Lithium batteries are a part of everyday life, they are in our mobile phones and our laptops, they can be in power tools and many other appliances. Because we have grown so accustomed to them, we are sometimes not aware of the dangers when sending lithium batteries by air freight.
Many people are not aware that Lithium Metal and Lithium Ion batteries are classed as Dangerous Goods for transport by air freight and fail to disclose that they are included in their shipment. There are regulations in place covering Lithium Batteries in air cargo. They are not there to stop you moving your goods, they are there to help us move your goods safely.
The ICAO Dangerous Goods panel decided on 12th April 2014 to ban Lithium Metal Batteries from passenger aircraft. The ban is due to take place from 1st January 2015 and will only be overturned if the Air Navigation Commission or the ICAO Council decide that there is a reason to change it. At first the ban will only be for UN3090 Lithium Metal Batteries shipped on their own. UN3091 Lithium Metal Batteries Contained in equipment will not be affected. This is seen to be the first step towards a complete ban on any aircraft. The reason for the ban is they have been linked to various airline disasters.
Since the start of 2015 many airlines have started to ban UN3480 Lithium Ion Batteries (Including Lithium Polymer Batteries) on both passenger and cargo aircraft. Lithium Ion Batteries contained in equipment will still be accepted.
When completing a quotation request form always disclose if there are any Lithium Batteries or any other items that you may consider to be Dangerous Goods, your agent will be able to advise if you will require specialist packing. You are responsible to notify the agent when you are shipping lithium batteries by air freight.