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ICAO Agrees to Prohibit Lithium Metal Batteries as Cargo on Passenger Aircraft; Plans to Address Cargo Aircraft in October 2014

The ICAO Dangerous Goods Panel (DGP), meeting in Montreal the week of April 7 – 11, 2014, agreed to a prohibition on the transport of lithium metal batteries as cargo on passenger aircraft and several consequential amendments to the lithium battery Packing Instructions in the ICAO Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air.  The DGP’s decision must now be formally ratified by the ICAO Air Navigation Commission and ICAO Council, which is expected to occur in early May, 2014.  The prohibition is expected to take effect January 1, 2015.

The DGP did recognize that situations may arise where the transport of lithium metal batteries as cargo on passenger aircraft may be avoidably necessary.  To address these situations, the DGP agreed by a vote of 8 -7 to authorize the transport of lithium metal batteries as cargo on passenger aircraft under a new Approval provision that is still being developed by the Secretary’s office.

PRBA participates in all of the DGP meetings and often submits proposals on lithium batteries for consideration by the DGP.  For more information, contact George Kerchner at 202.719.4109 or gkerchner@wileyrein.com.