49 CFR 172 Special Provision 188 (Numeric Codes)

These provisions are multi-modal and apply to bulk and non-bulk packagings.
Code188
DescriptionSmall lithium cells and batteries. Lithium cells or batteries, including cells or batteries packed with or contained in equipment, are not subject to any other requirements of this subchapter if they meet all of the following:
  • a. Primary lithium batteries and cells.
    • (1) Primary lithium batteries and cells are forbidden for transport aboard passenger-carrying aircraft. The outside of each package that contains primary (nonrechargeable) lithium batteries or cells must be marked “PRIMARY LITHIUM BATTERIES—FORBIDDEN FOR TRANSPORT ABOARD PASSENGER AIRCRAFT” or “LITHIUM METAL BATTERIES—FORBIDDEN FOR TRANSPORT ABOARD PASSENGER AIRCRAFT” on a background of contrasting color. The letters in the marking must be:
      • (i) At least 12 mm (0.5 inch) in height on packages having a gross weight of more than 30 kg (66 pounds); or
      • (ii) At least 6 mm (0.25 inch) on packages having a gross weight of 30 kg (66 pounds) or less, except that smaller font may be used as necessary to fit package dimensions; and
    • (2) The provisions of paragraph (a)(1) do not apply to packages that contain 5 kg (11 pounds) net weight or less of primary lithium batteries or cells that are contained in or packed with equipment and the package contains no more than the number of lithium batteries or cells necessary to power the piece of equipment;
  • b. For a lithium metal or lithium alloy cell, the lithium content is not more than 1.0 g. For a lithium-ion cell, the equivalent lithium content is not more than 1.5 g;
  • c. For a lithium metal or lithium alloy battery, the aggregate lithium content is not more than 2.0 g. For a lithium-ion battery, the aggregate equivalent lithium content is not more than 8 g;
  • d. Effective October 1, 2009, the cell or battery must be of a type proven to meet the requirements of each test in the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria (IBR; see §171.7 of this subchapter);
  • e. Cells or batteries are separated or packaged in a manner to prevent short circuits and are packed in a strong outer packaging or are contained in equipment;
  • f. Effective October 1, 2008, except when contained in equipment, each package containing more than 24 lithium cells or 12 lithium batteries must be:
    • (1) Marked to indicate that it contains lithium batteries, and special procedures should be followed if the package is damaged;
    • (2) Accompanied by a document indicating that the package contains lithium batteries and special procedures should be followed if the package is damaged;
    • (3) Capable of withstanding a 1.2 meter drop test in any orientation without damage to cells or batteries contained in the package, without shifting of the contents that would allow short circuiting and without release of package contents; and
    • (4) Gross weight of the package may not exceed 30 kg (66 pounds). This requirement does not apply to lithium cells or batteries packed with equipment;
  • g. Electrical devices must conform to §173.21;
  • h. For transportation by aircraft, a telephone report in accordance with §171.15(a) is required if a fire, violent rupture, explosion or dangerous evolution of heat (i.e., an amount of heat sufficient to be dangerous to packaging or personal safety to include charring of packaging, melting of packaging, scorching of packaging, or other evidence) occurs as a direct result of a lithium battery. For all modes of transportation, a written report submitted, retained, and updated in accordance with §171.16 is required if a fire, violent rupture, explosion or dangerous evolution of heat occurs as a direct result of a lithium battery or battery-powered device; and
  • i. Lithium batteries or cells are not authorized aboard an aircraft in checked or carry-on luggage except as provided in §175.10.
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