New Regulations for Shipping Lithium Ion Batteries

Last modified: April 1, 2016

lithium ion batteriesThe International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) recently announced drastic regulation changes regarding the transport of lithium ion batteries. These batteries, which can be found in products such as cell phones, tablets, medical devices and more, were typically transported at 60-80% charge capacity. With the new law, any lithium ion battery that is transported outside of a device must be at 30% capacity in order to be shipped on passenger aircraft.

Lithium ion battery regulations effective April 1

This new regulation also comes with an accelerated timeline – the change will take effect as of today, April 1, 2016. Other aspects of the new legislation include:

  • Any packs of uninstalled lithium ion batteries (ones not found in devices or products) can continue to be shipped using Section II of Packing Instruction 965.
  • If a shipment contains more than one package of lithium ion batteries that are not pre-installed into products or shipped with equipment, the battery packs must be shipped under Section IB of Packing Instruction 965. Each package needs a lithium-handling label and a Class 9 Hazard label, and it must be accompanied by a Dangerous Goods Certificate that has been signed by a shipper who has been trained, tested, and certified to ship dangerous goods.

Lithium Ion Batteries a Safety Concern

This new legislation comes as a response to safety concerns of transporting lithium ion batteries. These types of batteries come with fire and explosion risks, and the Federal Aviation Administration, the International Aviation Transport Association, and the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board are working together to keep passengers on airplanes safe. Several commercial passenger airlines, such as Delta and United Airlines, already have rules and guidelines in place that prohibit lithium ion batteries from being transported as cargo on their aircraft. The NTSB has issued a recommendation that lithium ion batteries be physically separated from other flammable cargo, and also recommends that airlines establish maximum loading density requirements designed to restrict the amount of lithium ion batteries and other hazardous materials on aircraft. This recommendation comes after their investigation of the 2011 crash of Asiana Airlines, where it was concluded that the crash was caused by a fire from batteries in the cargo area.

What this means for battery transportation

It’s crucial that shipping and transportation companies take steps to be compliant with these new regulations. At Flash Global, we work diligently to stay on top of the latest shipping trends and regulations, enabling you to remain compliant and productive, regardless of external factors and laws. For more information on how these changes will affect global trade compliance, contact us today.

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