Lithium Battery Label Update 2022

IATA’s 63rd Edition Dangerous Goods Regulations took effect on 1st January, 2022.  There were several significant changes that affect the shipments of lithium batteries.

For 2022, IATA removed the Section II provisions for small lithium-ion and -metal cells and batteries shipped separately (UN 3480 and UN 3090) from Packing Instructions 965 and 968. The change impacts shippers of standalone lithium-ion and lithium-metal cells and batteries. ‘Standalone’ batteries are those not shipped ‘in equipment’ or ‘with equipment.’  After 31st March, 2022,  lithium battery shipments that fit the criteria for ‘Section II’ must be shipped using Section IA or IB of the appropriate Packing Instruction

The requirement for the telephone number on the lithium battery mark will be removed, but not until the 64th edition of IATA, which will be applicable from 1st January 2023.  Until then, a telephone number is required on the lithium battery mark.


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, the Class 9 lithium battery hazard label and Cargo Aircraft Only label are also required.  (The text on removal of the Cargo Aircraft Only label has been revised to include ‘or obliterated’ after ‘removed’, to provide flexibility).

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 lithium battery mark size has been updated to allow the label dimensions to be reduced to 100mm x 100mm and even further to 100mm x 70mm, where the package’s size 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 x 110 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.

** Place for telephone number (not a requirement after 1st January 2023).

lithium battery label12mm high text


 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..


Class 9 Hazard Label

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 2022 Lithium Battery Guidance Document.


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