At its 57th session this week in Geneva, the United Nations (UN) Subcommittee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods agreed to adopt several proposals filed by PRBA and its European counterpart RECHARGE to amend the international dangerous goods regulations affecting the labeling, packaging and transport of lithium batteries.
“We are very pleased the Subcommittee agreed with our amendments, which will provide financial and regulatory relief for our members without compromising the safe transport of lithium batteries,” PRBA Executive Director George Kerchner said.
The proposals from PRBA and RECHARGE that were adopted this week by the UN Subcommittee and go into effect on January 1, 2023 include:
- Elimination of the phone number currently required on the lithium battery mark. This change will save PRBA members thousands of dollars annually in cost without compromising safety.
- Amendments to packaging requirements for large lithium batteries to provide relief from stringent UN packaging requirements. This change will be particularly helpful for PRBA members shipping lithium ion batteries from China where these packaging requirements are often misinterpreted by port authorities and transport agencies.
- Amendments to the packaging requirements applicable to large, damaged or defective lithium batteries will authorize more than one battery per package.
- Amendments to the lithium battery test summary that will simplify compliance with this new requirement that went into effect January 1, 2020. This proposal had substantial industry support and was co-authored by seven trade associations.
It was the second time this year the UN Subcommittee met virtually to complete their work, and they successfully navigated the challenges of having 25 countries, 30 NGOs, and numerous interpreters participating through an Internet-based format over multiple time zones.