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IATA Releases Guidance For Shipping Lithium Batteries by Air

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has just released updated guidance for the transport of lithium metal and lithium ion batteries. The 27-page document (imaginatively titled “2023 Lithium Battery Guidance Document”) is packed with information about how to comply with the portion of their Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) that concerns itself with the air transport of lithium batteries. (The DGR itself is revised once a year and provides detailed guidance on every aspect of transporting dangerous goods.)

A glance at the Table of Contents gives a hint of what the Guidance Document covers:

  • Definitions
  • Classification
  • Prohibitions
  • Restrictions
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Additional Information
  • Abbreviations, Acronyms, Symbols

Each section goes into a good deal of detail, and includes tables, flowcharts, and extensive references to the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria; the FAQ starts with the basics – battery chemistry and the different types of lithium batteries – before delving into questions about shipping them. There's extensive guidance on battery testing (shippers need to provide documentation that their batteries have met testing standards), and if, by the end, you're hungry for more information, they've got you covered: no fewer than three additional resources are linked to.

In short, if you intend to ship lithium batteries, the “2023 Lithium Battery Guidance Document” is required reading. Get your copy here.

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