Air industry targets rogue lithium batteries


The International Air Transport Association (IATA), in partnership with the Global Shippers Forum (GSF), the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) and the International Air Cargo Association (TIACA), are amplifying their efforts to ensure the safe air transport of lithium batteries. 


The organisations are also renewing calls for governments to crack down on manufacturers of counterfeit batteries and of mis-labelled and non-compliant shipments introduced into the supply chain, by issuing and enforcing criminal sanctions on those responsible.


“Safety is aviation’s top priority. Airlines, shippers and manufacturers have worked hard to establish rules that ensure lithium batteries can be carried safely. But the rules are only effective if they are enforced and backed-up by significant penalties. Government authorities must step up and take responsibility for stopping rogue producers and exporters. Abuses of dangerous goods shipping regulations, which place aircraft and passenger safety at risk, must be criminalized,” commented Glyn Hughes, head of Cargo, IATA.


Vladimir Zubkov, Secretary General, The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA), said: “We have seen high interest from the regulators on the issue of lithium batteries not that long ago, and it did help to improve the situation. We are asking governments to put this problem again on the top of their agendas,”


“Responsible shippers rely on government enforcement of standards to protect their investment in training and safe operating procedures. Air freight remains a vital link in international supply chains and it is essential that the rules for ensuring the safe movement of all cargoes are understood and acted on by all parties involved,” added James Hookham, secretary general, The Global Shippers Forum (GSF).


“The increasing use of lithium batteries coupled with the growth of e-commerce supply and demand is exposing the air cargo supply chain to greater risk of un-declared or mis-declared goods.  We support regulators imposing strict adherence to established compliance standards,” said Mr. Keshav Tanner, chairman, FIATA’s Airfreight Institute.

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