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Interpretation Response #13-0134 ([Battery USA] [Mr. Jim Lawless])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Battery USA

Individual Name: Mr. Jim Lawless

Location State: FL Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

August 29, 2013

Mr. Jim Lawless
Battery USA
1840 S Combee Rd.
Lakeland, FL  33801

Ref. No.: 13-0134

Dear Mr. Lawless

This is in response to your June 20, 2013 email requesting clarification of exceptions for wet (electric storage) batteries under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180).  Specifically you request confirmation that your company’s practice of exchanging a new battery for a used battery complies with the condition found in § 173.159(e)(4).  You contend that after the transaction is completed you become the shipper of all of the batteries on the transport vehicle.  You ask if this practice complies with the requirements found in § 173.159(e)(4).    

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

(1) No other hazardous materials are transported in the same vehicle;
(2) The batteries are loaded or braced to prevent damage or short circuits during transportation;
(3) Any other material loaded in the same vehicle is blocked, braced, or otherwise secured to prevent contact with or damage to the batteries; and
(4) The transport vehicle does not carry material shipped by any person other than the shipper of the batteries.  

For purposes of the HMR, an "offeror" is any person who performs, or is responsible for performing a pre-transportation function required under the HMR for transportation of a hazardous material in commerce, or who tenders or makes the hazardous material available to a carrier for transportation in commerce (see § 171.8).  The conditions required to be a shipper are independent of possession or ownership of cargo.  If after taking possession of the battery your company performs all pre-transportation functions necessary for the shipment you are acting as the shipper of the batteries.         

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


Duane Pfund
International Standards Coordinator
Standards and Rulemaking Division


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.159 Batteries, wet