South Korea slams batteries rules

SOUTH Korean officials will visit the US tomorrow to protest at proposed changes to the shipment of lithium batteries.

The US plans to introduce tough new safety regulations on transporting lithium batteries by airfreight over fears that the batteries can explode and catch fire. This follows the UPS crash in Dubai in September that killed both pilots, a crash that has been blamed on the lithium batteries catching fire and filling the cockpit with smoke.

The batteries are used in a wide variety of modern electronic products, products that South Korea manufactures in great numbers.

“More than 4,000 air shipments of lithium-ion batteries are made every year from South Korea, but none of them has experienced any explosion,” said Park Young-Sam, a Knowledge Economy Ministry official.

The changes would cost companies US$300 million a year, he protested.

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