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Reguations about shipping Lithium Batteries Safely


    • Standalone = package ONLY contains batteries, NO equipment
    • Packed with = package contains equipment + batteries that are NOT installed in the equipment
    • Contained in = package has equipment with batteries installed
    •   Lithium Ion Battery Lithium Metal Battery
      Standalone Lithium Ion Standalone (P.I. 965) UN 3480 Lithium Metal Standalone (P.I. 968) UN 3090
      Packed With Lithium Ion Packed With (P.I. 966) UN 3481 Lithium Metal Packed With (P.I. 969) UN 3091
      Contained in Lithium Ion Contained in (P.I. 967) UN 3481 Lithium Metal Contained in (P.I. 970) UN 3091
Beginning in 2022, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has adopted some significant changes to shipping standalone lithium batteries. These changes will take effect beginning January 1, 2022. However, there is a grace period that will be extended out until March 30, 2022 before 100% compliance is required.

The biggest change to the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations is the removal of the Section II exception from Packing Instructions (PI) 965 and 968.  

PI 965 and PI 968 are those Packing Instructions that apply to lithium ion cells and batteries, including power banks, and lithium metal/primary cells and batteries, respectively. This change does not affect the Section II exception found in PI 966, PI 967, PI 969, or PI 970 that are for the lithium battery-containing products. Those products will still be able to utilize the relief provided by Section II. These standalone cells and batteries will still be able to utilize the exceptions found under Section IB on PI 965 and PI 968.  
  • The requirements of Section IB are as follows:
    • Packages cannot exceed a weight of 10 kg for lithium ion cells/batteries or 2.5 kg for lithium metal/primary cells/batteries
    • Lithium metal/Lithium ion battery (as appropriate)*
    • UN3090/UN3480 (as appropriate)*
    • The shippers and consignors name and address
    • The Class 9 – Lithium Battery label*
    • The lithium battery mark
    • The Cargo Aircraft Only label
    • The net weight of the batteries or cells in the package must be marked on the packages when shipping multiple, non-identical packages*
    • A Shipper’s Declaration must be filled out the same way as for a fully-regulated shipment, except that “IB” be added after the PI number or in the Authorization column*
    • Persons shipping lithium batteries require full dangerous good training*
    * indicates requirements from Section IB that were not required for Section II.

The aforementioned changes only apply when shipping via carriers that are members of IATA. If a battery is shipped on a non-IATA aircraft, then the DOT Section II equivalent (49CFR173.185(c)(4) is still a valid exception that can be used when shipping standalone lithium ion or lithium metal/primary cells/batteries.

Reference : https://www.iata.org/contentassets/b08040a138dc4442a4f066e6fb99fe2a/dgr-63-en-significant-changes.pdf

Transport within Passenger Baggage

Carrier's Shipping requirement for Lithium Batteries


DOT (PHMSA) Updates

  • 49 CFR 173.185
  • Proper Shipping Names
    • UN 3480, Lithium Ion Batteries
    • UN 3481, Lithium Ion Batteries packed with equipment
    • UN 3481, Lithium Ion Batteries contained in equipment
    • UN 3090, Lithium Metal Batteries
    • UN 3091, Lithium Metal Batteries packed with equipment
    • UN 3091, Lithium Metal Batteries contained in equipment

Ship Prototypes of Lithium batteries

  • 173.185(e) - Must be shipped by ground as Class 9
  • A55 Cargo aircraft under approval. (The lead time for approval is around 3-6 months. Customer can contact PHMSA for shipping approval by air) (DOT)

Low Production Runs

  • 173.185(e) low production runs of not more than 100pcs, must be shipped by ground as Class 9. Applies to small batteries.
  • A88 Cargo aircraft under approval (The lead time for approval is around 3-6 months. Customer can contact PHMSA for shipping approval by air)

Damaged, defective or recalled Cells or Batteries




Lithium Battery Calculations

  • Watt hours = Volts (V) x ampere hour (Ah)
  • Lithium Content is: Ah per cell x 0.3 gm x number of cells
  • Lithium Battery Calculation help document
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We own a national standard UN38.3 testing lab. We can provide UN38.3 test service to our customer.

If you want to set up your own lab, we also provide UN38.3 & IEC62133 equipments and onsite training. Email us for the quote and lead time.
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