[ID] => 10713
[post_author] => 34
[post_date] => 2019-03-13 14:08:09
[post_date_gmt] => 2019-03-13 14:08:09
[post_content] => The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued its long-awaited interim final rule (IFR) under HM-224I on 6 March, introducing changes to the provisions in the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) relating to the transport of lithium cells and batteries by aircraft. In effect, the rule brings the HMR into line with changes introduced on 1 April 2016 in the form of emergency amendments to the 2015-2016 edition of the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) Technical Instructions.
The main amendments are:
- A prohibition on the transport of lithium ion cells and batteries as cargo on passenger aircraft
- A requirement that lithium cells and batteries must be shipped at a state of charge of no more than 30 per cent on cargo-only aircraft, when not packed with or contained in equipment, and
- Limits on the use of alternative provisions for small lithium cell or battery shipments to one package per consignment.
The amendments will not restrict passengers or crew members from bringing personal items or electronic devices containing lithium cells or batteries aboard aircraft, or restrict the air transport of lithium ion cells or batteries when packed with or contained in equipment. There is also a limited exception from the state-of-charge requirement for cells and batteries used to power medical devices, which requires PHMSA approval.
As ever, there is devil in the details. There is a change to the marking and labelling requirements that will impact road and rail shipments that contain excepted lithium ion cells and batteries shipped in accordance with 49 CFR §173.185(c). Such shipments were previously required to display the lithium battery mark but must now also display either a mark stating “LITHIUM ION BATTERIES – FORBIDDEN FOR TRANSPORT ABOARD PASSENGER AIRCRAFT” or carry a “CARGO AIRCRAFT ONLY” mark. This requirement also applies to lithium ion cells and batteries contained in or packed with equipment, shipped under UN 3481, where the package exceeds 5 kg.
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Brian Beetz, manager of regulatory affairs and corporate responsibility at Labelmaster, says: “The regulatory requirements for shipping lithium batteries are complex and continue to expand, and having the rules vary by transportation mode only adds to the confusion and increases the chances of mistakes. The new IFR will generally harmonise DOT and ICAO regulations, further promoting safety across the industry by taking steps to ensure standalone lithium-ion batteries are not inadvertently loaded to aircraft, which can happen with multi-modal transportation.”
PHMSA found it was not feasible to apply the usual notice-and-comment process with the IFR, so it is effective immediately. In particular, it was under time pressure to get the rule in place as a result of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorisation Act of 2018, which gave it 90 days from 5 October 2018 to align HMR with the 2016 changes in the ICAO Technical Instructions. PHMSA will, however, listen to any comments received on the IFR prior to publication of a final rule at some point in the future. PHMSA also says that the specific applicability of Section 333 of the FAA Reauthorisation Act 2018 indicates that Congress perceived a safety risk that required “accelerated intervention”.
The full text of the IFR can be found here
[post_title] => Lithium batteries: Snap to it
[post_status] => publish
[comment_status] => open
[ping_status] => open
[post_name] => lithium-batteries-snap
[post_modified] => 2019-03-13 14:08:09
[post_modified_gmt] => 2019-03-13 14:08:09
[post_parent] => 0
[guid] => https://www.hcblive.com/?p=10713
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Lithium batteries: Snap to it
The US has at last come into line with ICAO provisions for the transport of lithium ion cells and batteries by air, with immediate effect