Transporting hazardous goods? Follow the rules… or face large fines

Last modified: November 29, 2016

Flash Global and its customers must follow applicable safety regulations and take appropriate precautions when preparing batteries for transportation. Lithium ion and lithium metal battery shipments are subject to both U.S. and International safety regulations which are dynamic and constantly changing. Failure to follow the regulations when packing shipments for transporting hazardous goods could result in fines or other penalties. Here are some examples of fines in recent years.transporting hazardous goods

  • NOVEMBER 2014: The Federal Aviation Administration proposed a $168,000 civil penalty against MedStar Health for allegedly violating the Hazardous Materials Regulations when it offered a box containing 180 lithium ion batteries to FedEx for shipment by air. According to the FAA, the batteries were improperly packaged in a plastic bag that was not sufficient to prevent the batteries from short-circuiting. The FAA also said MedStar failed to do the following when preparing for the transporting of hazardous goods:
    • Failed to declare the hazardous materials and did not label the package for cargo aircraft only.
    • Did not provide emergency response information with the shipment
    • Failed to ensure its employees received training for shipping hazardous materials.
  • MARCH 2015: The FAA proposed $82,500 in civil penalties against China Express International, accusing that company of offering a single lithium ion battery pack for air transportation to United Airlines.
  • JUNE 2015: The FAA proposed a civil penalty of $63,000 against CTC Battery for offering an undeclared shipment of four 12.8V rechargeable lithium ion phosphate batteries to UPS for air transportation. Among the FAA allegations:
    • The shipment was not accompanied by shipping papers indicating the hazardous nature of the contents.
    • CTC Battery failed to provide emergency response information.
  • JUNE 2015: The FAA fined a Hayward, California-based battery manufacturer $63,000 for violations of the hazmat regulations, including not ensuring its employees had received hazardous materials training. The company allegedly offered four 12.8-volt rechargeable lithium batteries for air transport.


When it comes to transporting hazardous goods, Flash Global works diligently with all customers to ensure shipments that are classified as Dangerous Goods—including those involving lithium batteries—are transported safely and in accordance with U.S. and international safety regulations. Certified trainers are working to certify team members in our Partner Management Network and throughout the Flash organization to help ensure we remain compliant in our practices for shipping dangerous goods.

If you have questions or concerns regarding this, please contact Global Trade Compliance at

For more regarding the regulations for transporting hazardous goods, consult the U.S. DOT’s Hazardous Materials Regulations (49 CFR), the U.S. DOT’s online information at, or call the U.S. DOT’s Hazardous Materials Information Center at 1-800-467-4922. International and domestic air shipments may additionally be subject to the Dangerous Goods Regulations of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). For more information IATA regulations can be found at

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