Rechargeable Lithium Ion batteries are found in electronic devices such as mobile phones and smart phones & laptops, but did you know they may be considered hazardous for air transport subject to the quantity, whether they are contained in equipment and how they are packed.
Alternatively, even if not deemed hazardous an airline will need to know if they are contained in any shipment.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said 46 incidents of aircraft fires had been linked to cargo including lithium-ion batteries.
The most recent high-profile incident involving batteries happened in September when a UPS cargo plane crashed into the desert outside Dubai, killing both pilots.
Following the incident, the FAA said new research showed that lithium metal (non-rechargeable) and lithium-ion (rechargeable) batteries were highly flammable and capable of igniting during air transport under certain circumstances.
The research also indicated that Halon 1301, the suppression agent found in Class C cargo compartment fire extinguishers, is ineffective in suppressing lithium metal battery fires.
To combat the risks associated with carrying the batteries the FAA made a series of recommendations.
It said customers should identify bulk shipments of lithium batteries on air waybills and other documents;
the batteries should be stowed in Class C compartments, or where alternative fire suppression is available;
training, stowage, and communication protocols for carrying lithium batteries in the event of a fire should be evaluated.
According to research by specialist dangerous goods advisers, lithium cells and batteries not manufactured to meet the requirements of the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria, Part III, subsection 38.3 may be liable to overheating and catching fire.
For further shipping advice on moving batteries or indeed any other hazard please call one of our IATA regulated and haz trained staff for a friendly chat.