IATA Calls for Crackdown on Problem Lithium Battery Shippers

Posted on 8/22/2016 by Roger Marks

On August 15, 2016, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced it had issued a letter to trade, industry, and transportation authorities around the world to call for stricter enforcement of lithium battery shipping regulations.

Issued in cooperation with manufacturing and trade organizations like the US Rechargeable Battery Association (PRBA), RECHARGE, the Global Shippers Forum (GSF), and others, the letter warns about lithium battery shippers who currently flout international requirements for properly testing, classifying, packaging, marking, and labeling lithium batteries for air transport.

By offering undeclared or inadequately tested lithium batteries for air transport, these “problem shippers” have driven airlines and regulators to take a hard line on accepting lithium batteries for air transport, even from reputable shippers who do follow the complex and sometimes burdensome rules in place.

Shipping lithium batteries

New Lithium Battery Rules (2014–Present)

Since 2014, US and international regulators have taken action to address the hazards posed by lithium batteries in transportation, including:

What Is IATA?

An industry organization representing 265 of the world’s airlines (about 83% of all air traffic), IATA publishes its Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) each year. This DGR manual is the primary rulebook used by hazardous materials/dangerous goods air shippers to ensure safe, compliant air transport.

From IATA’s August 15 announcement:

“Airlines, shippers, and manufacturers have worked hard to establish rules that ensure lithium batteries can be carried safely. But these rules are only effective if they are enforced and backed-up by significant penalties. Government authorities must step up and take responsibility for regulating rogue producers and exporters. And flagrant abuses of dangerous goods shipping regulations, which place aircraft and passenger safety at risk, must be criminalized.” –Tony Tyler, Director General and CEO, IATA

See the full IATA lithium battery announcement here.       

Have questions about what’s required to ship lithium batteries or other dangerous goods by air? Check out the informative video on the Hazmat Air Shipper Training page.

Training for Lithium Battery Shippers

Get up to speed on the latest 49 CFR, IATA, and IMDG Code rules for offering lithium batteries for transport. Whether you ship your lithium batteries by themselves, in equipment, or with equipment, the Shipping Lithium Batteries online course will help you keep shipments in compliance.

What you don’t know can hurt you. Don’t risk rejection or fines up to $77K per day, per violation because of a rule you haven’t heard about. Find out what it takes to keep you lithium batteries shipments safe and in compliance, in 2017 and beyond. This online course is updated continuously to cover the latest rules for classifying, packaging, marking, labeling, loading, unloading, and filling out shipping papers for lithium battery shipments.

Tags: hazmat, IATA, lithium batteries, new rules, shipping

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