Regulation Changes in Battery Transportation

Lithium Batteries

PHMSA is extending the mandatory compliance date of a final rule for lithium battery transportation published on August 6, 2014 under Docket No. HM-224F from February 6, 2015 until August 7, 2015. This revision is made in response to formal comments received from multiple stakeholders outlining challenges faced by the regulated community in fully implementing the provisions of the final rule in conformance with the February 6, 2015 mandatory compliance date. The original compliance date of February 6, 2015 remains in place for offering, accepting, and transporting by aircraft. 

“The biggest and most obvious change in the new battery transportation regulations is that the US Department of Transportation is deleting three shipping names that were previously authorized for the shipment of lithium batteries.  PHMSA is removing the following entries from the §172.101 HMT:
  • UN3090, Lithium battery
  • UN3091, Lithium batteries, contained in equipment; and
  • UN3091, Lithium batteries packed with equipment
They have developed six new shipping names that are specific to the chemistry of the battery. PHMSA is adding the following entries to the §172.101 HMT:
  • UN3480, Lithium ion batteries including lithium ion polymer batteries, 9, II
  • UN3481, Lithium ion batteries contained in equipment including lithium ion polymer batteries, 9, II 
  • UN3481, Lithium ion batteries packed with equipment including lithium ion polymer batteries, 9, II
  • UN3090, Lithium metal batteries including lithium alloy batteries, 9, II
  • UN3091, Lithium metal batteries contained in equipment including lithium alloy batteries, 9, II
  • UN3091, Lithium metal batteries packed with equipment including lithium alloy batteries, 9, II
The new regulation was issued on August 6, 2014, and the changes are effective on February 6, 2015.  See below for further information”


 “Veolia will require customers to sort their lithium batteries by type, either lithium metal or lithium ion. As a general industry rule, those types of batteries can be packed together, but to ensure compliance, our computer system requires us to separate them. If they don’t sort them, Veolia technicians will be required to do so before we can put them on the truck and ship them. This step could cause delays and extra charges for customers.”


“The Department of Transportation also adopted a new requirement for managing damaged, defective or recalled lithium batteries. Each battery must be placed in its own individual packaging that completely encloses the battery. Those packages must be surrounded by non-combustible, cushioning, and absorbent material and marked that it contains a damaged or defective lithium battery.”

Jennifer Eberle
Manager, Transportation Compliance
Veolia North America

Department of Transportation/Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
Docket No. PHMSA-2009-0095 (HM-224F)
Federal Register Vol. 79, No. 151, 8/6/14, pages 46012-46040