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.

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.

To purchase the 2020 edition of the LBSG that is effective until December 31, 2020, visit our online store.

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 the 2021 edition of the LBSG include:

  • Revisions to special provisions A88 and A99 to require the approval of the authority of the State of the operator in addition to the authority of the State of origin. These special provisions address the approval for the transport of prototype lithium batteries that have not passed the UN 38.3 tests and approval for the transport of lithium cells or batteries that have a net mass exceeding 35 kg
  • Special provisions A88 and A99 have also been revised to identify that when lithium batteries are shipped in accordance with an approval that the packing instruction number shown on the Shipper's Declaration must be PI 910 or PI 974, respectively
  • The format of the lithium battery mark has been revised to now be a square with minimum dimensions of 100 mm x 100 mm. This may be reduced to be not less than 100 mm x 70 mm where the size of the package prevents the application of the full size mark. The wording in the provisions for the application of the mark identifies that mark must be a square or rectangle, which permits the continued usage of the current mark which is 120 mm x 110 mm