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PRBA Battery Proposals Adopted By UN Transport Sub-Committee

The UN Sub-Committee of  Experts on the Transport of  Dangerous Goods unanimously approved two proposals on the packaging requirements for large format lithium ion batteries filed by jointly by PRBA and its international counterpart, RECHARGE. Large format lithium ion batteries are used as the power source for electric vehicles.

The UN Sub-Committee’s decisions will eliminate the need for battery manufacturers to secure approvals from transportation authorities before shipping lithium batteries in large packaging as defined in UN’s Model Regulations. The regulations imposing large packing instructions for lithium batteries will take effect in January 2015. “We are pleased by the Sub-Committee’s support for these proposals. PRBA has long endorsed international regulations, which are essential to the safe transport of lithium ion batteries,” said PRBA Executive Director George Kerchner.

PRBA presented five papers at the UN meeting held the week of June 25 in Geneva, Switzerland. These papers addressed the packaging and testing of new lithium ion batteries as well as the shipment of waste lithium ion batteries and damaged and defective lithium ion batteries. 

After numerous meetings and discussions, no consensus was reached on the PRBA-RECHARGE proposals for shipping waste lithium batteries and damaged/defective lithium batteries. PRBA and RECHARGE will amend their proposals for consideration at the Sub-Committee’s next meeting scheduled for December 3-11, 2012. PRBA’s paper on testing small battery assemblies was also discussed. PRBA intends to file a proposal with the Sub-Committee that will more clearly define the UN testing requirements for these assemblies and provide an alternative to the UN tests.