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Interpretation Response #17-0099

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date: 03-16-2018
Company Name: XPO Logistics    Individual Name: Erin Sineath
Location state: NC    Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Request text:

March 12, 2018

Erin Sineath
Global Manager of Dangerous Goods
XPO Logistics
4043 Piedmont Parkway
High Point, NC  27265

Reference No. 17-0099

Dear Ms. Sineath:

This letter is in response to your September 11, 2017, email requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to non-spillable batteries.  Specifically, you ask if manufacturers are permitted to use symbols or pictograms that indicate "non-spillable" to meet the marking requirements of § 173.159a(c).

The answer is no. A person must adhere to the requirements in § 173.159a(c)(2), which state the battery and outer packaging must be plainly and durably marked "NON‑SPILLABLE" or "NON-SPILLABLE BATTERY." The quotation marks indicate the required verbiage that must be used when marking a non-spillable battery. The requirement to mark the outer package does not apply when the battery is installed in a piece of equipment that is transported unpackaged.

There is no restriction against using a symbol or pictogram to indicate non-spillable on a battery; however, it does not satisfy the required marking for compliance with the HMR.  Additionally, it is the opinion of this Office that the symbols and pictograms you provide in your email may not be universally known to communicate that the battery is non-spillable.

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


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


Regulation Sections

Section Subject
§ 173.159a Exceptions for non-spillable batteries