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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 #16-0003 ([Mr. Richard Lloyd])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name:

Individual Name: Mr. Richard Lloyd

Location State: PA Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

May 31, 2016

Mr. Richard Lloyd
31 Bastian Lane
Allentown, PA 18104

Ref. No.: 16-0003

Dear Mr. Lloyd

This responds to your email dated January 7, 2016, requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) and the 57th edition of the International Air Transport Association Dangerous Goods Regulations (IATA DGR) regarding exceptions for the shipment of smaller lithium metal cells and batteries contained in equipment. Specifically, you ask if the word “OVERPACK” must appear on the outside of an overpack when the package(s) contained in the overpack conform to the requirements of                             § 173.185(c)(4) and Section II of Packing Instruction 970 of the 57th edition of the IATA DGR and do not require the lithium battery handling label.
The IATA DGR do not have official standing under the HMR.  However, the provisions of §§ 171.22 - 24 of the HMR authorize the use of the International Civil Aviation Organization's Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (ICAO Technical Instructions) for packaging, marking, labeling, classifying, and describing hazardous materials which are transported by air and by motor vehicle either before or after being transported by air.  For the purposes of the ICAO Technical Instructions, Section II of Packing Instruction 970 and the HMR as provided by § 173.185(c)(4) when an overpack is used, the “OVERPACK” marking is only required when the package(s) is/are required to display the lithium battery handling label and the handling label is not visible through the overpack.
I hope this answers your inquiry.  If you need additional assistance, please contact the Standards and Rulemaking Division at (202) 366-8553.


Duane A. Pfund
International Standards Coordinator
Standards and Rulemaking Division

173.185(c)(4), 171.22 - 24

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.185 Lithium cells and batteries