Safety Testing for Lithium Batteries
United States and international organizations highly regulate the transportation of lithium cells and batteries. The following is an summary of governing agencies and their certifications.
The information contained in this website is intended to provide readers with general awareness of battery shipping regulations and does not constitute legal advice. The most current actual regulations and standards in their original language should be reviewed for all business, legal, and product compliance purposes.
UL 1642 (Cells)
Includes primary (non-rechargeable) and secondary (rechargeable) lithium cells for use as power sources in products.
UL 2054 (Packs)
Includes portable primary (non-rechargeable) and secondary (rechargeable) battery packs for use as power sources in products. These batteries consist of either a single electrochemical cell, or two or more cells connected in series, parallel, or both.
If you build any of our lithium cells into a battery pack, you must also ensure they are tested in accordance with the UN Model Regulations, Manual of Test and Criteria. Part III, subsection 38.3, 5th revised edition, Amendment 1.
Shipping Lithium Batteries
All lithium batteries must pass section 38.3 of the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria (UN Transportation Testing). As they are considered hazardous materials, lithium batteries are subject to regulations. Transportation rules and methods will also vary, depending on the each design’s power needs and whether the lithium battery is rechargeable. According to legal authorities, the shipping party that provides lithium batteries for transport carries all responsibility.
When shipping lithium batteries within the United States, pay close attention to the following details of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR):
- 49 CFR 173.185 and 49 CFR 172.102
- Regulations may vary, depending on whether lithium batteries are shipped alone, accompanied by or inside of a piece of equipment.
- UPS follows 49 CFR for both ground and air shipments.
- Fedex allows 49 CFR for ground shipments and IATA regulations for air shipments
- Fedex allows 49 CFR for ground shipments and IATA regulations for air shipments: Refer to IATA Packing Instructions and IATA Lithium Shipping Guidance Document
Only upon passing section 38.3 of the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria (UN Transportation Testing), can a lithium battery pack be considered a production unit. All prototypes are required to be shipped in Class 9 packaging and enclosed in non-combustible, non-conductive packaging material. Additionally, prototypes may only be transported via ground methods and the shipper must be HazMat-trained.