IATA Clarifies DGR Training Rules for Lithium Battery Shippers

Posted on 10/17/2016 by Roger Marks

The 2017 edition of the International Air Transport Association’s Dangerous Goods Regulations (IATA DGR) includes major changes for lithium battery shippers.

In addition to new lithium battery labeling requirements, new documentation rules, and restriction on state-of-charge, another update IATA made this year is adding clarification on what constitutes “adequate instruction” (i.e., training) for employees involved in shipping Section II lithium batteries by air.

Lithium ion battery air shipping rulesFor many years, the IATA DGR Packing Instructions 965–970 for Section II lithium batteries have required “adequate instruction” for employees who prepare these air shipments. That said, a specific definition of “adequate instruction” did not exist in the packing instructions.

For 2017, in the 58th Edition DGR, IATA added Section 1.6—Adequate Instruction for Shipping Section II Lithium Batteries.

What Are Section II Lithium Batteries?

In the IATA DGR, “Section II” refers to smaller lithium batteries that are eligible for exception from some of the more burdensome dangerous goods air shipping rules.
Size limits for Section II lithium batteries in air transport are as follows:

Section Type Lithium Metal Lithium Ion
II (Small) Cell Not more than 1 g Not more than 20 Wh
  Battery Not more than 2 g Not more than 100 Wh

Adequate Instruction for Section II Lithium Battery Shippers 

The lithium battery “adequate instruction” requirements found in Section 1.6 of the 2017 DGR likely won’t surprise hazmat shippers familiar with IATA rules. They include training on battery classification, unique lithium battery documentation for air, and instruction on how to perform the employee’s specific job responsibilities.

Like all IATA DGR training, this instruction must be repeated or updated once every 2 years. The employer must maintain proper training records that include the date the employee completed training.

Ready for New Lithium Battery Rules in 2017?

New rules for shipping lithium batteries are in effect starting January 1, 2017. Are you ready for the updated air shipping requirements in IATA’s 58th Edition DGR?  On November 8, join an expert, full-time instructor to get up to speed on what’s changing for 2017 at the Shipping Lithium Batteries Webinar.

Find out what you must do to keep your lithium battery shipments in compliance with limits on state-of-charge, quantity & size restrictions, and new marking, labeling, and documentation criteria.
Sign up now to get a FULL YEAR of free Lion Membership for ongoing regulatory updates and compliance support.

Tags: hazmat, IATA, lithium batteries, new rules, shipping

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