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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 #17-0112

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: Tom Boyd

Location State: ME Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

May 17, 2018

Mr. Tom Boyd
389 Brighton Hill Road
Minot, ME 04258

Reference No. 17-0112

Dear Mr. Boyd:

This letter is in response to your October 10, 2017, email requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to the configuration of wet batteries secured to a pallet. Specifically, you ask three questions regarding a letter of interpretation previously issued by this Office under Reference No. 14-0037.

We have paraphrased and answered your questions as follows:

Q1. You ask whether Configuration #1 in Reference No. 14-0037 complies with the provisions of § 173.159(d), which authorize the use of non-specification packagings for batteries packed without other materials.

A1. The answer is no. Because the non-battery materials are placed on top of the shrink‑wrapped battery layer on the same pallet in Configuration #1, the scenario is not in compliance with § 173.159(d).

Q2. You ask whether a shipper may place batteries packed in 5-sided slip covers on the same pallet with other materials under § 173.159(d).

A2. The answer is no. The scenario you describe in Question Q2 is only authorized under the terms of a special permit.

Q3. You ask if Special Permit DOT-SP 16171 authorizes other materials, such as pails, cans, or pipes, to be packed with batteries on the same pallet.

A3. The answer is yes, provided the pails, cans, or pipes are packed in plastic totes or fiberboard boxes under the terms of the special permit. Further, the materials must be contained in strong outer packagings that are sift-proof if solid or leakproof if liquid.

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


T. Glenn Foster
Chief, Regulatory Review and Reinvention Branch
Standards and Rulemaking Division

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.159 Batteries, wet