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Interpretation Response #08-0019

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

Interpretation Response Details

Response Publish Date: 02-25-2008
Individual Name: Mr. Charles W. Guthrie
Location state: VA    Country: US

View the Interpretation Document

Response text: February 19, 2008

Mr. Charles W. Guthrie
2492 Haversham Close
Virginia Beach, VA 23454

Ref. No.: 08-0019

Dear Mr. Guthrie:

This is in response to your letter dated January 9, 2008 regarding the transportation of dry cell batteries under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180). Specifically, you ask whether nickel metal hydride camera batteries are subject to the HMR when transported by aircraft.

Nickel metal hydride batteries are properly classified as "Batteries, dry." Special provision 130 in § 172.102 excepts "Batteries, dry" from regulation when they are securely packaged and offered for transportation in a manner that prevents the dangerous evolution of heat (for example, by effective insulation of exposed terminals) and protects against short circuits. However, you should be aware that § 173.21(c) forbids the transportation of electrical devices that are likely to create sparks or generate a dangerous quantity of heat, unless they are packaged in a manner to preclude such an occurrence. Provided the batteries are properly packaged and protected, they are not regulated under the HMR.

On March 26, 2007 we issued a safety advisory in the Federal Register (72 FR 14167) to provide the traveling public and airline employees with information on the importance of properly packing and handling batteries and battery-powered devices when they are carried aboard aircraft. The advisory suggests practical measures for the safe transportation of batteries. You should: 1) Keep batteries installed in portable electronic devices; 2) Pack spare batteries in carry-on baggage; 3) Keep spare batteries in the original retail packaging; 4) If original packaging is not available, effectively insulate battery terminals; and 5) Not carry recalled, damaged, or counterfeit batteries. A copy of the safety advisory is enclosed.

I hope this information is helpful. If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact this office.


John A. Gale
Chief, Standards Development
Office of Hazardous Materials Standards

172.102, 175.10

Regulation Sections

Section Subject
§ 173.21 Forbidden materials and packages