FAQs are intended to provide some general guidance to questions we frequently receive related to shipment of batteries and cells, as well as products being shipped with batteries and cells, or containing batteries and cells. Detailed information about your specific situation can be found in the eBooks
Q: As a shipper of dangerous goods, do I need training ?
A: Yes, all persons involved in the preparation and shipping of dangerous goods shall be trained in the requirements governing the carriage of such goods, appropriate to their responsibilities and duties
Q: The battery classification as dangerous goods apply to road as well as to sea and air transport mode?
A: Yes, the classification is made at UN level, but every transport mode may introduce specific restrictions or exemptions.
Q: The exemptions applicable to Road transport mode apply to Sea and Air transport mode as well?
A: No, usually sea and air transport regulations are more restrictive and do not provide exemptions.
Q: If they use lithium cells that have already been tested, do lithium batteries have to be tested?
A: Yes. Batteries shall be of a type proved to meet the testing requirements of the Manual of Tests and Criteria, part III, sub-section 38.3, irrespective of whether the cells of which they are composed are of a tested type.
Q: What are the obligations of the battery consignor?
A: Anyone offering a battery for shipment (alone, installed in or packaged with equipment), is responsible for ensuring that the battery itself meets all the appropriate requirements of the appropriate shipping regulations. This includes testing, marking, labelling, packaging and documentation requirements
Q: If my cells and batteries must always be tested prior to shipping, how do I ship them for testing?
A: Dangerous goods regulations provides with exceptions or special provisions for the shipment of cells and batteries for testing purposes. Road and maritime transportation of prototype cells and batteries do not require any prior approvals, but are subject to stringent packaging requirements; air transportation is subject to approval of the competent authority.
Q: What are the rules for consumers travelling with devices powered by Lithium and Lithium Ion cells and batteries?
A: Provisions for consumer transport of batteries and battery powered devices are covered in the ICAO Technical Instructions as well as the IATA DGR. Information can be found in the eBooks
Q: I have a shipment of electronic equipment containing lithium batteries, is it classified as a dangerous good?
A: Yes, but the conditions are less restrictive of the individual batteries, vary according to the characteristics and the number of elements and batteries
Q: A distributor or re-packer that ships batteries, have obligations?
A: Yes, as a consignor offering a battery for shipment (alone, installed in or packaged with equipment), is responsible for ensuring that the battery itself meets all the appropriate requirements of the appropriate shipping regulations
Q: Are there different requirements in the shipment of individual batteries and appliances or equipment containing batteries?
A: Yes, batteries shell be protected from short circuit and when installed in equipment or machinery they shell be protected from unintentional activation during transport. In the case of lithium batteries they shall be assigned to different entries when contained in equipment and also packed with equipment.
Q: How do I know if lithium batteries I'm going to purchase meet the requirements of the “UN Manual of Tests and Criteria, Part III, subsection 38.3”?
A: Check it with the manufacturer or distributor of the batteries; this information may be also reported in the product information sheet.