Legal Requirements

The transport of battery cells, batteries and equipment containing batteries is regulated by the international UN Regulation for the Transport of Dangerous Goods. 

With the aim to ensure safe transport of battery cells, batteries and equipment containing batteries by road, air and sea, the UN Transport of Dangerous Goods Regulation sets out the internationally mandatory testing, packaging and reporting obligations for these products. 
 
The obligations apply to:

  • lithium-based,
  • lead-based,
  • nickel-based and
  • sodium-based battery technologies likewise.

All four battery chemistries are classified as Dangerous Goods. Non-compliance with these requirements represents a severe safety, financial and reputational risk.

 
Batteriestransport.org is intended to provide guidance to battery transport operators as outlined by the international UN Regulation for the Transport of Dangerous Goods.
 

Lithium-ion batteries

Due to their dual hazard properties associated with their chemical and electrical content, lithium-ion batteries (UN 3480) as well as lithium-ion batteries contained in equipment or packed with equipment (UN 3481) are classified under CLASS 9 Dangerous Goods.

Nickel- & Lead-based batteries

Non-lithium batteries are classified as “Class 4.3” and “Class 8 ” Dangerous Goods in accordance with United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods Model Regulations.

Transport of batteries by end-users

The transport regulations as described here apply to professional transport only. Some airplane operators do require special transport for spare (not installed in device) lithium-based batteries, however. This includes that lithium-based batteries must be carried in carry-on package only and batteries must be prohibited from short circuit.

For more information, Batteriestransport.org advices to contact your flight operator prior to boarding.



Disclaimer: The information provided in this guidance is not a legally binding interpretation of the international UN Regulation for the Transport of Dangerous Goods. The authors and supporting organizations refrain from any responsibility. Please note that the guidance made available here can be updated at any time without prior notice.