Lithium batteries are in high demand, which has resulted in the creation of laws and regulations to better control their transportation.

In the world we live in today, practically all human endeavors are propelled by energy. No industry can claim to be exempt from this ongoing need, including agriculture, heavy industry, services, and “personal technology”.

The industrial electrification industry, which is currently going through a very productive time due to the significant advantages of the energy transition as well as the more demanding worldwide environmental policies, is also a component of this phenomenon.

The term “electrification” has become most frequently associated with lithium batteries in recent years.

Lithium batteries have evolved from their initial use in computers and small tooling applications to the electrification of hybrid or fully electric vehicles, and more and more producers of industrial machines and electric vehicles are now relying on this technology to make the switch to electric for their fleets and/or plants.

Due to the significant increase in demand, it has been necessary to “secure the arrival” of these items on international markets, which has resulted in an astonishing increase in flows. As a result, laws and regulations have been launched to better control the transit of lithium batteries and guide exporters.


But, in respect of lithium batteries, the problem of safety grabs customers’ caring about and has an impact on each link of the supply chain, of sure, that will be included transportation.

Different lithium-based chemistries are now commercially accessible; each has unique features and properties that make it more or less suitable for a certain application. In terms of defining the proper and good performance of a lithium battery, chemistry will be not the only factor that must be taken into consideration; also the Battery Management System (BMS) will play a significant and important role.

A BMS can maximize the benefits of the selected chemistry, guaranteeing consistency and reliability throughout time by regulating and controlling all the components that work with the battery.


Generally, several variables connected to the thermal risk of lithium batteries, and also to chemical, electrical, and kinetic dangers, include C-Rate, thermal stability, specific energy, etc.

Lithium batteries are categorized as dangerous commodities for these reasons, just like chemicals or flammable goods. They can be carried by all means, including road, rail, sea, and air, just like any other commodity.

However, because they are included in the list of dangerous products, their transit is governed by particular laws that guarantee correct handling and protection during the haulage and storage phases, preventing unpleasant events like fires. It is exactly because of this that they are categorized as “dangerous goods” and must be handled by specific European standards and appropriate shipping packing when handled both locally and abroad.

How can lithium batteries be carried safely? What are the "rules" that must be adhered to?


Considering transportation, lithium batteries can be delivered in some ways, such as by road, sea, rail, or air under the proper certification and the right package. But, medium and large batteries are among the products that air companies do not accept, also they forbid lithium battery transit on cargo flights.

All products deemed to be “dangerous” must adhere to the strict guidelines outlined in the international manual created by the UN, namely the Manual of Tests and Criteria. In section 38.3 of this document, specifications for lithium-ion batteries are provided. Therefore, this document will be included all the rules that must be done by the safety handling guide for items to be delivered.

To prevent fines or customs detentions and to make sure that there are no risks during shipment, UN 38.3 Certification is required for the safety handling guide of batteries in any way of transport, both domestically and internationally, except for prototypes or small lithium battery test series.

Battery certification to UN 38.3

The UN 38.3 test verifies that batteries are suitable for all types of transportation and confirms that they have passed all of the regulatory needed selection tests.

To assure the safety of the battery packs and cells during shipping, a rigorous sequence of 8 separate tests must be completed by an authorized independent center for lithium batteries to receive UN 38.3 Certification.

The tests mandated by UN 38.3 include:

The battery is subjected to a pressure of 11.6 kPa over more than 6 hours, after which certain conditions, such as a voltage retention of at least 90% and the absence of mass loss, leakage, venting, disassembly, and fire, must be met.


T2. Temperature test

The battery is kept at +72°C for six hours and then -40°C for six hours for a total of 10 cycles. Both a thermal shock chamber and a single room can be used for the test.


T3. Test for vibration

a test where the vibrations present in regular transit are modeled.


T4.Shock test

a test in which a battery collision is simulated by giving it a lot of acceleration.


T5. Test for external short circuit

To better comprehend what would happen in the event of an accident, the terminals are shorted in a simulation of a short circuit outside the cell.


T6, Impact test

Only individual main and secondary cells are eligible for this test. In addition to dropping the package before delivery, it impacts the battery with a 9.1 kg mass.


T7. Test for overload

To simulate the overload state of a rechargeable battery, a simulation is run in which 2 hours is filled with 24 times the recommended charging current from the manufacturer. In the event of fire or disassembly, the battery must subsequently be kept under observation for seven days.


T8. Test for forced discharge

a test where the battery’s whole capacity is forcedly discharged to imitate the condition.

Examining performance

Performance tests are used to both confirm battery functionality and objectively compare the nominal characteristics of batteries with those of other batteries of the same type already on the market.

The testing efforts by lithium battery firms for this kind of accumulator have expanded considerably in recent years as a result of a major increase in the use of lithium batteries in the automobile industry.

Up until a few years ago, there weren’t many labs equipped to test medium- and large-sized batteries (or rather, batteries with sizes other than single cells and portable devices). But recently, several different laboratories have been established in Europe, and in the past year, a large investment has been made in Italy to develop laboratories appropriate for the execution of these particular tests.


The accompanying shipping documentation and labeling must be accurate and complete to move forward with outbound logistics once it has been determined that the batteries meet all of the requirements in section 38.3.

Every battery that is suitable for travel must have a document called a Battery Summary Test, according to the most recent edition of the Manual of Tests and Criteria. To enable identification and ensure the battery’s safety during shipping, this summarizes all of the battery’s data and distinguishing features, together with the tests it has passed.

What rules apply to the transport of lithium batteries and how are they classified?

The shipping of hazardous products, and lithium batteries in particular, is governed by various regulations, both European and worldwide, with which carriers are expected to conform, depending on the manner of shipment chosen

Worldwide Maritime Dangerous Goods Code

Lithium battery transportation laws are governed by the IATA DGR or International Air Transport Association Dangerous Goods Regulations.

Each rule outlines the conditions necessary for the secure transport of such hazardous materials as well as the duties and commitments that must be met by all parties. Each of these standards also provides details on the classification criteria for commodities, the best packing, the conditions of transport, the labeling of packages and transport units, the creation of transport documents, and the kinds of vehicles deemed appropriate.

The grouping of batteries for transportation

Like every item with a “dangerous” designation, lithium batteries belong to a certain hazard class. The classification of lithium-ion batteries is Class 9: Miscellaneous – Dangerous Materials. This indicates that the particular label for this class must be included on every shipment of these products.

Lithium batteries are split into two types by law to ensure total transit safety:

Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries are the most common.

disposable or non-rechargeable batteries

A second differentiation takes into account the shipping technique that will be used to package them:

Battery with a gadget (auto, truck, or any generic gadget)

UN codes specify the type of items inserted inside the gadget itself.

The designated codes for rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are UN3480 and UN3481.


Lithium-ion batteries classified as Class 9 under the UN 3480 standard are those that are not installed or packed with the equipment.

This UN code designates lithium-ion batteries that are transported apart from the devices they will be used with by the end user, or those batteries that are packed without the device.


Lithium-ion batteries packed inside or inside the equipment that fall under Class 9 (UN3481) but are not connected to the source.

To ensure that you have used the proper packing and avoid receiving complaints from transporters, the “state of the battery” item is crucial.

The following instances can be used to categorize battery states:

defective or dysfunctional batteries that are not harmed

Batteries for recycling or disposal

batteries that have suffered severe damage (as a consequence of an accident or test)

modest production runs of under 100 units or prototype batteries

Transport authorities may demand specific packaging for batteries that have been deemed damaged to safeguard the security and safety of individuals transporting them.


However, when it comes to electrification, and particularly machinery and cars powered by lithium batteries, it is the manufacturer’s safety measures that play a major role in assuring the complete safety of lithium batteries. This is in addition to certification.

Additionally, we have created a sophisticated battery management system that enables us to maximize the performance of the selected chemistry while ensuring long-term security and dependability.

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