The regulations concerning the international road and sea transport for lithium cells and batteries contain some relaxations for the carriage of certain types of cells and batteries. However, certain dangerous goods regulations still need to be followed.

Here is a summary of the main requirements of Special Provision SP188:


UN3090 Lithium Metal Batteries / UN3480 Lithium Ion Batteries

UN3091 Lithium Metal Batteries packed with Equipment  /UN3481 Lithium Ion Batteries packed with Equipment

UN3091 Lithium Metal Batteries installed in Equipment / UN3481 Lithium Ion Batteries installed in Equipment

Cell content

≤1g of lithium metal or lithium alloy / ≤20Wh rating

Battery content

≤2g of lithium metal / ≤100Wh rating


Cells and batteries shall be packed in inner packagings that completely enclose the cell or battery, protection against short circuits, no conductive materials, strong outer packaging that is able to withstand a 1.2m drop test

Protection against damage and short circuits, no conductive materials, prevention of accidental activation, strong outer packagings.


Lithium handling label required

Lithium handling label only required if:

  • More than 4 cells per package or
  • More than 2 batteries per package

Documentation (only required when package is labelled)

Document that indicates that:

  • Contains lithium
  • Is flammable
  • Shall be handled with care
  • In case of damage, special procedures shall be followed
  • Telephone number for additional information

Package limit

30 kg

Not limited


If batteries or cells do not comply with the contents limits, then they shall be shipped as fully regulated dangerous goods of Class 9. 

In case of questions, do not hesitate to contact your local representative.