As the rules around shipping lithium batteries continue to evolve in our industry, so must the training we provide the employees who ship these Dangerous Goods. On August 6, PHMSA published the HM-224F Transport of Lithium Batteries Final Rule. More than five years in the making, this rule contains a number of significant changes to how lithium batteries must be shipped, including:
- Changes to exceptions for domestic road transport, particularly the exception for packages with no more than 12 batteries/24 cells
- Adopting the international shipping descriptions and Watt-hour (Wh) ratings
- A new section for lithium batteries/cells being shipped for disposal or recycling
- Aligning the carry-on and checked baggage exceptions for passengers and crew members with the ICAO TI
Voluntary compliance is already in effect, and mandatory compliance begins February 6, 2015. You can read more about HM-224F on our blog here.
These new changes will have an impact on the training required for everyone who ships lithium batteries across all modes of transportation. That means it’s time to take an in-depth look at your current training programs and practices to determine how they’ll need to evolve to meet the mandatory compliance deadline. A good place to begin:
- Thoroughly reviewing HM-224F (and keeping an eye on proposal HM-215M—more on that can be found here)
- Reviewing what specific lithium battery products will need to be shipped and how they will be shipped
- Determining which aspects of the rule need to be applied
- Reviewing who is responsible for the different aspects of the shipping process
Most important—don’t wait until the last minute. Keeping your training programs in compliance with changing rules takes time and effort, and making sure your shipping employees are up to date on the latest regulations today means fewer frustrated shipments in the future.
If you have any questions, Labelmaster is ready to help with training support, consulting and the broadest range of products, services and software to address every aspect of shipping lithium batteries.