Lithium Battery Certification Meaning, Organization, and Requirements

Dec 27, 2019   Pageview:291

What does IEC mean on a lithium battery?

International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is an organization that sets the technical standards for battery sizes and types. Standards of batteries are set by two organizations the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

There are three different committees inside the IEC that make standards of batteries. TC21 (lead-acid batteries), SC21 (other secondary types) and TC35 (primary types). Each of these committees has published standards that relate to the nomenclature of batteries of their respective types. IEC 60095 for lead-acid starter batteries, IEC 61951-1 and 61951-2 for Ni-Cd and Ni-MH batteries, IEC 61960 for Li-ion, and IEC 60086-1 for primary batteries.

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What organization deal with lithium battery standards?

There are currently two organizations that deal with battery standards globally. The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). IEC deals with the non-rechargeable portable primary batteries that carry the number 60086. The IEC standard is applied throughout the whole world for any non-rechargeable portable battery. The equivalent US standard for other forms of batteries is the ANSI, specifically the ANSI C18 series. This series was developed by a committee of the US National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA).

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Low Temperature Large Current 24V Emergency Starting Power Supply Battery specification: 25.2V28Ah (lithium battery) , 27V300F (supercapacitor pack) Charging temperature:-40℃~+50℃ Discharging temperature: -40℃~+50℃ Starting current: 3000A

What are certification requirements for shipping lithium batteries?

All employees who handle or take part in shipping Lithium batteries must be certified by the Department of Transportation (DOT) to perform their duties. They must be certified in the 49 CFR 173.185 regulations that were originally published by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).

Shipments of Li-ion batteries must follow the following guidelines when shipped, otherwise, fines or legal actions could be taken against the shippers:

  • Each cell of the Li-ion battery must not contain more than one gram of Lithium.

  • Each Li-ion battery must not contain an amount of Lithium that is more than two grams.

  • Packages must have a complete and genuine return address.

  • Packages that contain non-installed batteries must have DOT approved lithium battery mark (UN3090).

Another regulation of shipping Li-ion batteries is when shipping to international destinations; Li-ion batteries cannot be shipped standalone. They have to be installed on the device they operate. It is not allowed to ship packages containing Li-ion batteries that are not installed in their devices.

Before shipping Li-ion batteries that are contained inside equipment, you have to keep in mind the following:

  • The regulations regarding the power and quantity of the cells and the batteries change frequently, you have to read the updated version of them before shipping.

  • Ask for the receiving destination regulations, as they may be different from those of your homeland.

  • If the equipment is damaged, make sure that the Li-ion batteries inside are not damaged too.

  • Make sure that the Li-ions batteries are not bulging out of the device.

It is also good to remember that defective batteries are treated as hazardous materials and are not allowed to be shipped anywhere.

The Packaging process of the equipment containing Li-ion batteries is extremely important. It is recommended that you use an expert packaging agency to help you with this process. It is important that you follow the following when packaging equipment containing Li-ion batteries inside:

  • Using sturdy, the high-quality packaging material is necessary. Do not use cheap material.

  • Equipment must be packed in a way that prevents it from moving while being shipped.

  • Add a return address and an emergency contact number on the package.

  • Lithium battery handling label must be placed on the package in a clear way and without folding.

When shipping equipment containing Li-ion batteries inside by air; you must write the phrase "Lithium-ion batteries in compliance with section 2 of PI967". This phrase must be written in a clear way and in the English language only. Finally, make sure that your shipment is well packed, well-labeled, and has the entire needed document.

Just like gasoline, sulphuric acid, and other hazardous goods. Lithium-ion batteries are considered as dangerous as these goods. Most Lithium-ion batteries are safe to be transported and used. The risk comes from overheating when a Lithium-ion battery is overheated it catch fire. And since Lithium is a very reactive material, once one battery caught fire the other batteries will follow, which will cause eventually an explosion.

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Most fire fighting systems and extinguishers are unable to suppress a fire caused by a reaction of Lithium. That is why it is crucial when packaging Lithium-ion batteries extreme caution is applied. That way you could avoid short circuit and overheat of the batteries.


There are some tips if followed you can ensure the safety of your shipment:

  • Prevent the Li-ion batteries from being in contact with any conductive material.

  • Equipment must be protected against accidental activation.

  • Before shipping contact your shipping company to make sure what devices can be active during transportation and what cannot.

  • Devices with a high chance of overheating must be packed in special packaging material that has the ability to act as a cooler to the batteries no matter what the surrounding temperatures are.

  • A non-conductive divider must be placed between the devices containing Li-ion batteries inside.

  • Ensure that no Li-ion battery comes in contact with another one.

  • Li-ion batteries must not come near any metallic surface while in transportation.

  • Exposed terminals and connectors must be covered in a non-conductive material.

  • If the lithium ion batteries in the shipment have a capacity of more than 100 Wh, then; a Dangerous Goods contract will be required.

  • If you are shipping the Li-ion batteries by air, ask for the average temperature inside the cargo plane. If it poses a risk of overheating -based on the Li-ion manual- then do not ship the batteries.

  • Small lithium-ion batteries are excused from most of the safety regulations due to their tiny size. That is why it is important to check the shipping regulations for Li-ion batteries before every shipment you make to stay updated.

  • Before packaging the Li-ion batteries it is recommended that you keep their capacity below 30%. Any more and the shipment will be refused.

  • If the package is more than 5 Kg, a Dangerous Goods contract is also required.

Finally, it is important to remember that Li-ion batteries are a hazardous material, which should be handled with extreme care and caution.

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