Are lithium batteries properly handled now?

Several months ago we have published an update on the new regulations concerning lithium batteries. In a nutshell lithium batteries are considered dangerous goods and should be handled as such. However, according to The International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) assistant director for cargo safety and standards, Dave Brennan, in many instances lithium batteries are still prepared and shipped improperly. This remains the largest challenge in dangerous goods transportation.

Members of IATA keep finding undeclared and counterfeit lithium batteries. Brennan says IATA member airlines are continuing to find, which pose a significant safety risk to both the air transport sector and the end users, as the batteries have been shown to be susceptible to catching fire, particularly during charging.

“IATA continues to call on governments and regulatory authorities to perform oversight, surveillance and, where necessary, enforcement actions of the manufacturers and shippers of lithium batteries to ensure the safety of the air transport supply chain,” states Brennan.

He adds IATA is nearing the end of the biennial review cycle undertaken with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Dangerous Goods Panel (DGP), with the 25th meeting of the DGP taking place later this month, in Montreal (Canada).

Harmonisation of multimodal transport regulations by United Nations is expected to serve as a basis for future solution on safe transportation of lithium batteries.

“On the training side, IATA has been part of an ICAO DGP working group that has been working on competency-based training for dangerous goods. This work has culminated in a proposal that will be submitted to the ICAO DGP to propose the adoption of competency-based training for dangerous goods from 1 January 2019.”

Hawthorn Logistics is strictly adhering to airline security regulations and members of our team working with air freight undergo training in airline security according to existing IATA regulations.