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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 #10-0080 ([Swatch Group] [Mr. Thomas Affolter])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Swatch Group

Individual Name: Mr. Thomas Affolter

Country: DE

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

February 23, 2011

 

 

 

Mr. Thomas Affolter
Swatch Group
Bözingenstrasse 9
CH-2502 Biel

Ref. No.: 10-0080

Dear Mr. Affolter:

This is in response to your letter dated March 18, 2010 concerning the aircraft quantity limitations of the Hazardous Material Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to small primary (non-rechargeable) lithium batteries contained in equipment. In your letter, you made several references to a document produced by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration titled "Shipping Batteries Safely by Air; What you need to know" (the attached guide). Your questions have been paraphrased and answered as follows:

Q1. You referenced an excerpt from page 11 of the guide that reads "Primary (non-rechargeable) lithium cells and batteries are forbidden for transport aboard passenger carrying aircraft." May primary lithium cells and batteries that conform to § 172.102(c), Special Provision 188 be transported as cargo aboard passenger carrying aircraft without additional markings or labels provided the packages contain less than 5 kg net weight of lithium batteries?
A1. The statement on page 11 of the guide refers to primary lithium cells and batteries packaged without equipment as illustrated on page 10 of the guide. Primary lithium cells and batteries are forbidden for transport aboard passenger carrying aircraft regardless of quantity.
Primary lithium cells or batteries packed with or contained in equipment are permitted for transport aboard a passenger carrying aircraft provided the equipment and the cell(s) or battery(ies) conform to the following provisions and the package contains no more than the number of lithium cells or batteries necessary to power the intended piece of equipment:
1. The lithium content of each cell, when fully charged, is not more than 5 grams.
2. The aggregate lithium content of the anode of each battery, when fully charged, is not more than 25 grams.
3. The net weight of lithium batteries does not exceed 5 kg (11 lbs).
Q2. An excerpt from page 23 of the guide reads "Batteries packed in equipment may not exceed certain weight limits: Lithium batteries in equipment: 5 kg net (passenger air/rail), 35 kg net (cargo air)." Do the HMR impose aircraft quantity limits for lithium cells or batteries contained in equipment prepared for transport in accordance with the applicable provisions of Special Provision 188?

A2. The quantity limits specified on page 23 of the guide refer to packages containing lithium cells and batteries that are not prepared in accordance with the applicable provisions of Special Provision 188. Quantity and weight limits for packages prepared in accordance with Special Provision 188 are imposed as a condition of the exception. For example, packages containing primary lithium batteries contained in equipment are excepted from certain marking requirements provided the package contains 5 kg (11 lb) net weight or less of lithium cells or batteries and the package contains no more than the number of lithium cells or batteries necessary to power the piece of equipment.

I hope this answers your inquiry. If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact this office.

Sincerely,

Ben Supko
Acting Chief, Standards Development Branch
Standards and Rulemaking Division

Enclosure:  

http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/staticfiles/PHMSA/DownloadableFiles/Files/PHMS…

172.102(c) SP188

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.185 Lithium cells and batteries