Is This Lithium Battery Marking Compliant or Not?
This marking tells a story, and I think it raises an important point for every business that ships lithium battery powered devices and equipment (or any other regulated hazardous material).
To the right, you can see what the lithium battery mark on my friend's computer package looked like.
That lithium battery mark is definitely stylish. I like the way the red, black, and white look together. But there are no style points in hazmat compliance.
The question that matters is: Is this a compliant lithium battery marking?
Let’s Go to the Hazmat RegsFor US shippers, the criteria for this lithium battery mark is found at 49 CFR 173.185(c)(3)(i)(B). In international regulations, the same requirements can be found in the IATA DGR (IATA 220.127.116.11.3) and the IMDG Code (IMDG 18.104.22.168.2).
49 CFR 173.185(c)(3)(i)(B) reads:
“The symbols and letters must be black on white or suitable contrasting background and the hatching must be red...”
Let’s break that regulation down into three separate elements.
- Symbols and letters must be black
- Background must be white or a suitable contrasting color
- Hatching must be red
The symbols are white, the letters are white, and the background is black. The hatching is red, so score it one-for-three. Even though it looks cool, this alternate color scheme for the lithium battery mark is a violation of US and international hazardous materials regulations.
Errors like this cause shipments to be rejected or held up in transit on a constant basis.
What Can We Learn From This?A professional with knowledge about lithium battery regulations would have easily spotted this mistake and suggested that a compliant marking be used instead. In this case, it seems that the team in charge of package design made a choice based on artistic taste and not based on compliance.
Here's the lesson I think all businesses can learn: If you ship hazardous materials, don't forget to bring in at least one trained, knowledgeable professional to the package design process could save a major headache. Your organization holds this knowledge, but if that knowledge is not applies to the right questions and situations, unforced errors will happen.
Last, if you don't have this knowledge in your organization, you should secure comprehensive training for one or more personnel who make decisions about packaging and shipping your product. Many avoidable hazardous materials violations stem from a lack of awareness about what materials are regulated, how they’re regulated, and what requirements the business must follow to maintain compliance.
Hazmat Training is Critical to ComplianceHazmat training is not just a smart business practice. In many cases, it's the law. US DOT requires all individuals who can affect the safety of hazardous materials in transport–including lithium batteries–to be trained once every three years. .
If your product contains a lithium battery or another regulated hazardous material, strongly consider hazmat training for more than just your shipping department. A general awareness of the regulations can help executives, decision makers, and even graphic designers ask the right questions when it comes to product packaging and transportation.
This is especially true if your package includes a regulated marking, label, or other warning required by Federal, state, or local government, which often must meet very specific design and size requirements.
When you take advantage of the hazardous materials knowledge in your organization, you can be confident that your package not only looks great, but will get where it needs to go without delay.
Online Lithium Battery Shipper TrainingNeed hazmat training to safely ship lithium batteries by ground, air, or vessel? Lion’s popular Shipping Lithium Batteries Online Course is updated regularly to cover the latest regulations you must know under 49 CFR, the IATA DGR, and the IMDG Code.
Ship excepted lithium batteries by ground, air, or vessel? LIon's got a course just for you! The new Shipping Excepted Lithium Batteries Online Course will help you identify the requirements you must know, without getting bogged down or confused by rules for fully regulated lithium batteries.
Browse all lithium battery training courses at Lion.com/Lithium.
Tags: hazmat shipping, lithium batteries, lithium marking, shipping lithium batteries
Find a Post
Lion was very extensive. There was a lot of things that were covered that were actually pertaining to what I do and work with. Great Job. I will be coming back in three years!
Hazmat Shipping Professional
Very good. I have always appreciated the way Lion Tech develops, presents and provides training and materials.
I really enjoy your workshops. Thank you for such a great program and all the help Lion has provided me over the years!
Hazardous Material Pharmacy Technician
As always, Lion never disappoints
I have attended other training providers, but Lion is best. Lion is king of the hazmat jungle!!!
Hazardous Waste Technician
The instructor's energy, enthusiasm, and knowledge of the subject make the class a great learning experience!
This was the 1st instructor that has made the topic actually enjoyable and easy to follow and understand. Far better than the "other" training providers our company has attended!
Process & Resource Administrator
Very witty instructor, made the long times sitting bearable. One of the few training courses I can say I actually enjoyed.
Senior EHS Engineer
Lion's training was by far the best online RCRA training I've ever taken. It was challenging and the layout was great!
Hazardous Waste Professional
The instructor made the class enjoyable. He presented in a very knowledgeable, personable manner. Best class I've ever attended. Will take one again.
Environmental Compliance Manager
Download Our Latest Whitepaper
Just starting out with shipping lithium batteries? Not before you can answer the four fundamental questions form this guide.