Packing Instruction Types
Select your lithium battery type:
Lithium ion battery
Lithium metal battery
Step 1: Calculate Power rating/ Watt-Hours
What is a watt-hour?
Just as your local power company measures the amount of power or kilowatt-hours your home uses, watt-hours measure the amount of energy contained in a battery.
How many watt-hours are in a battery?
- In some cases, the watt-hours are provided on the manufacturer’s Safety Data Sheet (SDS).
- In other cases, the watt-hours are printed on the battery itself. In Figure 1, the watt- hours are provided on the battery by the manufacturer.
- When the watt-hours are not pre-printed on the battery or found on the SDS, you must calculate the watt-hours yourself. It is quite easy, but you will need a calculator. The battery in Figure 2 does not show the watt-hours, but provides enough information to calculate them.
- The calculation used to determine watt-hours is: Volts x ampere-hour (Ah) = watt-hours
- “10.8 V 2500 mAh” found on the battery example contains the information needed to determine the watt-hours for this battery.
- 10.8 V is 10.8 Volts
- 2500 mAh is 2500 milliampere-hours. Since most batteries have a low ampere-hour ratings, they are rated in milliamperes per hour (mAh) or one thousandth of an ampere-hour (Ah).
- Since a milliampere-hour is one thousandth of an ampere-hour, divide 2500 mAH by 1,000 to get the ampere-hours (Ah):
2500 mAh : 1000 = 2.5 Ampere-hours
- To determine the watt-hours in this battery, multiply 10.8 volts by 2.5 ampere-hours:
10.8 V x 2.5 Ah = 27 Wh
Step 2: How to prepare your shipment
The way your shipment is to be packaged is determined by the battery/ cell type, the configuration, the power rating and the quantity to be shipped. The documentation you need to provide is also determined by these factors.
Example: You have a shipment containing 4 x standalone lithium-ion cells, each cell has a power rating of 15Wh and the total net quantity of all four cells is 1kg (the combined weight of the cells). Using the table below, we make the following determination:
Type: Lithium Ion Cells
Power Rating: x≤20Wh
Net quantity per package: w≤10kg
IATA packing instruction type: 965 Section IB
The shipment must be packed in accordance with packing instruction 965 Section IB.
Once you have identified the correct packing instruction for your shipment, go to the Packing and Documentation Required section and scroll through the list of packing instruction types until you find the one matching the packing instruction type that you identified from the table in this section and follow the packing and documentation directions.
1 The shipper must contact the Civil Aviation Authority in their local jurisdiction to obtain this approval.
Step 1: Calculate lithium content
If you do not have enough information to determine the lithium content of a battery, the following formulas will assist you:
Ah per cell x 0.3g x number of cells
- Many batteries are not rated in Ampere-hours (Ah), they are rated in milliampere-hours (mAh). Milliampere-hours are one thousandth of an ampere-hour. To determine the Ah, divide the mAh by 1,000.
- About 0.3 grams of lithium metal are required to produce 1 ampere-hour of power.
Example, if the battery you wish to ship is rated at 2,500 mAh per cell and contains six cells:
- Divide 2,500 mAh by 1,000 to get the rating in ampere-hours:
2,500 mAh ÷ 1,000 = 2.5 Ah
- Multiply the Ah by 0.3g to determine the amount of lithium in each cell:
2.5 x 0.3g = 0.75 grams of lithium in each cell
- Multiply the amount of lithium in each cell by the number of cells in each battery:
0.75 grams/cell x 6 = 4.5 grams of lithium in the battery
Step 2: How to prepare your shipment
The way your shipment is to be packaged and the documentation requirements are determined by the battery/ cell type, the configuration, lithium content and the quantity to be shipped.
Example: A shipment of 3 x standalone lithium-metal batteries, each containing 0.4 grams of lithium, and each battery weighing 10 grams net must be packed in accordance with packing instruction 968 Section IB.
Once you have identified the correct packing instruction for your shipment, go to Packing and Documentation Required section and scroll through the list of packing instruction types until you find the one matching the packing instruction type that you identified from the table in this section and follow the packing and documentation directions.