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How to Ship Avionics Containing Lithium

Jan 27, 2017
By: McLane Moody, Trade Show Coordinator

Lithium batteries are a commonly used energy source found in many consumer products ranging from cell phones and pacemakers to Universal Avionics’ Cockpit Voice and Flight Data Recorders (CVR/FDR).

Universal Avionics wants to remind customers that newer models of the CVR/FDR have a beacon with a greater lithium content than previous models. This means they are required to be compliant to the U.S. Department of Transport’s shipping process for dangerous goods when shipping the CVR/FDR back to Universal Avionics by air, domestically or internationally.

In order to ship a CVR/FDR back to Universal Avionics, the shipper has to be certified to ship dangerous goods and must be certified with the carrier. There is a cost for training to be certified, but the only price to be certified with a carrier is time and effort.

Customers who may not have a dangerous goods certification have two options: get certified or remove the beacon before it’s shipped back.

Any CVR/FDR purchased after May 2014 will have the new beacon with the greater lithium content. You can also see if the CVR/FDR has the new beacon if it has DK 120/90 written on it.

Every CVR/FDR Universal Avionics sends out has the lithium content and safety information in the shipment, but sometimes when the shipment is received the documentation gets filed and no one knows to look at it when it’s sent back out. The documentation that comes with the unit is required to go back with the unit. Remember to communicate with your shipping department about shipping the CVR/FDR as a dangerous good or have procedures in place to show it as a dangerous good to ship.

If Universal Avionics receives a package with a dangerous good that isn’t shipped properly it has to be notified to the DOT in order to avoid fines. Fines start at $75,000 for both the shipper and receiver.

Shippers may obtain additional information and assistance at the IATA website.

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