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Interpretation Response #22-0007

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date:

Company Name: Consolidated Nuclear Security

Individual Name: Chris Carthel

Location State: TX Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text:

October 20, 2022

Chris Carthel
Consolidated Nuclear Security
Pantex Plant
P.O. Box 30020
Amarillo, TX  79120-0020

Reference No. 22-0007

Dear Mr. Carthel:

This letter is in response to your January 27, 2022, email requesting clarification of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) applicable to lithium cells and batteries. In your email, you ask about the testing requirements specified in § 173.185(a) and the shipper's responsibility for verifying—prior to shipment—that lithium cells and batteries offered for transportation meet the criteria in part III, subsection 38.3 of the United Nations (UN) Manual of Tests and Criteria. Specifically, you ask whether a general statement in a safety data sheet, website, email, or other document provided by the manufacturer that the lithium batteries meet the test criteria would satisfy the requirements of § 173.185(a)(2) or must a shipper obtain and review the test summary document itself.

In accordance with § 173.185(a)(1), each lithium cell or battery must be of a type proven to meet the criteria in part III, subsection 38.3 of the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria. Each manufacturer and subsequent distributor of lithium cells or batteries manufactured on or after January 1, 2008, must make available a test summary. See § 173.185(a)(3). The test summary includes a standardized set of elements that provide traceability and accountability, thereby ensuring that lithium cell and battery designs offered for transport contain specific information on the required UN tests. Additionally, it is the responsibility of the shipper to ensure the cell or battery is of a tested type. A shipper could rely on information provided by the battery or product manufacturer as evidence that the cell or battery meets the required tests, but this would not meet the requirement for a manufacturer or distributor to make available a test summary as required in § 173.185(a)(2).

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(a), 173.185(a)(1), 173.185(a)(2), 173.185(a)(3)

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
173.185 Lithium cells and batteries