Lithium Battery Label Update 2020

The New Lithium Battery handling labels and shipping marks have been mandatory, under changes to the IATA dangerous goods transport regulations, since 1st January 2019.

The Lithium Battery Handling Label/Mark

What does the lithium battery label look like and when is it required?

The lithium battery label is required as specified in the additional requirements of Section II of packing instructions 965, 966, 967, 968, 969 and 970. It is also required as specified in the additional requirements of Section IB of packing instructions 965 and 968 in addition to the Class 9 lithium battery hazard label and Cargo Aircraft Only label.

The label/mark is as shown in Figure 7.1.C of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations. The border of the mark must have red diagonal hatchings with a minimum width of 5mm. The symbol (group of batteries, one damaged and emitting flame, above the UN number for lithium ion or lithium metal batteries or cells) must be black on white or suitable contrasting background. The lithium battery mark may be printed directly on the outer packaging provided that there is sufficient contrast between the elements of the lithium battery mark and the colour of the packaging material.

The format of the lithium battery mark was revised in the 62nd Edition of the IATA DGR. The mark (originally 120mm x 110mm) may also now be a square with minimum dimensions of 100mm x 100mm.This may be reduced to be not less than 100 mm x 70 mm, where the size of the package prevents the application of the full size mark.

The wording in the provisions for the application of the mark identifies that mark must be a square or rectangle – which permits the continued usage of the current mark which is 120mm x110 mm.

lithium battery label min dimensions* Place for UN number(s), i.e. UN 3090, UN 3091, UN 3480 and/or UN 3481, as applicable. The UN number(s) indicated on the mark should be at least 12 mm high.


lithium battery label12mm high text


** Place for telephone number

 Note: The telephone number should be of a person knowledgeable about the shipment but is not intended to be for the purposes of obtaining immediate emergency response guidance, and is therefore not required to be monitored at all times that the package is in transit. It is acceptablefor the number to be monitored during the company’s normal business hours in order to provideproduct-specific information relative to the shipment. However, it also is acceptable to use an emergency response, 24-hour phone number on the lithium battery mark.

When is a lithium battery label not required on the package?

A lithium battery label must not be affixed to packages prepared in accordance with Section IA of Packing Instructions 965 and 968 and Section I of Packing Instructions 966, 967, 969 and 970.

A lithium battery label is not required for packages prepared in accordance with Section II of PI 967 or PI 970 containing only button cell batteries installed in equipment (including circuit boards) or consignments of two packages or less where each package contains no more than four cells or two batteries installed in equipment..

Section II in Packing Instructions 967 and 970 states that “the lithium battery label is not required on consignments of two packages or less where each package contains no more than four cells, or two batteries installed in equipment.” What is the intent of this provision?

This provision is to require, where there are more than two packages in the consignment, that each package bears the lithium battery label, and therefore the air waybill has the compliance statement e.g. “Lithium [ion or metal] batteries in compliance with Section II of PI 9xx [67 or 70]”.

The provision continues to allow for small consignments of one or two packages containing no more than four cells or two batteries installed in equipment per package to move without the lithium battery label.


The provisions that previously existed in and Figure 7.4.H of the IATA regulations have been deleted, as the lithium battery handling label is no longer valid in air transport.

The new labels came into effect on 1st  January 2019 and all transitional periods come to an end. The old lithium battery handling label is no longer valid and must not be applied to packages after 31 December 2018.

The Class 9 Hazard Label, specifically for lithium batteries, must also show the lithium battery image and can only be used for packages containing lithium batteries.

lithium battery label

This article should not be used in substitute for checking the exact requirements in the applicable modal regulations.

For further information visit the IATA website and see the 2019 Lithium Battery Guidance Document.

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