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US issues new Lithium battery rules

[ August 13, 2014   //   ]

The US Department of Transportation has issued new standards for the shipment of lithium cells and batteries, reports BIFA in its latest newsletter. The new rules, developed by the Department’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), aim to ensure that the batteries can withstand normal transportation conditions and are packaged to reduce the possibility of damage that could lead to an unsafe situation. They will also be more consistent with international standards, including the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by air.

Voluntary compliance is now being encouraged with mandatory compliance effective six months after publication.

Among the changes, the new standards replace equivalent lithium content with Watt-hours for lithium ion cells and batteries and there are separate shipping descriptions for lithium metal batteries and lithium ion batteries. There are also revisedprovisions for small and medium lithium cells and batteries including cells and batteries packed with, or contained in, equipment.

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