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Lithium Battery Updates in the 2022 IATA DGR

Posted on 8/27/2021 by Roseanne Bottone and Roger Marks

IATA’s 63rd Edition Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) manual will incorporate two major changes for lithium battery air shippers. The changes impact IATA DGR Packing Instructions 965, 966, 968, and 969.

The new Edition of the IATA DGR takes effect on January 1, 2022.

Lithium Batteries or Cells Shipped Separately

One change will impact shippers of standalone lithium-ion and lithium-metal cells and batteries (UN 3480 and UN 3090). "Standalone" batteries are those not shipped "in equipment" or "with equipment." 

IATA removed the provisions for Section II lithium batteries from the Packing Instructions (PI) associated with these shipments, PI 965 and PI 968. Beginning in 2022, lithium battery shipments that fit the criteria for “Section II” must be shipped using Section IA or IB of the appropriate Packing Instruction.

Transition Period for Shippers

Shippers may follow the provisions for Section II lithium cells and batteries until March 31, 2022. After this three-month transition period, batteries prepared according to Section II of PI 965 or 968 will not be authorized in air transport. 

What Are Section II Lithium Batteries or Cells?

“Section II” refers to smaller lithium batteries that qualify for relief from some of the most burdensome IATA DGR air shipping rules.

The thresholds for Section II lithium batteries are: 
 
  Lithium-metal (UN 3090) Lithium-ion (UN 3480)
Cell Not more than 1g Not more than 20 Wh
Battery Not more than 2g Not more than 100 Wh
 
If this announcement from IATA gives you déjà vu, remember that FedEx and UPS instituted similar policies concerning Section II lithium batteries for their shipping customers in 2017.

To reflect the deletion of Section II from PI 965 and PI 968, IATA will also update various DGR regulations concerning training, special provisions, hazard communications, and more that made mention of Section II provisions.

Lithium Batteries or Cells Packed with Equipment

For lithium batteries packed with equipment, IATA revised the wording of Packing Instructions 966 and 969 to clarify the allowed packing options.

See more changes for the 2022 IATA DGR here.  

Charging Ahead to 2023

The new DGR Edition includes Appendix I, which gives us a preview of changes planned for next year’s DGR, the 64th Edition, that will take effect on January 1, 2023.

In 2023, equipment that contain only lithium button cells, like circuit boards, will be excluded from the Test Summary requirement added in 2020. In addition, IATA will remove the requirement for a telephone number to appear on the lithium battery mark. This change will roll in over a four-year transition period, during which shippers can continue to use the existing mark.

Flexible Lithium Battery Training for 2022 

Organizations big and small are using online hazardous materials and safety training to maintain a flexible, efficient shipping operation in 2022. Employees learn to perform their jobs in full compliance with complex US and international regulations for classifying, packaging, and documenting lithium battery shipments.

Learn online, at your own pace, or join us for a live, instructor-led webinar in October. 

Shipping Lithium Batteries Training

*US DOT requires hazmat training for all "hazmat employees" once every three years—including staff who prepare lithium battery shipments.

**For air shippers, the IATA DGR requires hazmat training once every 24 months. 

Tags: hazmat air shipping, IATA DGR, lithium batteries, lithium batteries by air, PI 968

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