US Deparment Of Transportation sets limit of 2 Lithium Batteries

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Jan 1, 2006
PHMSA 11-07
Friday, December 28, 2007
Contact: Patricia Klinger
Joe Delcambre
Tel.: (202) 366-4831

New US DOT Hazmat Safety Rule to Place Lithium Battery Limits in Carry-on Baggage on Passenger Aircraft Effective January 1, 2008

Passengers will no longer be able to pack loose lithium batteries in checked luggage beginning January 1, 2008 once new federal safety rules take effect. The new regulation, designed to reduce the risk of lithium battery fires, will continue to allow lithium batteries in checked baggage if they are installed in electronic devices, or in carry-on baggage if stored in plastic bags.

Common consumer electronics such as travel cameras, cell phones, and most laptop computers are still allowed in carry-on and checked luggage. However, the rule limits individuals to bringing only two extended-life spare rechargeable lithium batteries, such as laptop and professional audio/video/camera equipment lithium batteries in carry-on baggage.

“Doing something as simple as keeping a spare battery in its original retail packaging or a plastic zip-lock bag will prevent unintentional short-circuiting and fires,” said Krista Edwards, Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

Lithium batteries are considered hazardous materials because they can overheat and ignite in certain conditions. Safety testing conducted by the FAA found that current aircraft cargo fire suppression system would not be capable of suppressing a fire if a shipment of non-rechargeable lithium batteries were ignited in flight.

“This rule protects the passenger,” said Lynne Osmus, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) assistant administrator for security and hazardous materials. “It’s one more step for safety. It’s the right thing to do and the right time to do it.”

In addition to the new rule, PHMSA is working with the FAA, the National Transportation Safety Board, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the battery and airline industries, airline employee organizations, testing laboratories, and the emergency response communities to increase public awareness about battery-related risks and developments. These useful safety tips are highlighted at the public website:


Senior Member
Jun 23, 2005
Melbourne, Australia
Someone clue me in on this...when was our last reported 'lithium battery fire on plane' incident?

Also, I'm guessing that NiMh batteries are not limited by the new regulation?

Aug 20, 2007
this limitation is only to and from the U.S tho ;)


New Member
Jul 5, 2007
To add EVEN more confusion to the issue -

Apparently, according to the above, you are limited to 2 HIGH CAPACITY batteries such as the big super-batteries powering the laptop and the video camera as they show.

Also, a close read of the second site does not seem to limit your other batteries as long as they are less than 8 grams of lithium. Our small batteries all qualify. But you must hand-carry them and package them safely (this part is reasonable and ok).

Anyway, thank God my travelling days are over.

With all the new rules and regulations it's becoming impossible to fly. Next time just say 'ban everything' and solve all the problems lor.

Wonder if a new "NP-E4" (doesn't exist, just an idea) NiMH based battery pack will solve our problems.. if Canon uses Sanyo Eneloop technology, it would solve the self-discharge problem of NiMH, and it would also solve the lithium problem for frequent fliers. Then figure out a way to make the NP-E4 compatible with the existing BG-E2/E3/E4 battery grips. (btw, just commenting using Canon as an example because I use their stuff.. I am very sure any other manufacturer can adopt this technology if they want to)


Senior Member
May 13, 2006
Volcano Land
What? More ziplocks? The shareholders must be laughing all the way to the bank in recent months.

This is going from understandable paranoia to pure ludicrousness.

How about those portable battery packs for on-location lights? Heh. Do they count?

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