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Interpretation Response #17-0023 ([Solvay CYTEC Group] [Mr. Geoffrey De Vinney])

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Solvay CYTEC Group

Individual Name: Mr. Geoffrey De Vinney

Location State: MD Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

August 14, 2017

Geoffrey DeVinney
Global Labeling and Packaging Manager
Solvay CYTEC Group
1300 Revolution Street
Havre de Grace, MD 21078

Reference No. 17-0023

Dear Mr. DeVinney:

This letter is in response to your February 17, 2017, email and subsequent phone conversation requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to the lithium battery mark for smaller lithium cells or batteries. You indicate that your company offers temperature recorders for transportation by aircraft and that each temperature recorder is powered by a single lithium metal battery with a lithium metal content less than 2 grams. In your email, you describe the following scenario:

  • There are six packages are on a pallet.
  • Two of the packages on the pallet contain a temperature recorder powered by a lithium metal battery for a total of two lithium batteries contained in equipment.
  • Each lithium metal battery meets the size requirements in § 173.185(c).

Specifically, you ask if the packages described in your scenario must display the lithium battery mark.

The answer is no. In accordance with § 173.185(c), the lithium battery mark is not required when there are "no more than four lithium cells or two lithium batteries contained in equipment, where there are no more than two packages in the consignment." The packages in the scenario above are not required to display the lithium battery mark because the consignment only contains two packages each containing no more than two lithium batteries contained in equipment. Although there are additional packages within the consignment, the additional packages are not included in the calculation of number of packages in the consignment limit, because they do not contain any lithium batteries.

Additionally, on March 30, 2017, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published a final rule titled, "Hazardous Materials: Harmonization with International Standards (RRR)" [HM-215N; 82 FR 15796] to align the HMR with certain international standards. In this rulemaking, PHMSA incorporated by reference the 2017–2018 version of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (Technical Instructions). The HM-215N final rule also revised the language in § 173.185(c)(3) to align with the applicable requirements of the ICAO Technical Instructions. Therefore, the lithium battery mark requirements would be the same if you were to ship the lithium metal batteries in accordance with the ICAO Technical Instructions for your scenario.

In addition to the HMR requirements, when devices are transported in active mode, compliance with all applicable FAA requirements, including those in 49 CFR § 91.21 that address operation of portable electronic devices aboard aircraft must be ensured. Information and guidance to assist with compliance of the requirement can be found in Advisory Circular (AC) 91.21-1C "Use of Portable Electronic Devices Aboard Aircraft." For additional information regarding the FAA requirements, or if you seek an interpretation on whether your particular device meets the electronic transmission requirement contained in 14 CFR § 91.21 you may contact the FAA at the following address:

Federal Aviation Administration
Office of the Chief Counsel
Regulations Division
800 Independence Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20591

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



Dirk Der Kinderen
Chief, Standards Development
Standards and Rulemaking Division

173.185(c), 173.185(c)(3), 91.21, 91.21-1C

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.185 Lithium cells and batteries