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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 #15-0021 ([United Parcal Service] [Mr. Samuel S. Elkind])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: United Parcal Service

Individual Name: Mr. Samuel S. Elkind

Location State: GA Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

August 12, 2015

Samuel S. Elkind
Corporate Regulated Goods Manager
United Parcel Service
55 Glenlake Parkway, NE.
Atlanta, GA 30328-3474

Ref. No. 15-0021

Dear Mr. Elkind:

This responds to your January 27, 2015 letter requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180). Specifically, you request clarification on hazard communication requirements in § 173.185(c)(3)(ii) regarding lithium cells or batteries.

Section 173.185(c)(3)(ii) requires that shipments of lithium cells or batteries in several configurations must be accompanied by a document that contains information specified in the regulations. You state that some customers suggest the provisions in § 173.185(c)(3)(ii) may be satisfied by enclosing the document within the package containing the lithium cells or batteries. You state that you are aware of the opinion voiced by PHMSA representatives at public meetings that the document is intended to be used away from the package. Finally, you state that you are aware that when you tender a shipment of lithium cells or batteries to a commercial airline for transport to its final destination, the document must be furnished to the interline air carrier. You seek clarification whether a document contained inside a package would satisfy the requirements of § 173.185(c)(3)(ii).

While not recommended by PHMSA, it is not prohibited to place the document in the package in accordance with requirements in § 173.185(c)(3)(ii). This document may also be transmitted attached to the package (for example, in an accessible pouch affixed to the package) or may be transmitted separately to the carrier in a manner that permits the information to be produced as a paper document without delay.

I hope this satisfies your inquiry. If you need additional assistance, please contact this Office at 202-366-8553.



Dirk Der Kinderen
Acting Chief, Standards Development Branch
Standards and Rulemaking Division


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.185 Lithium cells and batteries