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Interpretation Response #13-0179 ([PTP Consulting, Inc] [Carol Brozosky, CHMM, CET])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: PTP Consulting, Inc

Individual Name: Carol Brozosky, CHMM, CET

Location State: NJ Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

October 21, 2013

Carol Brozosky, CHMM, CET
PTP Consulting, Inc.
1531 Kings Highway
Swedesboro, NJ  08085

Reference No. 13-0179

Dear Ms. Brozosky:

This is in response to your August 26, 2013 letter concerning how to transport “UN 3091, Lithium batteries, contained in equipment, Class 9, Packing Group (PG) II” by motor vehicle under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180).  Specifically, you present a transportation scenario and ask if the actions you propose for transporting these batteries are permitted under Special Provision 188 of § 172.102 of the HMR.  We paraphrased the scenario and decisions you provided, and the question you posed, and answered it below.

Transportation Scenario

You state the shipper will:

• Transport used desktop and laptop computers and cellular (cell) phones that contain lithium batteries by motor vehicle within the United States from the equipment manufacturer’s location to a central location the manufacturer owns and operates.
• Assume each lithium cell and battery contained in these computers and cell phones is a small rechargeable lithium battery that meets the conditions prescribed in paragraphs (b) and (c) of § 172.102, Special Provision 188.  For example, lithium metal cells contain less than 1 gram of lithium, lithium ion cells contain less than 1.5 grams of lithium, and lithium batteries contain less than 2 grams of lithium metal or 8 grams of lithium ion metal.  
• Assume no primary lithium batteries and no batteries free from their equipment will be included in the shipments.
• Whenever possible, remove lithium batteries from their equipment, tape their electrical connectors to help prevent any potential for generating heat or short circuits, and then secure these batteries within their equipment.
• Surround the computers and cell phones with sufficient cushioning to prevent their movement during normal highway transportation and place them inside a large heavy duty corrugated box (e.g., a Gaylord box).  

Proposed Transportation Scenario Decisions

It is your understanding that:

• Each completed package that contains the above-described computers and cell phones is excepted from HMR labels and markings.
• The fiberboard box used to consolidate these devices may be a non-specification packaging.
• Special Provision 188, specifically paragraph (e), that requires these cells or batteries to be separated to prevent short circuits, does not require each computer or piece of equipment that contains a lithium battery to be individually packed.
• Shipping papers are not required for packagings that meet the transportation scenario and decisions you describe.
• Large heavy duty corrugated boxes containing these materials are not subject to a weight limit.  
• Persons preparing and offering these materials for transportation are not required to be hazmat trained in conformance with 49 CFR Part 172, Subpart H (Training).

Q1.   Have we correctly interpreted how to transport small UN 3091 batteries under the HMR?  

A1.   The answer is yes.  Class 9, UN 3091, Lithium batteries that comply with all applicable provisions in § 172.102, Special Provision 188, are not subject to any other requirements under the HMR.  

I hope this satisfies your request.


T. Glenn Foster
Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention Branch
Standards and Rulemaking Division


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.185 Lithium cells and batteries