ICAO Panel Recommends Ban on Lithium Battery Shipments on Passenger Aircraft

 
The Press reports that on Wednesday, January 27, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) air navigation commission officially recommended an outright ban on rechargeable lithium batteries transported as cargo on passenger aircraft. Despite bolstering the lithium battery packaging, labelling, and other safety requirements for 2016, ICAO has so far declined to completely ban lithium batteries on passenger aircraft.   The ICAO panel’s recommendation is not an official rulemaking, but could lead to a ban being approved and in effect as early as April 1 this year.  
 
The recommended ban is the latest development in the ongoing efforts of regulators and international safety organizations to mitigate the unique hazards posed by lithium batteries in transit. Just last week, ICAO announced an addendum to its hazmat air shipping rules which included updated standards for lithium batteries. The updated IATA lithium battery air requirements—mandatory starting April 1, 2016—include a 30% limit on state-of-charge and additional limits on the number of batteries and packages allowed per shipment.

A damaged, defective, or improperly packaged lithium battery can experience “thermal runaway”—rapid increases in heat that can result in explosions, fires, and emergencies in transit. It is unclear whether a passenger aircraft ban will be adopted by ICAO. Industry group have resisted the idea of a ban in the past and will likely advocate against putting one in place now.
 
For any assistance in shipping your lithium ion batteries by air freight, please contact Evolution Forwarding. For telephone numbers and email addresses, click here

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