Common Questions about Lithium Batteries for Consumers

Common Questions about Lithium Batteries for Consumers

As consumers we’ve become very accustomed to Lithium Batteries as part of our everyday lives.  But do we really understand the rules surrounding them?  While most consumers are exempt from regulations concerning transportation, there are restrictions for individuals and companies transporting in quantity.  We’d like to answer some questions regarding Lithium batteries in general.

1) Are lithium batteries considered a dangerous good?

Yes. In Canada, the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, 1992 (TDG Act) and its regulations control the shipping and importing of lithium batteries. They are considered dangerous goods much like gasoline, paint and hydrogen.

2) Where are lithium batteries found?

Lithium batteries are used in a wide range of everyday items such as vehicles; personal computer devices including laptops, phones, camera and watches; power tools; medical equipment and even some clothing and shoes.

3) Do you need a special permit to bring home items containing lithium batteries

No.  Section 1.15 within the TDG Act and Regulations applies to general consumers who purchase the dangerous goods are in a quantity or concentration available for sale to the general public, e.g., the new battery powered lawn mower, power tools, kids’ toys, phones, portable radio’s/ speakers or an Apple iPad you just purchased to bring home all fall within this exemption. 

Now if you started to re-package as a business and ship these items in quantity (over 150kg), you must follow the regulations concerning the dangerous good you are transporting. 

4) Is a shipping document always required when transporting batteries?

No. Not all battery shipments require a dangerous goods document. The TDG Regulations, provides guidance on when a transport document will be required. Exemptions can apply, so be sure to check if you qualify for special provision or certificate.

5) Do you need training to transport batteries?

As outlined in Part 6 of the TDG Regulations any individual who handles, offers for transport or transports dangerous goods is required to be trained and hold a valid training certificate. Please note that this is not a requirement for a consumer, but for a professional who is required to handle these items as part of their employment.  This does include self-employed and small business owners, including mechanic shops, tech repair shops and courier services. 


We understand how confusing it can be to try and decipher the regulations concerning dangerous goods.  Our experts are here to help you and your company make sense of it all.  Contact us today to get yourself set up for Consulting, a Site Audit and Training.