New obligation of proof of testing required for lithium batteries

December 20th, 2019

From 1 January 2020, manufacturers, importers and distributors of lithium batteries must confirm that the batteries have successfully passed UN Test Series 38.3. In addition, they are now required to submit a comprehensive UN 38.3 test summary. For batteries that are already installed in appliances, the manufacturer must assume this obligation to ensure that the production series is not of inferior quality and that there is no risk during transport. Shippers of lithium batteries must request confirmation - the UN 38.3 testing summary - from their supplier.

The new requirements to be applied worldwide are a consequence of the latest edition of the United Nations “Manual of Tests and Criteria” (Amendment 1), which are in force since 1 January 2019 and set out criteria for testing lithium cells and batteries. These tests simulate transport conditions such as pressure, temperature, squeezing and impact. Passing these tests is a prerequisite for the transport of lithium batteries.

As of next year, the information on the passed UN 38.3 test must be documented in detail and made available to users in the form of the test summary in accordance with UN 38.3. This means that the written confirmation “The UN 38.3 test was passed successfully” is no longer sufficient.

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