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Changes to the 56th Edition of the IATA DGR Related to Lithium Batteries

Changes to the 56th Edition of the IATA DGR Related to Lithium Batteries

The 56th Edition of the Dangerous Goods Regulations of the International Air Transport Association (2015) contains many significant changes.  None of them followed with more widespread interest than those related to the transportation by air of lithium batteries.  Below is a summary of the changes to the IATA DGR related to the transportation of lithium batteries.

2.3—Dangerous Goods Carried by Passengers or Crew

The provisions applicable to portable electronic devices, including medical devices containing lithium batteries and spare batteries have been restructured to set the requirements out in three parts:

1. Spare lithium batteries above a specified size, which are permitted only with the approval of the operator, and that must be in carry-on baggage;

2. Lithium battery powered electronic devices containing batteries above a specified size, which are permitted only with the approval of the operator; and

3. Portable electronic devices (PED) and spare batteries for such devices where the batteries are at or below the specified size which are permitted without operator approval. PED may be in checked or carry-on baggage. All spare batteries must be in carry-on baggage.

4.2—List of Dangerous Goods

Amendments to the List of Dangerous Goods include:

  • Removal of the packing group from all of the entries for articles that had been assigned a packing group, e.g. batteries, containing sodium, lithium batteries; mercury in manufactured articles.
  • The entry UN 3090, Lithium metal batteries has been amended to show “forbidden“ across columns I/J to identify that these batteries are now restricted to Cargo Aircraft Only. There is no change to the entries for UN 3091, lithium metal batteries packed with equipment or lithium metal batteries contained in equipment.
4.4—Special Provisions

A201 —is a new special provision assigned against UN 3090 Lithium metal batteries to identify that lithium metal batteries may be carried on a passenger aircraft subject to specific limitations on the size and quantity of lithium metal batteries in a package and per consignment. The detail of these limitations are set out in the Supplement to the ICAO Technical Instructions.


PI 966 and PI 969 —These packing instructions apply to lithium ion and lithium metal batteries packed with equipment respectively. The provisions have been revised to clarify that the number of lithium batteries in a package must not exceed the number for the equipment’s operation plus two spares.

PI 968 —In accordance with the change in Table 4.2 to limit UN 3090, Lithium metal batteries to cargo aircraft only, the provisions of PI 968 have been revised to identify that these batteries are not permitted on passenger aircraft. This includes a requirement that packages prepared in accordance with Section II must bear a Cargo Aircraft Only label in addition to the lithium battery handling label, and also that packages in Section II are subject to the conditions for consolidations and removes the allowance for these packages to be placed in a unit load device, except by the operator.

8—Documentation —A paragraph has been added to clarify that for shipments of lithium batteries prepared under Section IB of PI 965 and PI 968 that the information required on the additional document may be included on the Shipper’s Declaration or may be on an additional document.

That’s it for changes referenced in the Introduction to the 56th Edition of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations.  Please note that the list is intended to assist the Shippers, Packers, and Operators to identify the main changes introduced in the 56th Edition for 2015 and must not be considered an exhaustive listing.

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