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Video: Revised Lithium Battery Air Regs In Effect April 1

Posted on 3/28/2022 by Roger Marks and Roseanne Bottone

As of April 1, 2022, lithium-ion and metal batteries or cells shipped separately by air must be packaged, labeled, and documented according to stricter standards. These shipments will no longer be accepted when prepared under Section II of the relevant IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) Packing Instruction.

Shippers can continue to offer lithium batteries separately by air, but must prepare these packages according to Section IA or IB of the appropriate PI. The revision affects transportation of two UN ID numbers: UN 3480 and UN 3090—which are shipped by air using IATA DGR Packing Instructions (PI) 965 and 968, respectively. 


The next live, expert-led Shipping Lithium Batteries Webinar is scheduled for April 26.

What’s Changing on Friday, April 1?

Until now, lithium cells and batteries shipped alone by air could qualify for some relief from dangerous goods packaging, labeling, and paperwork requirements when prepared according to Section II of IATA DGR Packing Instructions 965 and 968.

As of April 1, the reliefs afforded to “Section II” shipments are no longer available for cells and batteries shipped alone. The less-restrictive Section II provisions may still be used to ship smaller lithium-ion and metal batteries and cells packaged in equipment or with equipment.

To continue shipping cells or batteries packaged by themselves—such as spare batteries or replacement batteries—shippers may need to review the shipping process and make sure cells and batteries are packaged, labeled, and documented correctly moving forward.

The change may require some shippers to provide updated hazardous materials training to employees who package, label, load, and/or fill out shipping papers for lithium battery air shipments. 

Note: Air carriers UPS and FedEx updated their IATA DGR Operator Variations years ago to require that smaller cells and batteries shipped separately be prepared according to Section IA or IB provisions for air transport. 

IATA Lithium Battery Guidance 2022 

Below are excerpts from IATA’s 2022 Lithium Battery Guidance Document, updated to reflect the revised regulations that take effect April 1.

Lithium-ion batteries and cells shipped separately (UN 3480) must be prepared according to Section IA or IB of PI 965, as shown below.

lithium batteries IATA DGR UN 3480 PI 965 Section IA IB

Lithium-metal batteries and cells shipped separately (UN 3090) must be prepared according to Section IA or IB of PI 968, as shown below.

UN 3090 lithium metal batteries and cells IATA DGR PI 968

Shipping Lithium Batteries Training

Lion's Shipping Lithium Batteries online course covers the latest regulations for shipping lithium batteries in-equipment, with-equipment, or separately by ground, air, and vessel, including new IATA DGR standards for air shippers.

The course provides hazmat general awareness, security awareness, and function-specific training to help satisfy US DOT (49 CFR), IATA DGR, and IMDG Code training mandates for logistics leaders and hazmat employees involved in shipping lithium batteries by all modes of transportation (Learn more). 

Tags: hazardous materials shipping, IATA DGR, lithium batteries, lithium batteries by air, lithium battery

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