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Interpretation Response #16-0123 ([Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hansen & Feary, P.C.] [Timothy Wiseman])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hansen & Feary, P.C.

Individual Name: Timothy Wiseman

Location State: IN Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

March 22, 2017

Mr. Timothy W. Wiseman
Managing Partner
Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hansen & Feary, P.C.
10 West Market Street, Suite 1400
Indianapolis, IN  46204

Reference No. 16-0123

Dear Mr. Wiseman:

This letter is in response to your June 23, 2016, email requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to packaging requirements for lithium batteries that each weigh more than 12 kg (26.5 lbs).  Specifically, you request confirmation that lithium batteries secured in the racking system described in your email conform to the provisions of § 173.185(b)(5).  

In your email, you described a racking system used to transport lithium batteries in dedicated trucks between manufacturing facilities.  The racking system consists of a frame and a series of shelves.  The frame of the racking system is steel tubing, and the sides of the rack and each shelf are molded corrugated plastic.  A single lithium ion battery is placed in a foam partition and bolted to a shelf in the rack.  You provided pictures and diagrams of the batteries and the racking system.  

Based on the information provided, it is the opinion of this Office that the batteries placed in the rack system would not meet conditions described in § 173.185(b)(5).  As prescribed in § 173.185(b)(5), lithium batteries and assemblies must have a strong impact resistant outer casing.  The batteries described in your letter do not meet this requirement.  However, special permits may authorize relief from any requirement in the HMR, provided the applicant demonstrates an equivalent level of safety to that intended by the regulation.  To apply, you must submit an application to the Associate Administrator for Hazardous Materials Safety in conformance with the requirements prescribed in 49 CFR Part 107, Subpart B.  You may obtain information on the special permit application process from our website at, or by calling PHMSA’s Approvals and Permits Division at (202) 366-4511.

I hope this information is helpful.  Please contact us if we can be of further assistance.


Duane A. Pfund
International Standards Coordinator
Standards and Rulemaking Division

173.185(b)(5), 107

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.185 Lithium cells and batteries