Video: Latest IATA DGR Updates for Lithium Batteries
To offer lithium batteries for transportation by air with IATA carriers, shippers must comply with the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR). IATA revises the DGR every year, publishing a new edition that takes effect on January 1 following its release.
The 64th Edition IATA DGR took effect on January 1, 2023. As shippers have come to expect in recent years, the new revised DGR for 2023 included meaningful changes to the regulations for shipping lithium batteries by air.
Lithium Batteries: 2023 IATA DGR Updates
2023 DGR, Addendum II (Posted 3/31/2023)
Addendum II added an exception related to portable electronic devices and added text to PI 952 for battery-powered equipment or vehicles.
2023 DGR, Addendum I (Posted 12/15/2022)
Addendum I revised DGR Packing Instruction 970, Section II for lithium-metal batteries shipped in equipment, among other changes.
IATA Lithium Battery Updates Effective 1/1/23
Before the 2023 IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations took effect, we highlighted five significant revisions for lithium battery shippers to prepare for. These updates took effect on January 1, 2023.
Button Cells and Lithium Battery Test Summaries
As of January 1, the lithium battery test summary requirement that took effect in 2020 will no longer apply to button cells shipped in equipment.
The test summary requirement applies to manufacturers and distributors of lithium cells and batteries (and battery-powered equipment) manufactured after June 30, 2003. The test summary provides critical safety information about the batteries to downstream shippers and consumers.
For details about what’s required in a lithium battery test summary, and to see examples of test summary documents, check out this blog from July 2019.
Phone Number on Lithium Battery Handling Mark
Shippers will no longer be required to include a telephone number on the lithium battery mark shown in DGR 126.96.36.199. Lithium battery marks that display a phone number may still be used until December 31, 2026.
Engines, Machinery, and Vehicles with Lithium Batteries
Starting January 1, engines, machinery, and vehicles will be forbidden for transport by air if the lithium batteries inside of them are damaged or defective. IATA is also adding references for engines, machinery, and vehicles that contain prototype lithium cells or batteries or low production runs that may be shipped by cargo aircraft under an approval.
These changes impact IATA DGR Packing Instructions (PI) 220, 378, 950, 951, 952, and 972.
New Package Test Specs for Section IB Batteries and Cells
IATA is revising Packing Instructions 965 and 968 to require that packages prepared according to Section IB will pass a 3-meter stack test. This requirement already applies to limited quantity packages.
A stack test, sometimes called a compression test, ensures that a package will withstand weight being stacked on top of it during storage or transportation. The test is performed by simulating three meters worth of stack pressure on a package for 24 hours. To pass, the package must not leak or show defects that could affect transportation safety.
Lithium Batteries in Overpacks
To align the lithium battery regulations with general requirements for overpacks, IATA will specify that all packages prepared under Section II of a lithium battery packing instruction and placed in overpacks are “secured in the overpack” and that “the intended function of each package must not be impaired by the overpack.”
This clarification will be added to PI 966, 967, 969, and 970.
Other Recent Updates
In recent years, revisions to the rules for lithium battery air shipments have been a mainstay on the list of significant changes to IATA’s manual.
The 2022 IATA DGR (63rd Edition) added stricter standards for shipping lithium cells and batteries separately by air. As of April 1, 2022, smaller standalone batteries and cells may no longer be prepared according to Section II of the relevant Packing Instruction (965 or 968).
Training to Ship Lithium Batteries
Lion’s Shipping Lithium Batteries Webinar covers the current US DOT (49 CFR), IATA DGR, and IMDG Code regulations for lithium batteries transported by ground, air, and vessel. The webinar provides hazmat general awareness, security awareness, and function-specific training to help satisfy mandates for hazmat employees found in 49 CFR 172.704, IATA DGR 1.5, and IMDG Code 1.3.1.Can’t join a live webinar? The self-paced, interactive Shipping Lithium Batteries Online Course allows managers and employees to complete training when and where it’s convenient.
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