Customs Updated:
31 Jul 2017

Tariff Book (S1 P1)
Mis-declared Lithium Batteries

Considering their uses in a wide variety of consumer goods ranging from mobile phones to toys and cars, the transportation of lithium batteries by air - be it cargo or passenger baggage - has been increasing.

As a consequence, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has issued technical instructions and guidance for the safe transport of dangerous goods such as lithium batteries by air: https://www.icao.int/safety/DangerousGoods/Pages/default.aspx and various civil aviation authorities have come up with related transport regulations.

To help compliance with transport regulations, IATA has developed guidance (https://www.iata.org/publications/dgr/Pages/index.aspx) for shippers, freight forwarders, ground handlers, airlines and passengers concerning the packaging, documentation and tendering of lithium batteries.

If not declared and handled properly in accordance with relevant regulations, lithium batteries could potentially pose a safety and security risk to the aircraft.

In order to ensure and enhance the safety and security of carriers and other entities involved in the aviation chain, more awareness raising and collaboration among all relevant stakeholders, including Customs administrations, is required. To that end, IATA has recently issued a Bulletin on mis-declared lithium batteries that can be accessed at : https://www.iata.org/whatwedo/cargo/dgr/Documents/misdeclared-lithium-batteries.pdf

Story by: Riaan de Lange