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Lithium Battery Shippers May Need DG Training Upgrade for 2022

Posted on 9/17/2021 by Roseanne Bottone

A change in the 2022 IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations will require some lithium battery shippers to provide additional dangerous goods training for employees.

The 63rd Edition IATA DGR will eliminate the Section II provisions from Packing Instructions (PI) 965 and 968 for smaller lithium cells and batteries shipped separately by air. Starting in 2022, air shippers must prepare these shipments according to Section IA or IB of the appropriate PI.

Shippers may continue to follow the provisions for Section II lithium cells and batteries until March 31, 2022.

After this three-month transition period, lithium cells and batteries will no longer be authorized for air transport using these exceptions. For many, upgraded dangerous goods training will be required in order to stay in compliance. 
 
Note: If you completed Lion's Shipping Lithium Batteries online course or webinar, you received general awareness, security awareness, and function-specific training required to ship excepted or fully regulated lithium batteries by ground, air, or vessel. 

That course is designed to help satisfy US and international training mandates, including formal training requirements for shipping employees in IATA DGR 1.5.


"Adequate Instruction" vs. Formal DG Training

The provisions for Section II cells and batteries require that employees receive “adequate instruction” on relevant transportation safety procedures. With Section II eliminated from PI 965 and PI 968, shippers must comply with the requirements for Section IA or IB instead.

That includes stricter training requirements for hazmat employees. To ship “fully regulated” lithium batteries by air, employees must complete formal dangerous goods training required by IATA DGR 1.5.   

IATA requires re-training for hazmat employees once every 24 months (DG Training FAQ).  

Per US DOT’s Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR), “full” dangerous goods training must include:
  • General awareness training
  • Security awareness training, and
  • Function-specific training.
Hazmat safety training is required for employees who handle lithium batteries (or other hazardous materials). Shippers who are required to maintain a Security Plan must train each employee on their role under the plan.

(See 49 CFR 172.704)

What are Section II Lithium Cells and Batteries?

“Section II” refers to smaller lithium batteries that qualify for relief from some of the most burdensome Dangerous Goods air shipping rules.

The thresholds for Section II lithium batteries are: 
 
  Lithium-metal
(UN 3090)
Lithium-ion
(UN 3480)
Cell Not more than 1g Not more than 20 Wh
Battery Not more than 2g Not more than 100 Wh
 
If this announcement from IATA gives you déjà vu, remember that FedEx and UPS instituted similar policies concerning Section II lithium batteries for their shipping customers in late 2016.

DG Training to Ship Lithium Batteries by Air

The Shipping Lithium Batteries online course provides required dangerous goods training for managers and employees who prepare or offer lithium batteries for transportation by ground, air, or ocean.

The course covers the current 49 CFR, IATA DGR, and IMDG Code requirements that shippers must know to ship lithium-ion and -metal batteries and cells in-equipment, with-equipment, or by themselves.

Train at your own pace or join us for the next live, instructor-led webinar on 9/30. 
 

Tags: hazmat training, IATA DGR, lithium batteries, new rules

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