ICAO imposes first-ever charge limit on lithium battery shipments, effective April 1

ICAO has published its much anticipated addendum highlighting additional consignment conditions  for the transport of lithium batteries. The ICAO Dangerous Goods Panel considered that these would significantly improve the already high-level of safety of these shipments and it would be prudent to have them in place as soon as possible. As a result, the ICAO addendum specifies that the new provisions would come into force as of 1 April, 2016.

In summary, the new conditions are:

  • Lithium ion batteries, i.e. rechargeable batteries, are to be consigned with a state of charge of no more than 30% their rated capacity. There are special cases where for technical and operational reasons, the batteries must be consigned at higher levels of state of charge.  These consignments will be possible if and when the applicable Governments approve the shipment
  • The so-called Section II consignments have been restricted so that only one package is permitted in any one consignment. In addition, overpacks must only contain one package

Bob Richard will provide a full analysis of the impact and implications of these changes later this week.

The addendum also specifies that a substance called Catecholborane (or 1,3,2 Benzodioxaborole) is forbidden on passenger aircraft and requires state approval for carriage on cargo aircraft.

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