Changes to IATA Lithium Battery Shipping Requirements in 2022
Guest post by Tim from Compliantship
When the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) new 63rd edition of its Dangerous Goods Regulations become effective on January 1, 2022, there will be a few (seemingly obligatory) changes to lithium battery shipping requirements. Here are the details and how they may impact your shipping operations:
1) Regulatory Change: Packing Instructions 965 (UN3480 lithium ion batteries) and 968 (UN3090 lithium metal batteries) have been revised to remove Section II from these two packing instructions. There will be a 3-month transition period until March 31, 2022, during which time shippers may continue to use Section II.
a. Impact to businesses: This will not likely impact many shipping operations, as most Air
carriers worldwide had already chosen not to accept Section II of these Packing
Instructions back in 2016. If a shipper is currently using the Section II exceptions for PI
965 & PI 968, the changes they’ll need to prepare for include: Full Hazmat/Dangerous
Goods training for their shipping team, additional labels/marks/documentation
requirements, and carrier surcharges for handling these shipments.
2) Regulatory Change: Packing Instructions 966 (UN3481 lithium ion batteries packed with
equipment) and 969 (UN3091 lithium metal batteries packed with equipment) have been
revised to clarify the packing options for Section I of these two packing instructions. The updates will read:
– “the lithium cells or batteries are packed in a UN specification packaging, then placed with
the equipment in a strong rigid outer packaging; or,
– the cells or batteries are packed with the equipment in a UN specification packaging”
a. Impact to businesses: This clarification means these products can ship in a “strong rigid outer packaging”, with the batteries in UN specification packaging inside the outer package.
There is also a non-regulatory change that will be made in the 63rd edition of the DGR in the form of Appendix I. This appendix will be used to provide the detail of the changes that will come into effect as of January 1, 2023, based on the adoption of the changes arising from the 22nd revised edition of the UN Model Regulations as well as the changes that have been agreed to by the ICAO Dangerous Goods Panel for inclusion into the 2023–2024 edition of the Technical Instructions. These changes include:
1) Expected Future Change: Exclusion from the requirement for a test summary for equipment,
including circuit boards, that contain only lithium button cells
a. Impact to businesses: If a shipper ships products that only contain button cells (PI 967
and PI 970), they will no longer be required to have access to the UN 38.3 lithium battery test summary.
2) Expected Future Change: Change to the lithium battery handling mark to remove the
requirement for a telephone number to be provided on the mark. There is a transition period until December 31, 2026, during which time the existing mark may continue to be used.
a. Impact to businesses: Starting on January 1, 2027, the lithium battery mark will no longer require a telephone number for additional information about the product. This expected change alludes to future prohibition of including a telephone number on the lithium battery mark and shippers will need to order new marks without this number printed.
If you have any questions regarding these changes, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.