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New Lithium Battery Restrictions for Air Shipments

Posted on 11/9/2015 by Roger Marks

Now that the 25th annual International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Dangerous Goods Panel in Montreal has come to a close, a summary of new restrictions for lithium battery air shipments is available.

The new restrictions constitute significant changes for lithium battery manufacturers and shippers and enter into effect April 1, 2016.

Shipping Batteries at 30% State-of-Charge

Most notably, the new ICAO lithium battery air restrictions include a requirement for lithium ion cells and batteries to be offered for transport at no more than 30% state-of-charge (SoC). At a pre-ICAO meeting between US hazmat regulators and the battery industry, industry representatives raised major concerns about the viability of batteries shipped at a state-of-charge below 50%.

Loading a hazmat air shipment


One-Package Limit on Section II Lithium Batteries

In addition, shippers may not offer more than one package prepared according to the Section II lithium battery requirements in any one consignment. In addition, packages prepared according to Section II of Packing Instructions (PI) 965 or 968 must be offered to the operator separately from other cargo and must not be loaded in a unit load device (ULD) being offered for transport.

Lastly, the document provided by IATA includes a note that states there are more changes coming for lithium battery shippers. The changes not publicized in this document will be released separately and enter into effect on January 1, 2017.

The full IATA summary of new lithium battery air restrictions is available here.

Training on the Latest Lithium Battery Rules

The rules for shipping lithium batteries change so often, and so much, that shippers may struggle to keep the current requirements straight. With awareness of lithium batteries’ safety risks at an all-time high, these batteries get more scrutiny from carriers than other hazmat shipments.

Whether you ship by ground, air, or vessel, be confident your next lithium battery shipment will be accepted and reach your customer safely and on time. The Shipping Lithium Batteries online course covers the latest 49 CFR (US DOT), IATA DGR, and IMDG Code rules you must know to keep your supply chain moving smoothly. Benefit from interactive lessons that reinforce the rules; convenient, flexible access that lets you stop and start as needed to fit your schedule; and dedicated IT support available 7 days/week. Sign up now!

Tags: hazmat shipping, lithium batteries

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