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Interpretation Response #19-0084

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Duke Energy

Individual Name: Charles Denny

Location State: NC Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

October 24, 2019

Charles Denny
Duke Energy
410 S. Wilmington Street, NC15
Raleigh, NC  27601

Reference No. 19-0084

Dear Mr. Denny:

This letter is in response to your June 19, 2019, email requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to lithium metal batteries contained in equipment. Specifically, you provide the following scenario and ask whether the lithium battery mark requirement applies to your packages:

  • You state Duke Energy receives smart grid electric meters that each contain a single lithium metal battery with a content of ≤ 2 grams of lithium per battery;
  • Each smart grid electric meter containing a single lithium metal battery will be classified as "UN3091, Lithium metal batteries contained in equipment, 9";
  • Each consignment includes individual non-specification packages sent from the manufacturer containing four smart grid electric meters per box, with 30 of these non-specification packages shrink-wrapped together to a pallet, for a total of 120 smart grid electric meters per pallet; and
  • You state the shipments of these smart grid electric meters will be transported by highway.

We have paraphrased and answered your questions as follows:

Q1. You ask whether each package would be required to be marked with the lithium battery mark.

A1. The answer is yes. Based on the information you provided, each package must display the lithium battery mark as required in § 173.185(c)(3) since there are more than two packages in the consignment.

Q2. You inquire about the marking requirements if the manufacturer decides to ship all 120-smart grid electric meters in one non-specification rigid outer package (rather than four smart grid electric meters per box).

A2. Based on the information you provided, the outer package containing the 120 electric meters must display the lithium battery mark (see § 173.185(c)(3)) as the package contains more than two lithium batteries contained in equipment.

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
173.185 Lithium cells and batteries