, “Vehicles”, ICC Compliance Center Inc - USA

What do you think of when you hear the word “vehicle”? Well, the obvious answer is a car, van, or truck.

Let’s have a look at what Merriam-Webster dictionary says:  

Definition of vehicle 1: a means of carrying or transporting something planes, trains, and other vehicles: such as a: MOTOR VEHICLE b: a piece of mechanized equipment

Let’s think of this in Dangerous Goods terms. 

What if we had a Lithium battery powered vehicle? Since it has a lithium battery as the power source, you KNOW it is regulated. But, do you ship it as a UN 3481 Lithium-ion battery contained in equipment or as a UN 3171 Battery-powered vehicle (or equipment)?

Let’s use the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations for our example. If it was a car, the answer is simple: UN 3171 Battery Powered Vehicle. What if it was a skateboard, a hoverboard or a scooter? 

The answer can be found in the special provision – Special provision 214, in fact.

UN 3171 only applies to vehicles powered by wet batteries, sodium batteries, lithium metal batteries, or lithium ion batteries and equipment powered by wet batteries or sodium batteries transported with these batteries installed.

For the purpose of this special provision, vehicles are self-propelled apparatus designed to carry one or more persons or goods. Examples of such vehicles are cars, motorcycles, scooters, three- and four-wheeled vehicles, or motorcycles, trucks, locomotives, bicycles (pedal cycles with a motor), and other vehicles of this type (e.g. self-balancing vehicles or vehicles not equipped with at least one seating position), wheelchairs, lawn tractors, self-propelled farming and construction equipment, boats and aircraft. This includes vehicles transported in a packaging. In this case some parts of the vehicle may be detached from its frame to fit into the packaging.

When shipping items that contain Lithium-ion or Lithium metal batteries, remember there are a lot of other shipping names that could apply. Be sure to exhaust all options before making your decision. 

Questions? Ask us how we can help. 

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, “Vehicles”, ICC Compliance Center Inc - USA
IATA Publications
, “Vehicles”, ICC Compliance Center Inc - USA
Lithium Battery Shipping Kits
Karrie Ishmael, CDGP

Karrie Ishmael, CDGP

Karrie Ishmael has been with ICC since 1988. She has contributed to ICC's growth in various capacities, including customer service, sales, and marketing. In her current role as ICC's Senior Regulatory Expert and SDS author, Karrie conducts hazardous materials training classes in 49 CFR, IATA, IMDG, TDG along with OSHA and WHMIS hazard communication courses. When not training, she writes safety data sheets for customers to comply with North American and European requirements. She actively participates in many associations, including DGAC, COSTHA and is the former chair of SCHC’s OSHA Alliance Committee.