March 30, 2015: (N-15-3) PHMSA Issues Notice Concerning Spare Fuel Cell Cartridges in Checked Baggage

PHMSA has issued a notice regarding transporting spare fuel cell cartridges that contain flammable gas either by passenger or crew member in checked baggage. The notice was issued in response to the January 31st decision the U.S.. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit released regarding  HM-215K, a rulemaking in 2011 in which PHMSA did not harmonize with international regulations regarding the carriage of spare fuel cell cartridges in passenger and crew checked baggage. An administrative appeal was filed as a result of the prohibition and requested that PHMSA align with the ICAO Technical Instructions that requires all spare fuel cells containing Division 2.1 flammable gases to be carried in checked baggage.  The court ordered PHMSA to "provide an explanation for the prohibition on airline passengers and crew carrying flammable-gas fuel cell cartridges in their baggage…" As a result of this request, PHMSA has released this document that will provide a more thorough explanation and evidence to support PHMSA's decision to prohibit carrying spare fuel cell cartridges in checked baggage.

Read the full notice as posted in the Federal Register