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Congress Considers Lithium Battery Air Ban

Posted on 2/12/2016 by Roger Marks

A Bill introduced in the US Senate this week would give the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) authority to ban bulk shipments of lithium-ion batteries from being carried as cargo on passenger airlines. If passed, the legislation would:

  • Repeal a 2012 ban that prohibited FAA from imposing restrictions on lithium-ion batteries that are more stringent than international rules created by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO); and
  • Create a task force to promote research and new standards for safe lithium battery manufacturing, use, and transportation.
A similar proposal failed to gain support in the House of Representatives earlier this week. The Senate bill—S. 2528, the Lithium Battery Safety Act of 2016—has been referred to the Senate committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

lithium ion batteries for air transport

ICAO Set to Ban Lithium Ion Battery Shipments

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is already mulling a ban on lithium-ion batteries carried as cargo on passenger flights. An ICAO panel recommended a ban in January which the organization is expected to vote on later this month. Previously, a similar ban on lithium-ion batteries was rejected by ICAO in an 11–7 vote.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents major air carriers, has already begun preparing for a lithium-ion battery ban to take place starting April 1.

April 1 also marks the beginning of the latest changes for lithium battery shippers. Added to the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) in an Addendum published last month, new requirements for lithium battery air shippers include a limit on state-of-charge (30%), restrictions on number of packages and number of batteries per package, and more.

Expert Training on New Lithium Battery Rules

Learn the latest rules and fulfill the DOT, IATA, and IMO training requirements to ship lithium-ion and/or lithium-metal batteries by ground, air, and vessel with the interactive Shipping Lithium Batteries Online Course. Complete your certification training at your own pace, from any Internet connection, 24/7, and get help from IT customer support 7 days a week. Plus, get a full 365 days of Lion Membership to help you keep up with lithium battery rules that seem to change by the day—get answers to your questions, access exclusive content and resources, and be among the first to know when rules change.  

Tags: DOT, hazmat shipping, ICAO, lithium batteries

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