49 CFR 172 Special Provision 189 (Numeric Codes)

These provisions are multi-modal and apply to bulk and non-bulk packagings.
Code189
DescriptionMedium lithium cells and batteries. Effective October 1, 2008, when transported by motor vehicle or rail car, lithium cells or batteries, including cells or batteries packed with or contained in equipment, are not subject to any other requirements of this subchapter if they meet all of the following:
  • a. The lithium content anode of each cell, when fully charged, is not more than 5 grams.
  • b. The aggregate lithium content of the anode of each battery, when fully charged, is not more than 25 grams.
  • c. The cells or batteries are of a type proven to meet the requirements of each test in the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria (IBR; see §171.7 of this subchapter). A cell or battery and equipment containing a cell or battery that was first transported prior to January 1, 2006 and is of a type proven to meet the criteria of Class 9 by testing in accordance with the tests in the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria, Third revised edition, 1999, need not be retested.
  • d. Cells or batteries are separated or packaged in a manner to prevent short circuits and are packed in a strong outer packaging or are contained in equipment.
  • e. The outside of each package must be marked “LITHIUM BATTERIES—FORBIDDEN FOR TRANSPORT ABOARD AIRCRAFT AND VESSEL” on a background of contrasting color, in letters:
    • (1) At least 12 mm (0.5 inch) in height on packages having a gross weight of more than 30 kg (66 pounds); or
    • (2) At least 6 mm (0.25 inch) on packages having a gross weight of 30 kg (66 pounds) or less, except that smaller font may be used as necessary to fit package dimensions.
  • f. Except when contained in equipment, each package containing more than 24 lithium cells or 12 lithium batteries must be:
    • (1) Marked to indicate that it contains lithium batteries, and special procedures should be followed if the package is damaged;
    • (2) Accompanied by a document indicating that the package contains lithium batteries and special procedures should be followed if the package is damaged;
    • (3) Capable of withstanding a 1.2 meter drop test in any orientation without damage to cells or batteries contained in the package, without shifting of the contents that would allow short circuiting and without release of package contents; and
    • (4) Gross weight of the package may not exceed 30 kg (66 pounds). This requirement does not apply to lithium cells or batteries packed with equipment.
  • g. Electrical devices must conform to §173.21 of this subchapter; and
  • h. A written report submitted, retained, and updated in accordance with §171.16 is required if a fire, violent rupture, explosion or dangerous evolution of heat (i.e., an amount of heat sufficient to be dangerous to packaging or personal safety to include charring of packaging, melting of packaging, scorching of packaging, or other evidence) occurs as a direct result of a lithium battery or battery-powered device.
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