In an action which is assuredly no April Fool’s jest, United Parcel Service (UPS) today announced new restrictions on and requirements for the transport of Lithium Metal Batteries. Effective July 1st, 2015, shipments of UN3090 Lithium Metal Batteries via UPS Airlines must receive pre-approval from UPS prior to shipment. The announcement indicates that this will apply even to small quantities of batteries. Among other stipulations, the new rules will require verification of (shipper) employee training and significant information about the batteries themselves, including their UN 38.3 test report, as well as the packaging in which they will be shipped. Taken in all, this is a significant change to current procedures. At press time it is unknown if other such carriers will follow suit; as an industry leader, UPS sets an example and the potential for other carriers to enact similar rules seems within the realm of reasonable speculation.
Here is a link to the relevant section on the UPS website:
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On December 10th, 2014, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) issued an Electronic Bulletin (EB 2014/72) which announced the release of Corrigendum #1 (itself dated November 20th, 2014) to their 2015 – 2016 edition of the Technical Instructions for the Safe Handling of Dangerous Goods, commonly referred to in the industry as the ICAO TI. The ICAO TI serves as either the actual regulation governing or as the most common basis for most other regulatory texts addressing the carriage of dangerous goods by air around the world. The corrigendum is brief (only one item) and addresses the issue of the ability of a state to grant an exemption from the prohibition of the carriage of Lithium Metal Batteries aboard passenger aircraft. (Reference ICAO TI 1;1.1.3) This is stated in a revised version of Special Provision A201, and is presented verbatim below:
TECHNICAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE SAFE TRANSPORT OF DANGEROUS GOODS BY AIR
In Part 3, Chapter 3, page 3-3-3, Special Provision A201, amend to read:
A201 States concerned may grant an exemption from the prohibition to transport lithium metal batteries on passenger aircraft in accordance with Part 1;1.1.3. Authorities issuing exemptions in accordance with this special provision must provide a copy to the Chief of the Cargo Safety Section within three months via email at CSS@icao.int, via facsimile at +1 514-954-6077 or via post to the following address:
Chief, Cargo Safety Section
International Civil Aviation Organization
999 University Street
CANADA H3C 5H7
Lithium Metal (i.e. “primary” or non-rechargeable) Batteries are considered to present a more severe risk of hazard than Lithium Ion (i.e. rechargeable) batteries due to their higher Lithium content, and under normal circumstances they are banned from carriage aboard passenger aircraft. They are however normally allowed aboard cargo aircraft. ICAO estimates that this new exemption, which was created to address potential emergency requirements for the transport of such batteries, will be invoked only rarely due to the ready availability of cargo aircraft to carry such goods under most circumstances.
Labelmaster is a full service provider of goods and services for the Hazardous Materials and Dangerous Goods professional, shippers, transport operators, and EH&S providers. See our full line of solutions at http://www.labelmaster.com.
In August of 2014 the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) promulgated final rule HM-224F affecting the safe transport of lithium batteries[i]. DOT announced that the resultant effects from the revisions of HM-224F will “strengthen safety conditions for the shipment of lithium cells and batteries. These changes, some of which focus specifically on shipments by air, will better ensure that lithium cells and batteries are able to withstand normal transportation conditions and are packaged to reduce the possibility of damage that could lead to an unsafe situation[ii].” Continue reading
I’m often asked: why do I need a new Air Regs book every year? Always an interesting question and the answer changes every year! For 2015 though, it’s really simple. This is an ICAO year, one in which there’s a new edition of the ICAO Technical Instructions which is worldwide legal requirements for transporting dangerous goods by air. When the FAA or DOT comes to do an inspection, something they can do at any time without forewarning, they will want to see that your documentation and operations are current with the latest legal requirements (i.e., the 2015 – 2016 TIs). Continue reading
It’s been a busy summer for our A.I.R. ShipperTM authoring team. Rolling in the large number of changes developed by ICAO, the UN and the IAEA was a challenge made more difficult with very late changes for lithium metal batteries. In case you hadn’t heard, these will be banned aboard passenger aircraft per the ICAO Technical Instructions effective January 1st, 2015; this in addition to their already-forbidden status under the US 49 CFR HMR aboard passenger aircraft flying to, from, and through the United States. Continue reading
Posted in Announcements, Hazmat/DG Regulations, Products
Tagged Air Shipments, Air Transport, Compliance, FAA, Hazardous Materials Regulations, Hazmat/Dangerous Goods, ICAO, Lithium Batteries, Shipping, Transport, United Nations