IATA has launched the Center of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) Lithium Battery, a new industry certification program.

Already the industry is benefitting from IATA CEIV programs in live animal transportation (CEIV Live Animals), pharmaceuticals (CEIV Pharma), and perishables (CEIV Fresh).

Shipments of lithium batteries—whether alone or with finished products—must comply with stringent global safety standards. This includes how they must be manufactured, tested, packed, marked, labeled, and documented.

There has, however, been an increasing number of incidents where shipments of lithium batteries have either been intentionally mis-declared and are non-compliant with existing regulations. Given the increasing use of lithium batteries as an energy source for a wide range of consumer goods—from mobile phones to children's toys—there is a real need to address safety risks to ensure that the security of the supply chain is not compromised.

“Lithium batteries are critical power sources for many consumer goods on which we all rely,” says said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General. “And it is vital that we can ship them safely by air either with finished products or as components in global supply chains. That’s why we developed the CEIV Lithium Battery certification. It gives shippers and airlines assurance that certified logistic companies operate to the highest safety and security standards when shipping lithium batteries.”


Accreditation process

CEIV Lithium Battery is based on the stipulations in the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) and IATA Lithium Battery Shipping Regulations (LBSR). These documents establish the baseline standards that improve the level of competency and quality management in the handling and carriage of lithium batteries throughout the supply chain.

CEIV Lithium Battery takes the standards to the next level through a three-step accreditation process.

  1. Training: The Lithium Battery Safety Logistics Management training prepares all personnel involved in the handling and transport of lithium batteries.
  2. Assessment: An assessment against the dedicated CEIV Lithium Battery audit checklist ensures compliance with the latest standards. Comprehensive feedback, including a gap analysis, highlights specific areas of improvement.
  3. Validation: A final validation verifies that any findings from the gap analysis have been addressed to ensure that the organization meets the program's standards.

CEIV Lithium Battery certification last for two years and successful organizations are listed on the IATA One Source registry. Re-certification includes a refresher training and a re-validation to check and ensure continued compliance with the program's standards.


First certification

CEVA Logistics has already achieved the first CEIV Lithium Battery certification for its operations at Hong Kong International Airport and at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.

“Our automotive, healthcare, and technology customers appreciate our ability to seamlessly deliver responsive logistics solutions no matter the destination or cargo type, like lithium-ion batteries,” says Peter Penseel, COO of Air Freight for CEVA Logistics. “Our experience in transporting a wide range of batteries made us an ideal partner with IATA in piloting their new CEIV certification. IATA continues to lead the way in providing standards, regulations, and guidelines to improve overall quality and safety in the air transport industry. This new certification gives customers even more confidence in our ability to safely and reliably transport their lithium-ion batteries.”

CEVA Logistics has plans to extend its certifications beyond Amsterdam and Hong Kong and hopes to add locations in Asia, Europe, and the Americas.

“From cargo handlers, ground handling companies, freight forwarders and shipping companies, the more stakeholders along the value chain who participate in CEIV Lithium Battery, the stronger and more effective it will be for the industry,” concludes Walsh. “Ultimately, we all want to see a network of CEIV Lithium Battery trade lanes with participants certified at origin, destination and in transit points.” 


Credit | Olivier Le-Moal / Shutterstock