As stipulated in DGR 188.8.131.52. (a) each lithium cell and battery must undergo the test requirements of UN Manual of Tests and Criteria, Part III, Subsection 38.3. There is no exception. Those made prior to the rule are no exception. The test is not done at any dedicated UN test facility but is done by each lithium battery manufacturer following the requirements of the UN test which ranges from Test 1 through Test 8. Furthermore, as stipulated in DGR 184.108.40.206 (e) 1. through 9 and the following Notes, the production must be carried out under a quality management program. This quality management program is also left to each manufacturer to follow the stipulations laid down by UN.
Since, the production of lithium batteries reach an enormous number, and since there are numerous manufacturers worldwide, it is found difficult to have the cells/batteries carry a Test Marking or have a Test Certificate issued. UN ICAO is still studying ways and means to set up an identification program but it may be very difficult. As the UN test itself cover various qualifications, and the number of cells/batteries used in the test are enormous, only established manufacturers are capable to absorb the burden. As long as the cells/batteries are produced by noted firms, it is therefore considered safe. The transport of dangerous goods is based on mutual trust.
Effective 1 January 2013, UN 38.3 has been amended. Until 1 January 2014, cells/batteries manufactured under the @revious criteria may be shipped but after 1 January 2014, only those manufactured based on the newly amended 38.3 may be shipped.