Lithium batteries have become the preferred energy source to power a wide variety of consumer goods ranging from mobile phones to children’s toys to e-bikes. Though widely used, most people are not aware that lithium batteries are dangerous goods and can pose a safety risk if not prepared in compliance with the transport regulations.
To help with their compliance requirements, IATA has developed guidance information for shippers, freight forwarders, ground handlers, airlines and passengers.
Lithium metal batteries transportation update
Lithium metal batteries transported as cargo will be restricted to Cargo Aircraft Only from 1 January 2015. The prohibition on the carriage on passenger aircraft only applies to lithium metal batteries when shipped by themselves, and does not apply to batteries packed with equipment or contained in equipment.
Download the Guidance Document (pdf) developed by IATA for complying with the 55th (2014) Edition of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) on:
- Definitions, classification, exceptions, prohibitions
- Passenger Provisions
- Frequently asked questions and their answers
The 55th Edition of the Lithium Battery Guidance Document will be available in other languages in the following weeks. In the meantime, download the 54th (2013) Edition in German (pdf), French (pdf) and Chinese (pdf).
The ICAO Technical Instructions regulate air shipments of lithium batteries. They are classified by if they are lithium ion or lithium metal and by if they are contained in equipment, packed with equipment, or shipped separately from equipment.
The ICAO Dangerous Goods Panel (DGP) decided in 2012 to comprehensively address the risks associated with lithium batteries transportation. Read more about the Regulatory changes on the transport of Lithium batteries (pdf) that took effect in January 2013.
NEW! To assist shippers in understanding the complete requirements related to the transport of lithium batteries, including packing instructions, IATA has prepared the Lithium Battery Shipping Guidelines (LBSG).
Training is essential
Preparation is a key component in understanding the terms of the Regulations. IATA has developed a training course on Shipping Lithium Batteries by Air that covers all aspects of the identification, packing, marking and labeling, as well as the documentation requirements on lithium batteries transportation.
IATA, in conjunction with the Dangerous Goods Board (DGB) and the Dangerous Goods Training Task Force (DGTTIF), has developed three new lithium battery outreach and awareness products.
In addition, the United Kingdom's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) released a series of videos highlighting the potential fire risks to aircraft posed by the improper carriage of lithium batteries. Produced in association with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the United States, the videos target key airline and airport staff, offering guidance for: