The government of Canada through the Minister of Transport has issued this statement:
The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, today announced a suite of amendments to Canada’s Transport of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDGR). The updates include a ban on transporting lithium metal batteries as cargo on passenger flights in Canada, as well as new labelling and Emergency Response Assistance Plan (ERAP) requirements for certain dangerous goods.
In 2014, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) adopted a ban on the shipment of lithium metal batteries as cargo aboard passenger aircraft. The main concern is that if ignited, they can cause any nearby batteries to overheat and catch fire as well. Most passenger airlines in Canada have already voluntarily banned lithium metal batteries as cargo.
The prohibition comes into effect on January 1, 2015, to comply with the ICAO ban. It applies to all shipments of lithium metal batteries as cargo on passenger planes within Canada. It does not apply to batteries already contained in or packed with equipment, but only to those packaged and shipped separately. The ban will not affect travellers’ personal devices such as laptops and smartphones, which use lithium ion batteries.
Other updates to the TDGR include:
Incorporating Protective Direction (PD) 33 into the TGDR. Introduced in April 2014, PD33 ordered rail shippers of ethanol, petroleum crude oil, gasoline, and other petroleum products to have an approved Emergency Response Assistance Plan (ERAP) in place to ensure proper emergency response in the event of an incident or release involving these flammable liquids.
Adding ERAP requirements for petroleum sour crude oil and Alcohols N.O.S. (typically used to classify ethanol in the US), which were not previously included under PD33.
New United Nations (UN) product numbers for petroleum sour crude oil and biomedical waste.
Transport Canada held extensive consultations on the amendments with stakeholders from across Canada. The updates will align the TDGR with UN recommendations and other international norms.
The new ban under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations (TDGR) applies only to lithium metal batteries shipped as cargo on passenger aircraft.
It does not apply to batteries already contained in devices, therefore passengers with medical equipment are not affected by the ban.
The U.S. has already banned the transportation of lithium metal batteries as cargo on passenger flights.