On April 11, 2012, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the US Federal Register relating to transportation of lithium batteries by air. PHMSA is considering harmonizing the current hazardous materials regulations (HMR) with the requirements that are found in the 2013-2014 ICAO Technical Instructions. PHMSA published an NPRM in January 2010 addressing harmonization to the 2011-2012 ICAO Technical Instructions, but a final rulemaking was not published in relation to that previous NPRM. The new NPRM will incorporate the additional or revised requirements found in the newer Technical Instructions, and will allow interested persons to supplement comments that were submitted previously. The lithium battery provisions recently adopted by ICAO will become effective for international air transport on January 1, 2013. Comments relating to this NPRM are due by May 11, 2012.
The full NPRM can be viewed at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-04-11/pdf/2012-8550.pdf