PHMSA Issues Interim Final Rule on Lithium Batteries Transported by Aircraft

Posted by Matt Schmitt on 2/28/19 5:00 PM

On February 27, 2019, the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) released the interim final rule on enhanced safety provisions for lithium batteries transported by aircraft. This rule harmonizes the U.S. Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) with the 2015-2016 edition of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (ICAO TI).

The HMR will be amended to contain the following:

  1.  “A prohibition on the transport of lithium ion cells and batteries as cargo on passenger aircraft;”

  2. “A requirement that lithium ion cells and batteries be shipped at not more than a 30 percent state of charge aboard cargo-only aircraft;”

  3. “A limitation on the use of alternative provisions for small lithium cell or battery shipments to one package per consignment or overpack.”

These amendments will not restrict the air transport of lithium ion cells or batteries when packed with or contained in equipment. The interim rule will go into effect upon publication in the Federal Register.


The PHMSA announcement may be found here:

The revised lithium battery provisions may be found here:

Topics: Dangerous Goods, DOT