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Lithium Battery Infraction Costs HK Shipper Dearly

: Transport

Undeclared Lithium Batteries: FAA Fines Hong Kong Shipper $160,500 2018-07-24

The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has fined a shipper in Hong Kong for having transported undeclared lithium ion batteries in a shipment consigned through United Parcel Service (UPS).
 
UPS was compelled by Law to report the violation to the FAA.
 
The penalty was assessed after the shipper failed to respond to an infraction notice that was issued by the FAA. Details of the noncompliance and fine are addressed in an FAA press release that is available here.
 
Read more about the FAA case (as well as several others) and issues surrounding that here in a web article from Lion Technology Inc.
 
It is regrettable that dangerous goods training and compliance is so easy (especially when lithium batteries or cells are the only regulated commodity that is transported by a firm, the focus of training can be narrow and relatively simple) but that is overlooked by so many shippers. Those who ignore the regulations make business more difficult for those shippers who are diligent and being so pack, mark and declare their shipments properly. They also stand the chance of suffering greatly in case of an incident involving their shipment that can cause hardship including:
  • fines
  • bad press and publicity
  • the potential for administrative injunctions that stop companies from trading in regulated commodities
  • the potential for civil and even criminal proceedings being instituted against the offending party(ies)
  • the risk of fire and damage to one’s property or that of third parties (including customers or innocent bystanders)
  • the potential for injury to anybody involved in handling the batteries and in extreme cases loss of life (for which there are already unfortunate precedents)
In Canada as well as the United States, the term “offeror” applies equally to the shipper as to the consignee in a freight transaction. Where there is no reciprocity with a foreign government, the authorities in Canada or the USA will put the consignee on notice and seek compensation from them.
 
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) publishes a lithium battery guidance sheet that is free and is available from their website.
 
IATA also offers an excellent and thoroughly informative guidance page (including a video) that is available on their website.
 
Technology companies including Cisco Systems have gone so far as to publish their own guidance for supply chain companies and end users; again it is available freely over the internet on Cisco’s website.
 
Lithium batteries are found in everything nowadays; it is up to every shipper and consignee that handles merchandise that includes such batteries (and other battery variants) to be trained in their safe handling and transportation and to mitigate risk by applying the dangerous goods regulations properly.

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Milgram has developed a reputation for providing the highest level of service in the fields of Customs Brokerage, International Freight Forwarding and Ground Transportation.

We strive to make things simple for our clients by doing them better, and work hard to meet and exceed our clients expectations.

Montréal514-288-2161Dorval514-695-3585Toronto905-673-1568Toronto Warehouse905-677-3997Vancouver604-821-1677Toll-Free1-888-MILGRAM (645-4726)
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