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Lithium Battery shipments by air

IATA have announced that they are stepping up efforts to reduce rogue lithium battery shipments. A constant problem by airfreight with many shippers and freight forwarders unsure of the rules. Consumer demand for lithium batteries continues to grow. At the same time so does mis-declared or undeclared lithium battery exports by air.

Lithium Battery shipments guidelines

Who is looking at the problem

The International Air Transport Association, in partnership with :

  • The Global Shippers Forum (GSF)
  • International Federation of Freight Forwarders Association (FIATA)
  • The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA)

Are all looking at options to improve the situation.

The campaign to improve Lithium Battery shipments includes :

  • New incident reporting system for airlines : An Industry information sharing platform has been launched to target mis-declared consignments of lithium batteries. The reporting system will allow real-time information about dangerous goods incidents. The aim is to identify and eradicate acts of deliberate or intentional concealment and mis-declaration.
  • Industry awareness campaign on the dangers of shipping undeclared and misdeclared lithium batteries : A series of dangerous goods awareness seminars are being held across the world targeting countries and regions where compliance has been challenging.
  • Facilitation of a joined up industry approach : Industry has put it’s support behind an initiative presented by the UK, NZ, FR and NL. Currently air cargo is scanned for items that pose a risk to security such as explosives but not safety such as lithium batteries.

“Safety is aviation’s top priority. Airlines, shippers and manufacturers have worked hard to establish rules that ensure lithium batteries can be carried safely. The rules are only effective if enforced and backed-up by significant penalties. Government authorities must step up and take responsibility for stopping rogue producers and exporters. Abuses of dangerous goods shipping regulations, which place aircraft and passenger safety at risk, must be criminalized,” 

Glyn Hughes, IATA global head of cargo

For IATA’s full transcript as well as the statements issued by members of the GSF / TIACA and FIATA.

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