IMDG Code 38-16 – Update 5 – Lithium Batteries

Fifth in this series is Lithium Batteries!

IMDG Code 38th amendment brings forth special marking for packages of Lithium Batteries subject to special provision 188 of the code and label for those lithium batteries not subject to it.

  • The introductory note to chapter 3.3 is modified by including words “If the required mark is in the form of specific wording indicated in quotation marks, such as “Damaged Lithium Batteries”, the size of the mark shall be at least 12 mm, unless otherwise indicated in the special provision or elsewhere in IMDG Code.” ; and 
  •    Amended the paragraph 6 of special provision 188 to read Each package shall be marked with the appropriate lithium battery mark, as illustrated in 5.2.1.10

Above requirement does not apply to packages containing only button cell batteries installed in equipment (including circuit boards); and packages containing no more than four cells or two batteries installed in equipment, where there are not more than two packages in the consignment.

The mark shall indicate the UN number, preceded by the letters “UN”, i.e.

  • “UN 3090” for lithium metal cells or batteries or
  • “UN 3480” for lithium ion cells or batteries.

Where the lithium cells or batteries are contained in, or packed with, equipment, the UN number preceded by the letters “UN”,

  • “UN 3091”   for   LITHIUM METAL BATTERIES CONTAINED IN EQUIPMENT or LITHIUM METAL BATTERIES PACKED WITH EQUIPMENT or
  • “UN 3481”   for   LITHIUM ION BATTERIES CONTAINED IN EQUIPMENT or LITHIUM ION BATTERIES PACKED WITH EQUIPMENT

    as appropriate shall be indicated.

Where a package contains lithium cells or batteries assigned to different UN numbers, all applicable UN numbers shall be indicated on one or more marks.

New Lithium Battery Mark

New lithium battery mark for those under special provision 188 of the Code

The mark shall be in the form of a rectangle with hatched edging. The dimensions shall be a minimum of 120 mm wide x 110 mm high and the minimum width of the hatching shall be 5 mm. The symbol (group of batteries, one damaged and emitting flame, above the UN number for lithium ion or lithium metal batteries or cells) shall be black on white. The hatching shall be red.

If the size of the package so requires, the dimensions/line thickness may be reduced to not less than 105 mm wide x 74 mm high. Where dimensions are not specified, all features shall be in approximate proportion to those shown.”. 

(The provisions of marking in special provision 188 of amendment 37-14 of the IMDG Code may continue to be applied until 31 December 2018.)

 New Lithium Battery Label

For lithium batteries not subject to special provision 188 the label to be used is model no. 9A of section 5.2.2.2 of IMDG Code, as below

For dangerous goods of class 9 the placard must be in accordance to the label model No. 9 as in 5.2.2.2.2; label model No. 9A must not be used for placarding purposes.

Changes to Packing Instruction

Packing Instruction P908 introductory notes modified to read as This instruction applies to damaged or defective lithium ion cells and batteries and damaged or defective lithium metal cells and batteries, including those contained in equipment, of UN Nos. 3090, 3091, 3480 and 3481.

New packing instruction P910 for production runs consisting of not more than 100 cells and batteries and to pre-production prototypes of cells and batteries when these prototypes are transported for testing.

Further reading

IMDG Code 38-16 – Update 4 – Vehicles and Engines