Six major associations have signed a joint letter to Ministers of Trade, Industry and Transport, as well as Directors of Civil Aviation, calling for stricter regulations and penalties for rogue traders of lithium ion batteries.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA), the US Rechargeable Battery Association (PRBA), the Global Shippers Forum (GSF), the International Air Cargo Association (TIACA), the US Rechargeable Battery Association (PRBA), and the European Advanced Rechargeable and Lithium Battery Association (RECHARGE)—in other words, more abbreviations and acronyms than you can shake a stick at—are pushing for the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) Governing Council to enforce stricter safety regulations rather than imposing an outright ban.
This follows the interim ban on all shipments of lithium ion batteries on passenger aircraft in February this year, after a litany of dangerous fire incidents.
The signatories argue that such a ban increases the costs of supply chains and consumer goods by pressuring airlines to prohibit all lithium batteries unilaterally, including legitimate shipments, as they struggle to deal with rogue exporters who will often deliberately mislabel goods.
Rather than banning lithium batteries outright, which would punish lithium battery manufacturers as well as shippers, these associations are calling for the criminalisation of abuses of dangerous goods regulations, with heavy fines and custodial sentences for transgressors.
(Source: Handy Shipping Guide)