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Interpretation Response #12-0261 ([Vasco Data Security NV] [Mr. Marc Covens])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Vasco Data Security NV

Individual Name: Mr. Marc Covens

Country: BE

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

January 24, 2013

Mr. Marc Covens
Vasco Data Security NV
Assesteenweg 291
Mollem 1730
Belgium
 
Ref. No.: 12-0261

Dear Mr. Covens:

This is in response to your November 19, 2012 email, and subsequent phone conversation with a member of my staff, requesting clarification of the requirements for shipping UN 3091 lithium metal batteries contained in equipment under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180), the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code, and the International Air Transport Association Dangerous Goods Regulations (IATA DGR).  Specifically you provide details about your shipments and ask if these shipments could be considered general cargo without any battery handling label attached or with an accompanying special handling declaration under IATA DGR, the IMDG Code, and the HMR.  

Your email states your product consists of equipment powered by up to three lithium metal button cell batteries, per device.  You state the average amount of lithium per cell is .07 g with a maximum of .51 g with energy per cell maximum of 1.83 Wh.  The total net weight of battery cells per package you state is 3.3 kg.  You indicated by phone that all batteries are of a type proved to meet the requirements of each test in the United Nations Manual of Tests and Criteria, Part III sub-section 38.3 and that your packages meet the general packaging requirements for excepted batteries found in the IATA DGR and the IMDG Code.

The HMR incorporate by reference the International Civil Aviation Organization Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods (ICAO TI), and does not reference the IATA DGR.  The ICAO TI requirements for shipments of lithium metal batteries contained in equipment are found in packing instruction 970.  Section II of packing instruction 970 states that lithium metal cells and batteries contained in equipment offered for transport are not subject to other additional requirements of the ICAO TI if they meet the requirements of section II of packing instruction 970.  The data you provided about your products indicates your shipments of equipment containing lithium metal batteries appear to meet the requirements of section II of packing instruction 970 of the ICAO TI, and would be eligible for the exceptions provided and could be offered as general cargo.  The ICAO TI provides an exception for equipment containing four or less cells or two or less batteries from the requirement to label packages with a battery handling label and accompanying documentation.

The IMDG Code exceptions for lithium batteries contained in equipment are found in special provision 188.  Lithium cells and batteries are not subject to other provision of the IMDG Code if they meet all of the requirements in special provision 188.  Based on the information you provided it appears your lithium metal batteries contained in equipment qualify for the exception provided in special provision 188, including exception from the requirements for a battery handling label and accompanying documentation.

Lithium batteries contained in equipment in the HMR are assigned special provision 188.  Special provision 188 provides exceptions for small lithium batteries and cells.  Based on the information you provided it appears your lithium batteries contained in equipment appear to qualify for the exceptions provided in special provision 188 in the HMR, including exception from the requirements for a battery handling label and accompanying documentation.

Based on the information provided it appears that your lithium metal batteries contained in equipment qualify to take the exceptions provided in the ICAO TI, IMDG Code, and the HMR and may be transported as general cargo without a lithium battery handling label or accompanying special handling documentation. 

 
I hope this information is helpful.  If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact this office.

Sincerely,

Delmer Billings
Senior Regulatory Advisor
Standards and Rulemaking Division

172.102 SP 188, 173.185

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.185 Lithium cells and batteries