ICAO to Ban Lithium Batteries as Cargo on Passenger Aircraft

ICAO to Ban Lithium Batteries as Cargo on Passenger Aircraft

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has now approved the amendments forbidding the transport of lithium metal batteries as cargo on passenger aircraft for incorporation in the 2015-2016 Edition of the Technical Instructions. The ICAO Technical Instructions serve as the internationally recognized regulations that apply to shippers of dangerous goods by air and under which air carriers are required to operate, although various modifications to these rules exist under the authority of sovereign states and air carriers in the form of formal variations.

The ANC supported,  and the Council requested the ICAO Secretariat to take action in implementing it as a matter of priority.

Included below is Special Provision A201 as amended by the ANC and Council. The words “A shipment of lithium metal batteries” was added to the beginning of the provision at the request of the ANC to ensure that States consider approvals on a case-by-case basis. Text clarifying that it is the States granting the approvals who must send copies to the ICAO Secretariat was added, as was a specific time period in which to do so.

A201: A shipment of lithium metal batteries may be transported on passenger aircraft only with the prior approval of the appropriate authority of the State of Origin and the State of the Operator under the written conditions established by those authorities. The conditions must include the quantity limitations, size limitations and packing requirements established in the Supplement (see S-3;4, Table S‑3 1). Copies of the documents of approval, showing the quantity limitations and packing requirements, must accompany the consignment.  Authorities issuing approvals in accordance with this special provision must provide a copy to the Chief of the Dangerous Goods Section within three months of issuance via email at DGS@icao.int, via facsimile at +1 514-954-6077 or via post to the following address:

Chief, Dangerous Goods Section

International Civil Aviation Organization

999 University Street

Montreal, Quebec

CANADA H3C 5H7

When States, other than the State of Origin and the State of the Operator, have notified ICAO that they require prior approval of shipments made under this special provision, approval must also be obtained from these States, as appropriate.

All of these changes will be reflected in the 56th edition of the DGR. In addition we will be developing a guidance document specifically setting out the changes applicable to lithium metal batteries as of 2015. The objective of this guidance document is to raise awareness with shippers and others on the actual changes and how this applies to shipments of lithium metal batteries in accordance with Section IA, IB and II of PI 968.