Coalition implores DOT to enforce lithium battery regulations
A 19-member coalition comprised of air cargo associations, battery manufacturers and electronics companies has written an open letter to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood urging the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to enforce penalties on shippers of lithium and lithium ion rechargeable batteries who breach air transportation safety policies.
Addressing the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) May 18 citation of three lithium battery-related incidents, the coalition stated that “the failure of some shippers to comply with these requirements has been the root cause of virtually all of reported air cargo transport incidents.”
What’s more, the letter indicated, “none of the incidents listed by FAA — and no others of which we are aware — were attributable to properly packaged, compliant shipments. But the U.S. DOT does not appear to be increasing enforcement pressures on shippers of improperly packaged lithium batteries or addressing shippers’ violations of regulations.”
To rectify the situation, the coalition implored the DOT to endorse global execution of current lithium battery regulations and lead the rest of the world in advocacy. It also supported the creation of regulatory initiatives to locate counterfeit battery manufacturers and minimize the risks these devices present in transit.
Imposing sanctions on those who breach safety regulations is key, the coalition maintains. “We believe, as we have for a long time, that without active, visible enforcement efforts on the part of U.S. DOT and its counterparts in other countries, shippers who violate the essential safety regulations will not understand the consequences of such illegal actions,” it wrote to LaHood.
The International Air Transport Association, the Air Transport Association, the Cargo Airline Association, the Airforwarders Association, The International Air Cargo Association, the National Association of Manufacturers, the Dangerous Goods Advisory Council, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Express Association of America are among coalition members.