and batteries must meet each of the requirements in Special provision 188, including the requirement for lithium cells and batteries to be of a type proven to meet each of the applicable tests outlined in the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria.

Q3. May equipment containing untested lithium cells and batteries complying with Special provision 29 be transported on aircraft?

A3. No. Special provision 29 permits transportation by motor vehicle, rail car and vessel only.

I trust this satisfies your inquiry. If we can be of further assistance, please contact us.


Charles E. Betts
Chief, Standards Development
Office of Hazardous Materials Standards

172.102 SP 29, 172.102 SP 188

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.185 Lithium cells and batteries