ICAO Dangerous Goods Panel Adopts New Lithium Battery Air Transport Regulations

President Obama Signs FAA Reauthorization Bill with Lithium Battery Provision

On February 10, 2012, the ICAO Dangerous Goods Panel approved significant changes to the Packing Instructions in the ICAO Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air applicable to small, excepted lithium ion and lithium metal cells and batteries shipped by air. In addition, a new weight limit requirement applicable to excepted lithium ion and lithium metal batteries packed with or contained in equipment was adopted. All of these changes go into effect on January 1, 2013.

President Obama recently signed the FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act 2012, which includes a provision requiring that the U.S. Department of Transportation generally harmonize U.S. lithium battery hazardous materials regulations with the ICAO Technical Instructions. DOT is expected to publish a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking on lithium batteries within the next several months that will likely go into effect within the first three months of 2013.