(Is Power Bank (Battery Pack) a battery? Or is it an equipment containing lithium batteries?)

Q.
Are devices called POWER BANK or BATTERY PACK a type of battery and to be classified as UN 3480 or UN 3090 and apply PI 965 or UN 968 respectively? Or are they considered as “Lithium ion (or Lithium metal) batteries contained in equipment” per SP A182 and be classified as UN 3481 or UN 3091 and apply PI 967 or PI 970? (30 Jun 14)

A.
Unfortunately the status of POWER BANK (BATTERY PACK) when shipped as cargo is less than clear. The UN ICAO DGP has not yet come to a conclusion on the classification of Power Banks. The ICAO DGP has agreed that for passenger baggage, these Power Banks are “spare batteries” and must be treated accordingly. One school of thought state SP A 182 “Equipment containing only lithium batteries must be classified as either UN 3091 or UN 3481” will apply and therefore Power Banks are “Lithium batteries contained in equipment”. Since the sole purpose of this device is to be used as a power source, others insist that these device is nothing but “another type of battery”. There is yet no agreement for cargo and much more work must be done at the UN ICAO level to come to a conclusion.


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