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Transport Canada Addresses PRBA Concerns on New Lithium Battery Regulations, Affirms Compliance Deadline

First Regulatory Update on Lithium Batteries in Nearly 20 Years

Washington (May 28, 2015) – PRBA – The Rechargeable Battery Association said today that Transport Canada has responded to numerous questions the trade group raised regarding the new lithium battery provisions in the Agency’s Transport of Dangerous Goods Regulations and has confirmed these rules will take effect on July 1, 2015.

PRBA submitted a letter to Transport Canada earlier this year requesting clarification on a number of issues associated with the lithium battery shipping regulations, which generally are consistent with international dangerous goods requirements and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s lithium battery hazardous materials regulations. PRBA also sought a six-month delay to January 1, 2016, in the implementation of the regulations.

“We appreciate Transport Canada’s willingness to consider our questions on the new regulations and our concerns with the July 1, 2015 mandatory compliance date,” PRBA Executive Director George Kerchner said. He noted that these changes are the first update of the lithium battery provisions in the TDG Regulations in nearly 20 years and the substantive changes are expected to have a significant impact on shippers of new and used lithium batteries within Canada as well as the carriers transporting these batteries.

Transport Canada agreed with PRBA’s position on the new regulations applicable to shipping lithium batteries for disposal or recycling, the changes needed to the regulations for shipping prototype and low production lithium batteries and the changes to the language associated with United Nations battery testing requirements.

Transport Canada also acknowledged that the new documentation requirements for “consignments” of small lithium batteries may cause confusion amongst the regulated community and inspectors in Canada. The Agency offered to look into new wording to clarify the intent of the documentation provision. Transport Canada also confirmed the packaging requirements applicable to large format lithium batteries.

About PRBA

PRBA members power the consumer electronics revolution. We deliver a safe, efficient, and essential power source for portable electronic equipment such as notebook computers, tablets, cellular phones and power tools, medical devices as well as hybrid and electric vehicles and containerized lithium ion battery stationary systems. PRBA members produce approximately 70 percent of the world’s lithium ion cells and account for billions of dollars in annual worldwide sales. With more than 70 members, PRBA is widely recognized as the nation’s authoritative source for information on rechargeable batteries.

PRBA Eager to Assist ICAO in Developing New Standards for Air Shipments of Lithium Batteries

Washington (May 8, 2015) – PRBA – The Rechargeable Battery Association is ready to work with the International Civil Aviation Organization Dangerous Goods Panel on new performance-based standards to improve the safety of lithium batteries shipped by air on passenger and all-cargo aircraft.

“Safety continues to be PRBA’s No. 1 priority, as it is for regulators, airlines and aircraft manufacturers. PRBA welcomes the opportunity to play a role in this regulatory initiative that will have far-reaching implications on the lithium battery industry and thousands of entities involved in the shipping, handling and transport of lithium batteries,” PRBA Executive Director George Kerchner said.

During its meeting last week in Montreal, the ICAO DGP agreed to develop these new performance-based standards for lithium cells and batteries after concerns were raised about the risks associated with high-density shipments of lithium cells and batteries aboard aircraft.

ICAO is planning to hold an informal working group meeting this summer to begin developing the new standard. The ICAO Dangerous Goods Panel also is scheduled to meet October 12-23, 2015 in Montreal.

About PRBA
PRBA members power the consumer electronics revolution. We deliver a safe, efficient, and essential power source for portable electronic equipment such as notebook computers, tablets, cellular phones and power tools, medical devices as well as hybrid and electric vehicles and containerized lithium ion battery stationary systems. PRBA members produce approximately 70 percent of the world’s lithium ion cells and account for billions of dollars in annual worldwide sales. With more than 70 members, PRBA is widely recognized as the nation’s authoritative source for information on rechargeable batteries.