ICAO Bans Lithium Ion Batteries as Cargo on Passenger Aircraft, Effective April 1

Posted on 2/23/2016 by Roger Marks

Yesterday, February 22, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) announced that a prohibition on lithium-ion batteries (UN 3480) as cargo on passenger aircraft will take effect April 1, 2016.

The “ban” applies only to lithium-ion batteries packed alone under IATA Packing Instruction 965 Sections IA, IB, and II. Shipments of lithium-ion batteries packed in equipment or with equipment (UN 3481) are not affected.

Affected lithium-ion battery shipments must now display the Cargo Aircraft only label, in addition to other hazmat marks and labels requried by the regulations:

Cargo Aircraft Only label for hazmat air shipments

The passenger aircraft ban for lithium-ion batteries was suggested by ICAO’s Air Navigation Commission (ANC) earlier this year. The approval of the UN 3480 passenger aircraft ban is the latest development for lithium battery shippers, following new restrictions set forth in IATA’s 57th Dangerous Goods Regulations and the later addenda to that edition.

Read IATA released its third update of the year on this specific topic. Read it here: Lithium Batteries As Cargo in 2016 Update III

IATA also discussed the ban in a previous lithium battery update earlier this month.

Concerns about lithium batteries in transport also showed up in the US Senate recently, where a bill was introduced in the Senate this month to give FAA more authority create rules for lithium battery shipments more stringent than international requirements.  

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