Below is a summary of the Special Provisions from the Australian Code for the Transportation of Dangerous Goods (ADGC), for Lithium Batteries. Also included is clause 2.9.4 from the ADGC for convenience. It includes the following types of Lithium Batteries,
UN3480 – Lithium Ion Batteries (including lithium polymer batteries)
UN3481 – Lithium Ion Batteries Contained in Equipment or Packed with Equipment
UN3090 – Lithium Metal Batteries (including lithium polymer batteries)
UN3091 – Lithium Metal Batteries Contained in Equipment or Packed with Equipment
This summary is to be used in conjunction with our article “Deciphering the Transport Requirements for Used Lithium Batteries“.
All of the Special Provisions apply to UN3480, 3481, 3090 & 3091, unless indicated otherwise.
188 Cells and batteries offered for transport are not subject to other provisions of this Code if they meet the following:
(a) For a lithium metal or lithium alloy cell, the lithium content is not more than 1 g, and for a lithium ion cell, the Watt-hour rating is not more than 20 Wh; and
(b) For a lithium metal or lithium alloy battery the aggregate lithium content is not more than 2 g, and for a lithium ion battery, the Watt-hour rating is not more than 100 Wh. Lithium ion batteries subject to this provision must be marked with the Watt-hour rating on the outside case, except those manufactured before 1 January 2009;
230 Lithium cells and batteries may be transported under this entry if they meet the provisions of 2.9.4.
310 The testing requirements in Chapter 38.3 of the Manual of Tests and Criteria do not apply to production runs consisting of not more than 100 cells and batteries, or to pre-production prototypes of lithium cells and batteries when these prototypes are transported for testing, if:
(a) the cells and batteries are transported in an outer packaging that is a metal, plastics or plywood drum or a metal, plastics or wooden box and that meets the criteria for packing group I packagings; and
(b) each cell and battery is individually packed in an inner packaging inside an outer packaging and is surrounded by cushioning material that is non-combustible, and non-conductive.
348 (UN3480 & 3481) Batteries manufactured after 31 December 2011 must be marked with the Watt hour rating on the outside case.
360 (UN3481 & 3091) Vehicles only powered by lithium metal batteries or lithium ion batteries must be assigned to the entry UN 3171 BATTERY POWERED VEHICLE. Lithium batteries installed in cargo transport units, designed only to provide power external to the transport unit shall be assigned to entry UN 3536 LITHIUM BATTERIES INSTALLED IN CARGO TRANSPORT UNIT.
376 Lithium ion cells or batteries and lithium metal cells or batteries identified as being damaged or defective such that they do not conform to the type tested according to the applicable provisions of the Manual of Tests and Criteria must comply with the requirements of this special provision.
For the purposes of this special provision, these may include, but are not limited to:
– Cells or batteries identified as being defective for safety reasons;
– Cells or batteries that have leaked or vented;
– Cells or batteries that cannot be diagnosed prior to transport; or
– Cells or batteries that have sustained physical or mechanical damage.
NOTE: In assessing a battery as damaged or defective, the type of battery and its previous use and misuse must be taken into account. Cells and batteries must be transported according to the provisions applicable to UN 3090, UN 3091, UN 3480 and UN 3481, except special provision 230 and as otherwise stated in this special provision. Packages must be marked “DAMAGED/DEFECTIVE LITHIUM-ION BATTERIES” or “DAMAGED/DEFECTIVE LITHIUM METAL BATTERIES”, as applicable.
Cells and batteries must be packed in accordance with packing instructions P908 of 188.8.131.52 or LP904 of 184.108.40.206, as applicable.
Cells and batteries liable to rapidly disassemble, dangerously react, produce a flame or a dangerous evolution of heat or a dangerous emission of toxic, corrosive or flammable gases or vapours under
normal conditions of transport must not be transported except under conditions specified by the competent authority.
377 Lithium ion and lithium metal cells and batteries and equipment containing such cells and batteries transported for disposal for recycling, either packed together with or packed without non-lithium batteries, may be packaged in accordance with packing instruction
P909 of 220.127.116.11.
These cells and batteries are not subject to the requirements of section 2.9.4. Additional exemptions may be provided under the conditions defined by modal transport regulations.
Packages must be marked “LITHIUM BATTERIES FOR DISPOSAL” or “LITHIUM BATTERIES FOR RECYCLING”.
Identified damaged or defective batteries must be transported in accordance with special provision 376 and packaged in accordance with P908 of 18.104.22.168 or LP904 of 22.214.171.124, as applicable.
384 The label to be used is Model No 9A, see 126.96.36.199.2. However, for placarding of cargo transport units, the placard shall correspond to Model No 9.
NOTE: The Class 9 label (Model No 9) may continue to be used until 31 December 2018.
387 Lithium batteries in conformity with 2.9.4 (f) containing both primary lithium metal cells and rechargeable lithium ion cells shall be assigned to UN Nos. 3090 or 3091 as appropriate. When such batteries are transported in accordance with special provision 188, the total lithium content of all lithium metal cells contained in the battery shall not exceed 1.5 g and the total capacity of all lithium ion cells contained in the battery shall not exceed 10 Wh.
390 (UN3480 & 3091)When a package contains a combination of lithium batteries contained in equipment and lithium batteries packed with equipment, the following requirements apply for the purposes of package marking and documentation:
(a) the package must be marked “UN 3091 Lithium metal batteries packed with equipment”, or “UN 3481 Lithium ion batteries packed with equipment”, as appropriate. If a package contains both lithium ion batteries and lithium metal batteries packed with and contained in equipment, the package must be marked as required for both battery types. However, button cell batteries installed in equipment (including circuit boards) need not be considered.
(b) the transport document must indicate “UN 3091 LITHIUM METAL BATTERIES PACKED WITH EQUIPMENT” or “UN 3481 LITHIUM ION BATTERIES PACKED WITH EQUIPMENT”, as appropriate. If a package contains both lithium metal batteries and lithium ion batteries packed with and contained in equipment, then the transport document must indicate both “UN 3091 LITHIUM METAL BATTERIES PACKED WITH EQUIPMENT” and “UN 3481 LITHIUM ION BATTERIES PACKED WITH EQUIPMENT.
2.9.4 LITHIUM BATTERIES
Cells and batteries, cells and batteries contained in equipment, or cells and batteries packed with equipment, containing lithium in any form must be assigned to UN Nos. 3090, 3091, 3480 or 3481 as appropriate. They may be transported under these entries if they meet the following provisions:
(a) Each cell or battery is of the type proved to meet the requirements of each test of the Manual of Tests and Criteria, Part III, subsection 38.3; Cells and batteries manufactured according to a type meeting the requirements of sub-section 38.3 of the Manual of Tests and Criteria, Revision 3, Amendment 1 or any subsequent revision and amendment applicable at the date of the type testing may continue to be transported, unless otherwise provided in this Code. Cell and battery types only meeting the requirements of the Manual of Tests and Criteria, Revision 3, are no longer valid. However, cells and batteries manufactured in conformity with such types before 1 July 2003 may continue to be transported if all other
applicable requirements are fulfilled.
NOTE: Batteries are to be of a type proved to meet the testing requirements of the Manual of Tests and Criteria, part III, sub-section 38.3, irrespective of whether the cells of which they are composed are of a
(b) Each cell and battery incorporates a safety venting device or is designed to preclude a violent rupture under conditions normally incident to transport;
(c) Each cell and battery is equipped with an effective means of preventing external short circuits;
(d) Each battery containing cells or series of cells connected in parallel is equipped with effective means as necessary to prevent dangerous reverse current flow (e.g., diodes, fuses, etc.);
(e) Cells and batteries must be manufactured under a quality management programme that includes:
(i) A description of the organisational structure and responsibilities of personnel with regard to design and
(ii) The relevant inspection and test, quality control, quality assurance, and process operation instructions that will be used;
(iii) Process controls that should include relevant activities to prevent and detect internal short circuit failure during manufacture of cells;
(iv) Quality records, such as inspection reports, test data, calibration data and certificates. Test data must be kept and made available to the competent authority upon request;
(v) Management reviews to ensure the effective operation of the quality management programme;
(vi) A process for control of documents and their revision;
(vii) A means for control of cells or batteries that are not conforming to the type tested as mentioned in (a) above;
(viii) Training programmes and qualification procedures for relevant personnel; and
(ix) Procedures to ensure that there is no damage to the final product.
NOTE: In house quality management programmes may be accepted. Third party certification is not required, but the procedures listed in (i) to (ix) above must be properly recorded and traceable. A copy of the quality management programme must be made available to the competent authority upon request.