The information contained in this website is intended to provide readers with general awareness of available battery related 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.
Safety Testing for Lithium Batteries
The United States and other international organizations highly regulate the transportation of lithium cells and batteries. The following is an summary of governing agencies and their certifications.
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.
IEC62133 (Cells & Packs)
Secondary cells and batteries containing alkaline or other non-acid electrolytes – Safety requirements for portable sealed secondary cells, and for batteries made from them, for use in portable applications
In order to ensure transportation safety and to meet customer demand for transport of cargo containing lithium batteries, cells and battery packs must undergo UN38.3 (UNDOT) test. Lithium cells & battery packs, 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 primary or rechargeable.
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.