As adoption of electric cars, e-bikes increase and lithium batteries become lighter and last longer, the number of products relying on lithium batteries will only continue to grow. 

Though a practical and efficient way to store energy, lithium batteries, if not properly designed, tested and manufactured can fail and catch fire. In addition, the stored energy and flammable electrolyte in the battery means that they must be prepared properly for shipping to reduce the potential risk to the transport system.

To help address this, we’ve put together the LBSG; a manual with all the information manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers, freight forwarders and others in the supply chain need to ensure compliance when shipping lithium batteries.

Coronavirus crisis

See our latest COVID-19 airline cargo updates

Order the LBSG online

The LBSG is available in English in print and digital formats. Find out which format suits your needs best.

All versions are updated annually. Digital products come with automatic updates for the year and a search function that makes finding up-to-date information easy. And, they're cheaper.

What's inside the LBSG?

Making a mistake with marking, labelling or packaging products with lithium batteries can at best cause delays. At worst, the battery could fail or short circuit causing a fire. The LBSG covers all aspects of the shipping process from packaging requirements, labelling, marking and what to do if something goes wrong en route.

  • Applicability (definitions, shipper responsibilities, caution, training, dangerous good security)
  • Regulations (international legislation, dangerous goods carried by passengers, variations by state and operator, UN Manual of Tests and Criteria, subsection 38.3 )
  • Classification (UN Numbers, Class 9 substances, classification scenarios, testing)
  • Identification (list of dangerous goods, special provisions)
  • Packing (combination packaging, quantity limits, UN specifications, overpacks, instructions, examples)
  • UN specification packaging performance tests (test frequency, drop test, stacking test, reports, suppliers)
  • Marking and labelling (marks, specifications, shipper’s responsibilities, examples)
  • Documentation (declaration form instructions and examples, waybills,)
  • Acceptance (checklists, refusals)
  • Emergency response

Still not sure if the LBSG is for you? Download the full table of contents:

Stay up-to-date

The IATA Lithium Battery Shipping Guidelines (LBSG) is constantly updated to help you stay compliant and avoid mistakes that may result in delays, added costs and in the worst case fines for prosecution!

The key changes in this year's edition of the LBSG include:

  • UN 3171 has been included, Battery-powered equipment and Battery-powered vehicle Battery-powered into the list of dangerous goods due to the significant increase in the number of vechicles powered by lithum batteries being transported
  • Added additional special provisions that are applicable to UN 3171
  • Included Packing Instruction 952, which applies to battery-powered vehicles
  • Applied “aggregate lithium content” to lithium metal batteries in PI 968 to PI 970
  • A definition of “aggregate lithium content” has been added to the Glossary