Dangerous Goods

Lithium Batteries

This notice describes how lithium batteries must be treated when shipped by air.

The treatment applies when such batteries are installed in devices that they power, and when they are packed together with such devices (spare batteries) and when they are shipped as separate items.

From 1 January 2009, lithium batteries are now classified as Dangerous Goods under the terms of the IATA DGRs (Dangerous Goods Regulations).

Refer to the IATA Guidance Document "Transport of Lithium Metal and Lithium Ion Batteries", dated 16 December 2008.

Lithium batteries are often contained in consumer items such as watches, calculating machines, cameras, cellular or mobile phones, laptop computers, camcorders.

Senders and Shippers must be aware of, and comply with, three changes to shipping documentation relevant to lithium batteries.

1.  All packages containing lithium batteries must display a handling label indicating the fragility of the contents, their flammability, an instruction NOT to load or transport the package if damaged, and a telephone number to call for more information.

2.  The manifest covering packages containing lithium batteries must indicate that the shipment contains Dangerous Goods.

3.  The manifest must include a statement, or have attached a page containing such a statement, to the effect that:

  • the consignment packages documented on the manifest contain lithium ion cells or batteries,
  • must be handled with care as a flammability hazard exists if the package is damaged,
  • special procedures should be followed in the event that the package is damaged, to include inspection and repackaging if necessary,
  • additional information can be obtained by telephoning the listed number,
  • each of the consignment packages has a Lithium Battery Handling Label attached.