Need help getting a lithium battery shipment out the door?    The HAZMATEAM Lithium Battery Shipping Guide summarizes lithium battery classification, package marks/labels, documentation and packaging requirements.  CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD the free HAZMATEAM Lithium Battery Shipping Guide (pdf).  NOTE:  Some browsers may not support downloads; if this happens try switching to another browser.   For best results use Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Watch the video to see how to use the Guide:

November 30, 2017 UPDATE

Here is what is in store for shipping Lithium Batteries in 2018:

  • Use up your supply of the soon to be obsolete Lithium Battery Handling Marks:

These marks are required on certain packages containing small and medium lithium batteries.    The last day you can use these marks is 31-Dec-2018.    The new Lithium Battery marks (which can be used today) are:

Note: effective 1-Jan-2018 IATA, Section indicates the UN and number should be at least 12 mm high.

  • If your package of lithium batteries requires a Class 9 label (all fully regulated packages and Section IB of IATA PI 965 or 968), you must use the following version on 1-Jan-2019 (you can use it today):

  • IATA added new segregation requirements for UN 3480 and UN 3090:

  • Packages or overpacks containing UN 3480 or UN 3090 cannot be packed with Class 1 other than Division 1.4S, Division 2.1, Class 3, Division 4.1 or Division 5.1.   These are requirements for packages prepared according to PI 965 Sections IA & IB and PI 968 Sections IA & IB

  • Cells and batteries packaged according to PI 965 Section II or 968 Section II cannot be packed in the same outer packaging with other Dangerous Goods.

  • Effective 1-Jan-2019, all vessel and ground consignments of more than 2 packages of small lithium batteries contained in equipment must be marked with the lithium battery handling mark.    This requirement is mandatory today for air transport.

  • Airlines continue to add lithium battery restrictions, more stringent than the requirements of the IATA DGR.  Be sure to check your airline prior to shipping.  Some airline restrictions that have frustrated many shippers in the past year include:

  • FEDEX and UPS will not accept UN 3480, Lithium Ion Batteries shipped according to IATA PI 965 Section II; and
  • FEDEX and UPS will not accept UN 3090, Lithium Metal Batteries shipped according to IATA PI 968 Section II

Starting in 2017, the above shipments must be shipped according Section IA or IB of their respective PI.    This means a declaration is now required for air shipments of small lithium batteries without equipment via FEDEX or UPS!

FEDEX also requires additional marking requirements if using the old version of the lithium battery handing mark (“CAUTION label”).


    In March of 2016 ICAO/IATA issued very stringent new rules for shipping UN 3480, Lithium Ion Batteries for air transport.   Lithium ion batteries without equipment shipped according to Packing Instructions 965 Sections IA, IB or II are

    • prohibited for passenger air transport

    • the state of charge of the batteries and cells may not exceed 30%

These requirements have been in place with IATA since March of 2016.   We are awaiting DOT to incorporate these rules into 49 CFR sometime in 2018.  


The November 28, 2017 version of the HAZMATEAM LITHIUM BATTERY SHIPPING GUIDE provides a summary of these updated regulations, including illustrations of package marks/labels, Dangerous Goods Declaration form examples, package testing requirements and emergency response information.

The 2018 Lithium Battery Guide incorporates a summary of requirements described in the 59th Edition (2018) of the IATA DGR, the latest DOT update addressing lithium batteries (March 30, 2017) and Amendment 38-16 of the IMDG Code.    Always consult the regulations for the complete rules.  However, the Guide is a great starting point…

HAZMATEAM Lithium Battery Shipping Guide Revision History

November 28, 2017 … Updated to reflect 2018 IATA DGR.   Sections added to the Guide: Package performance testing requirements and Emergency Response requirements.   We also doubled the number of shipping paper (BOL and declarations) examples and re-formatted the battery size definition sections for clarity.

March 31, 2017 … Incorporation of HM-215N following the re-release of the final rule on March 30, 2017.

March 15, 2017 … Incorporation of 27-Feb-2017 DOT Notice. Also, updated to clarify use of address labels on packages.

February 1, 2017… Removal of HM-215N requirements as a result of Regulatory Freeze executive memorandum

January 22, 2017…  Incorporated HM-215N DOT final rule

January 1, 2017 …Incorporated 2017 DOT, IMDG and IATA Updates

May 17, 2016 ... Incorporated 2016 ERG Guide pages; clarified scope of Guide; added disclaimer


Training is required if you prepare a shipment of lithium batteries for transportation. HAZMATEAM offers several online and classroom lithium battery courses. The course you need is dependent upon which lithium battery you ship, the size of the battery and mode of transport. The grid below summarizes the online and classroom Lithium Battery courses offered at Hazmateam.

Online Course Battery Type Sizes Modes Approx. Duration
Lithium Ion & Lithium Metal  * Rechargeable &
 All Sizes Ground (49 CFR), Air (IATA) & Vessel (IMDG)   9-10 hours
Lithium Ion Rechargeable  All Sizes Ground (49 CFR), Air (IATA) & Vessel (IMDG)   7-8 hours
Small Lithium Metal Non-Rechargeable  Small &   Medium Ground (49 CFR) & Air (IATA)   6-7 hours
Small Lithium Ion Rechargeable Small & Medium Ground (49 CFR) & Air (IATA)   6-7 hours

* The classroom version of TRANSPORATION OF LITHIUM METAL AND LITHIUM ION BATTERIES is also available at the HAZMATEAM Training Center.