Lithium Battery Transportation Legislation

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From January 2009 (air transport) and June 2009 (road transport under ADR), shippers transporting lithium batteries by road or air needed to comply with new regulations.

New UN numbers were introduced and more stringent conditions were placed on transporters, even where special provisions applied.

Another new requirement was the need for a telephone number to be displayed where additional information could be obtained

The major changes comprised:

  • The reclassification of lithium batteries into separate UN numbers for Lithium Metal and Lithium Ion Batteries.
  • A new requirement for a telephone number on certain documents and certain exempted packages containing lithium batteries.
  • New packaging requirements.


2013 Update - New Lithium Battery Packing Instructions

The 2013-2014 Edition of the ICAO Technical Instructions implements significant changes to Packing Instruction 965 (which applies to lithium ion cells and batteries) and Packing Instruction 968 (which applies to lithium metal cells and batteries). These changes, shown below, are expected to impact a large number of cell and battery shipments.

New Section II lithium ion (PI 965 II) and lithium metal (PI 968 II) cell and batteries quantity limits per package

PI 965 – Section II Package Limits Table - Combination packaging

    Contents Lithium ion cells and/or batteries with a Watt-hour rating not more than 2.7  Wh Lithium ion cells with a Watt-hour rating more than 2.7 Wh, but not more than 20 Wh Lithium ion batteries with a Watt-hour rating more than 2.7 Wh, but not more than 100 Wh
    Maximum number of cells / batteries per package No limit 8 cells 2 batteries
    Maximum net quantity (mass) per package 2.5 kg n/a n/a

PI 968 – Section II Package Limits Table - Combination packaging

    Contents Lithium metal cells and/or batteries with a lithium content not more than 0.3 g Lithium metal cells with a lithium content more than 0.3 g but not more than 1 g Lithium metal batteries with a lithium content more than 0.3 g but not more than 2 g
    Maximum number of cells / batteries per package No limit 8 cells 2 batteries
    Maximum net quantity (mass) per package 2.5 kg n/a

    n/a

     

Note: A package may contain either cells/batteries of not more than 2.7 Wh or 0.3 g or lithium ion cells not exceeding 20 Wh / lithium metal cells not exceeding 1 g, or lithium ion batteries not exceeding 100 Wh / lithium metal batteries not exceeding 2 g but the limits may not be combined.

New Section “IB” for lithium ion (PI 965 IB) and metal (PI 968 IB)

  • Batteries that exceed the limits indicated in the tables (965-II and 968-II) above must be shipped as Class 9, but don't require UN specification packagings.
  • Dangerous goods training is required for personnel involved in the transport of IB batteries.
  • Consignment does not require a Shipper’s Declaration provided that alternative written documentation or electronic information describing the contents.
  • Package requires a Class 9 hazard label AND the lithium battery handling label to distinguish it from  other lithium battery packages.
  • A dangerous goods acceptance check is required.
  • A summary NOTOC, similar to that permitted for Dry Ice.
  • Alignment of the net quantity limits is required for lithium batteries packed with and contained in equipment.

 

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