Battery rule will cost US$1billion of pain

SHIPPERS, freight forwarders and airlines have reacted with anger and dismay to the latest ill-conceived proposed legislation from US lawmakers. Following on from the farce of the 100 per cent screening ruling, the industry is again set to absorb massive extra costs should the proposal become law.

Plans for new regulations governing the transportation of lithium batteries by air, threaten to take a heavy toll on airlines and cause severe headaches for shippers and forwarders.

This announced proposal exposes the complete lack of lobbying power associations such as IATA and TIACA have in the corridors of power – especially in the US. Once again the industry is having to fight for a more logical and workable solution at a late stage following the failure of its associations to influence government policy.

Belatedly, industry bodies as well as individual carriers and agents, are urging the US Department of Transportation (DoT) not to go ahead with its proposed rule changes, which aim to reclassify lithium batteries as hazardous cargo subject to hazmat regulations. “We see a danger that from the new rules significant operational and commercial problems could arise,” declared a spokesman for Lufthansa Cargo. “The new regulation could result in that significantly fewer electronic goods – like cell phones, laptops and relevant accessories – could be moved by airfreight.”

For the full story read the free latest digital edition of Air Cargo News, dated 19 April, here.

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