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Lithium Batteries

Blue lithium batteries


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 are restricted to Cargo Aircraft Only since 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.

Guidance material

Download the Guidance Document (pdf) developed by IATA for complying with the 56th (2015) Edition of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) on:

  • Definitions, classification, exceptions, prohibitions
  • Packaging
  • Passenger Provisions
  • Frequently asked questions and their answers

NEW! The Lithium Batteries Risk Mitigation Guidance for Operators (pdf) outlines strategies to reduce the risks associated with lithium batteries transportation by air. Intended for airlines, it was developed with input of leading industry groups specialized in the handling of dangerous goods and lithium batteries. The document is copyright-free, allowing download and onward distribution to interested users.

Shipping guidelines

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 has developed lithium battery outreach and awareness products:

In addition, the United Kingdom's Civil Aviation Authority and the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States released a series of 4 videos highlighting the potential fire risks to aircraft posed by the improper carriage of lithium batteries:


Additional information

© International Air Transport Association (IATA) 2015. All rights reserved.