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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 #18-0098

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 J. Lloyd

Location State: PA Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

March 27, 2019

Mr. Richard J. Lloyd
31 Bastian Lane
Allentown, PA  18104

Reference No. 18-0098

Dear Mr. Lloyd:

This responds to your July 3, 2018, email requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to the hazard communication requirements for packages containing lithium ion batteries in equipment when transported by air.  Specifically, you ask whether a shipment consisting of 10 identical packages containing one lithium ion battery installed in equipment (UN3481) per package, needs to be marked with the lithium battery mark prescribed in § 173.185(c)(3).  Each battery in the shipment has a Watt-hour (Wh) rating of less than 100 Wh and each package is prepared in accordance with § 173.185.

The answer is yes.  As prescribed in § 173.185(c)(3), each package must display the lithium battery mark except when a package contains button cell batteries installed in equipment (including circuit boards), or no more than four lithium cells or two lithium batteries contained in equipment, where there are not more than two packages in the consignment.  Emphasis added.  As defined in the introductory text to § 173.185, consignment means one or more packages of hazardous materials accepted by an operator from one shipper at one time and at one address, receipted for in one lot and moving to one consignee at one destination address.  Therefore, assuming your shipment consists of more than two packages in each consignment, the lithium battery mark is required.  This requirement is also consistent with Packing Instruction 967 of the ICAO Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air.

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

173.185(c)(3), 173.185

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.185 Lithium cells and batteries