2017 Changes to Lithium Battery Regulations

As we settle in to 2017 we’re already seeing changes in some of the regulations that affect our day to day shipping procedures. For those of you who ship lithium batteries by air, a change in freight operators’ attitudes to certain parts of IATA packing instructions (PI) could affect the way you move your goods.

As of January 1st this year, many freight operators no longer allow lithium batteries to be shipped under reduced regulations, which cover the following PI:

Section II of Packing Instruction 965 for UN3480 lithium ion batteries.

Section II of Packing Instruction 968 for UN3090 lithium metal batteries.

 This means that any packages that would normally meet the specifications of Section II of either of these packing instructions are now treated as Section IB, and are consequently subject to all the regulations associated with Class 9 hazards, including the requirement for a Shipper’s Declaration.

Although the IATA regulations have not yet been changed to reflect the above, the freight operators are entirely within their rights to refuse any packages that do not meet their own safety regulations, so it is important to always check with freight operators for any additional requirements when using them for hazardous shipments.