Lithium batteries continue to give headaches to shippers and operators alike.
Aside from numerous new and amended operator variations, the first Addendum for the 57th edition of the IATA DGR mandates a maximum SoC of 30 percent applicable to all Lithium Ion and Lithium polymer batteries shipped or contained in or packed with equipment:
“Lithium ion cells and batteries must be offered for transport at a state of charge (SoC) not exceeding 30% of their rated design capacity. Cells and/or batteries at a SoC of greater than 30% may only be shipped with the approval of the State of Origin and the State of the Operator under the written conditions established by those authorities. Note: Guidance and methodology for determining the rated capacity can be found in Section 18.104.22.168 of the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria, 5th revised edition, Amend. 1.”
Lithium Now On UN ANC Agenda
The proposal outlawing shipping of Lithium Ion batteries aboard passenger aircraft that was rejected by the United Nations ICAO Dangerous Goods Panel (DGP) last October—but supported by IFALPA, the pilot’s union, and ICCAIA, the industry body speaking for the aircraft manufacturers, and also the USA, China, Russia, Brazil, and a number of other states that voted for it (versus Netherlands, Canada, France, Germany, Australia, Italy, United Arab Emirates, South Korea, Japan, theUnited Kingdom, and IATA, which voted against the ban)—is back on the agenda in 2016.
Since the decision to reject the IFALPA/ICCAIA (et-al) proposal was controversial, to say the least, the ICAO Air Safety Panel (another UN group) that voted in favor of the ban has requested that ICAO’s ANC, the Air Navigation Commission, re-evaluate the issue and possibly reverse the decision made by the ICAO Dangerous Goods Panel.
We expect the matter to come to some kind of head later this month, when the ICAO DGP Panel meets in late February.