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DOT PHMSA Readies New Lithium Battery Air Rules

Posted on 11/28/2016 by Roger Marks

In a report of significant hazmat rulemakings currently in the works, the US DOT Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) provided an update this month on a forthcoming rule to make major changes to the 49 CFR hazmat requirements for lithium battery air shippers.

The forthcoming Final Rule, called the Enhanced Safety Provisions for Lithium Batteries Transported by Aircraft is scheduled to be announced before the end of the year. The new DOT standards for shipping lithium batteries by air are aligned with updates finalized in 2015 and 2016 by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and found in the International Air Transport Association’s Dangerous Goods Regulations (IATA DGR) for 2017.

DOT’s New Lithium Battery Rules 

Lithium ion batteries standaloneRIN 2137-AF20, as the new DOT lithium battery rule is otherwise known, will make three crucial updates to the 49 CFR lithium battery requirements:

1.       Prohibit the transport of lithium ion cells and batteries as cargo on passenger aircraft
2.       Limit lithium ion cells and batteries to 30% state-of-charge (SoC) for air transport
3.       Limit shippers to one (1) package per consignment of lithium batteries shipped under the provisions for “small” or “excepted” cells and batteries.

According to DOT’s plans, a Final Rule is expected before the end of 2016.  

Shipping Lithium Batteries by Ground, Air, and Vessel

Don’t let changing rules short circuit your shipping operations! Get up to speed on the imminent new requirements for shipping lithium batteries by ground, air, and vessel in 2017 with the interactive, 24/7 Shipping Lithium Batteries Online Course.  

Enroll in the online course now and receive a free Lithium Battery Safety online course to cover OSHA safety training requirements. Plus, start a free 12 month Lion Membership for regulatory updates, fast answers to your hazmat shipping questions, exclusive content and resources, and more. 

Tags: DOT, lithium batteries, new rules

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