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Logistics Terms IATA CEIV Lithium Batteries Certification

Registration dateFEB 08, 2024

IATA CEIV Lithium Batteries Certification
CEIV Lithium Batteries certification is a global standard accreditation that the International Air Transport Association(IATA) grants to companies that demonstrate high expertise and performance in international transport after conducting a thorough assessment on around 260 items related to the transport of lithium batteries, including shipping process, facility, equipment, and regulations. Lithium batteries require specialized transportation and management processes, as they are likely to pose a risk of fire during overseas transport. This blog will discuss the significance of IATA CEIV Lithium Batteries certification, its key certification criteria, and the process involved.
  1. 1) What is a CEIV Lithium Batteries certification?

    Lithium batteries, accounting for one third of the dangerous goods transported by air, power a vast range of consumer products, from mobile phones and children's toys to cars and e-bikes. However, many remain unaware that these batteries are classified as dangerous goods and can pose significant safety risks if not handled and prepared according to strict transport regulations. High-profile incidents include crashes of an Asiana Cargo plane in 2011 and a UPS cargo plane in 2010, which both resulted from fires caused by lithium batteries. Under United Nations regulations, lithium batteries are categorized as Class 9 hazardous materials. Therefore, thorough testing and strict compliance with certain standards are necessary to ensure the safe transportation of lithium batteries.

    [Classification of Dangerous Goods] Classification of Dangerous Goods

    The International Air Transport Association (IATA) launched the CEIV Lithium Batteries Certification, a vital initiative set to enhance the safety and efficiency of lithium battery transportation by air. Commencing in 2021, this certification came as a response to the growing global reliance on lithium batteries, coupled with a rise in safety incidents during air transport.

    Authentication mark Authentication mark (Source : IATA)

    The CEIV Lithium Battery (CEIV Li-batt) certification by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) offers multiple strategic benefits to companies involved in the transportation and handling of lithium batteries. Here are three key advantages:

    1. Gain Recognition for excellence in handling dangerous goods
    Achieving the CEIV Li-batt certification provides a clear competitive edge in the market. It assures partners and clients of a company's capability and resources to handle and transport lithium battery shipments safely, efficiently, and in compliance with regulations. This recognition of operational excellence can be a significant differentiator in an increasingly safety-conscious market, where trust and reliability are paramount.

    2. Strengthening the Lithium Battery Supply Chain
    The company's CEIV Li-batt certification also means it follows rigorous industry standards and best practices. This not only raises the overall awareness of the risks associated with lithium batteries as dangerous goods but also fosters increased collaboration and confidence among stakeholders in the supply chain. By aligning with these standards, companies play a crucial role in enhancing the overall safety and integrity of the lithium battery supply chain.

    3. Increase Efficiency and Reduce Costs
    The certification process entails comprehensive training for employees, ensuring they are equipped to handle and transport lithium batteries safely and in compliance with regulations. This training leads to increased awareness about lithium batteries, the establishment of standardized and efficient operational processes, and ultimately, an improvement in workforce competence, performance, and collaboration. These enhancements can lead to significant cost reductions and efficiency improvements, as well-trained employees are less likely to make errors that could lead to accidents, delays, or regulatory non-compliance.

    In summary, the CEIV Li-batt certification is not just a compliance measure but a strategic investment in a company's operational excellence, supply chain integrity, and overall efficiency, positioning the company as a leader in the safe and responsible transportation of lithium batteries.

    * IATA’s Operations, Safety & Security Certification
    The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has a variety of certification programs to improve the operational efficiency, safety and quality of air transport. In addition to the CEIV lithium battery certification, there are three more certifications included in ‘Operation, Safety and Security’. Here's a brief explanation of each:

    Authentication mark (Source : IATA)

    1. Smart Facility Operational Capacity (SFOC) Certification
    This certification focuses on optimizing the operational capacity of facilities involved in air cargo. It aims to standardize the audit process and minimize redundant audits, ensuring that cargo handling facilities meet global standards. The SFOC assesses a facility's capacity against a set of predefined benchmarks in terms of safety, security, efficiency, and operational management. This helps in improving overall cargo handling operations and fosters trust among airline partners.

    2. Baggage Tracking Certification
    IATA's initiative for baggage tracking seeks to enhance the accuracy and efficiency of baggage handling in the aviation industry. It involves the implementation of systems that track baggage at various points in its journey, from check-in to final delivery to passengers. This tracking helps reduce the mishandling of baggage, increases transparency in baggage handling processes, and improves passenger satisfaction.

    3. Ground Handling Partnership (GHP) Certification
    The GHP certification is part of IATA's efforts to improve the quality and safety of ground handling services. This program brings together airlines and ground service providers to collaborate on best practices, share knowledge, and work towards common standards in ground handling processes. The partnership aims to enhance operational safety, improve service quality, and reduce costs.

    Each of these certifications or programs plays a critical role in ensuring that various aspects of air travel and transport are handled efficiently, safely, and in a manner that meets international standards.

  2. 2) Requirements for CEIV Lithium Battery Certification

    The CEIV Lithium Battery (CEIV Li-batt) certification by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is a comprehensive program that evaluates an organization's capabilities in handling and transporting lithium batteries, in compliance with the Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) and Lithium Battery Shipping Regulations (LBSR). The certification covers several critical areas of lithium battery handling and carriage operations:

    1. Quality and Safety Management
    This includes the establishment and maintenance of a Quality Management System (QMS) and a Safety Management System (SMS). Organizations must demonstrate effective management reviews, the use of key performance indicators (KPIs) for continuous improvement, and robust corrective and preventive actions to address any identified issues.

    2. Personnel
    The certification assesses the roles, functions, and tasks of staff involved in lithium battery handling and transportation. It ensures that there are comprehensive training programs in place and that training records are properly managed and maintained.

    3. Documentation
    Organizations must have well-defined processes and procedures documented for handling lithium batteries. This includes control procedures for critical documents and records, as well as ensuring that infrastructure and equipment are adequately described and maintained.

    4. Infrastructure and Equipment
    This aspect covers the physical premises, IT systems, and the maintenance and calibration of equipment used in lithium battery handling. It ensures that the infrastructure supports safe and efficient operations.

    5. Complaints and Reporting
    The certification requires a system for reporting and responding to incidents, non-conformances, and complaints. This system should facilitate timely and effective responses to any issues that arise.

    6. Supplier and Customer Management
    Organizations need to demonstrate how they ensure their partners, including suppliers and customers, comply with relevant regulations and standards. This is crucial for maintaining safety and quality throughout the supply chain.

    7. Self-Inspections and Internal Audits
    The certification evaluates the organization's processes for conducting ongoing and periodic self-inspections and internal audits. These are essential for monitoring compliance and identifying areas for improvement.

    8. Cargo Operations
    This includes all aspects of ground transportation, the acceptance of shipments, temporary storage, and warehousing. Procedures must ensure the safe and efficient handling of lithium battery cargo at every stage of the operation.

    In essence, the CEIV Li-batt certification provides a framework that ensures organizations involved in the transport of lithium batteries meet comprehensive standards for safety, quality, and regulatory compliance.

    Battery picture (Source: shutterstock)
  3. 3) The Certification Process

    The CEIV Lithium Batteries certification process designed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) can be broadly divided into four stages: training and self-assessment, assessment, validation, and re-certification. Each stage is designed to ensure that companies seeking certification demonstrate the highest level of excellence and compliance in handling and transporting lithium batteries. Here's a detailed look at each stage:

    Authentication process

    1. Training & Self-assessment

    Training: The first step involves mandatory training for at least two key staff members in the Lithium Battery Logistics Safety Management course. This training ensures that these personnel are well-versed in the best practices and safety protocols for handling and transporting lithium batteries. The course covers critical aspects of lithium battery logistics, including compliance with international regulations, risk management, and emergency response procedures.

    Self-assessment: Once the key staff members have completed the training, they proceed to conduct a self-assessment of their organization's lithium battery handling and transportation processes. This assessment is guided by a checklist provided by IATA, which helps in systematically evaluating all aspects of the operation. The purpose of this self-assessment is to ensure that the organization has all necessary materials, evidence, and documentation in place that demonstrate compliance with IATA’s standards. This step is crucial in identifying any areas that may need improvement before the formal assessment by IATA.

    Documentation Review: After the self-assessment, the next phase involves a documentation review by an IATA assessor. In this phase, the assessor meticulously reviews all the documents submitted by the organization. This review is aimed at verifying the accuracy and completeness of the information provided and ensuring that it aligns with the CEIV Lithium Batteries certification requirements. The documentation review is a preparatory step for the on-site assessment, helping the assessor to understand the organization's operations and to plan the on-site evaluation effectively.

    2. Assessment

    On-Site Visit: An IATA assessor conducts an on-site visit to the organization's facilities, which typically lasts between three to four days. The purpose of this visit is to observe firsthand the daily operations, processes, and procedures related to the handling and transportation of lithium batteries.

    Conformance Verification: During the visit, the assessor verifies that the organization's actual practices are consistent with the descriptions provided in the submitted documents. This involves a detailed examination of how the organization conducts its operations in real time, ensuring that these practices conform to the CEIV Lithium Batteries audit checklist requirements.

    Use of Standardized Checklist and Criteria: To maintain uniformity and objectivity, the assessor uses a standardized assessment checklist and criteria. This approach ensures that the assessment is thorough and consistent with the high standards set by IATA for lithium battery transportation.

    Feedback and Gap Analysis Report: After completing the assessment, the assessor provides the organization with comprehensive feedback. This feedback includes a gap analysis report, which highlights any discrepancies between the organization's practices and the CEIV standards. The report also details specific findings and areas that require improvement.

    Guidance for Improvement: The feedback and gap analysis report serve as a guide for the organization to make the necessary adjustments to align their operations with CEIV Lithium Batteries standards. This step is crucial for organizations to understand where they stand in terms of compliance and what actions they need to take to meet the certification requirements.

    3. Validation

    Feedback Implementation: After the assessment phase, the assessor collaborates with the organization to ensure that all the feedback provided during the assessment is actioned. This collaborative approach is key to ensuring that the organization fully understands the areas needing improvement and the steps required to align with CEIV Li-batt standards.

    Corrective Action Plan (CAP): The organization is required to develop a Corrective Action Plan (CAP). This plan outlines the specific actions the organization has taken and plans to take, along with their respective implementation dates.

    CAP Validation: Once the CAP is submitted, the IATA assessor reviews it to ensure that the proposed actions and timelines are appropriate and sufficient to meet the CEIV Li-batt certification criteria.

    Implementation and Evidence Submission: As the organization executes its CAP, it must provide clear and convincing evidence of the full implementation of each action to the IATA assessor. This evidence is critical in demonstrating the organization's compliance with the required standards.

    Issuance of IATA Assessment Report and Certification: Once the IATA assessor is satisfied that the CAP has been satisfactorily implemented and all necessary evidence has been provided, they will issue the IATA Assessment Report. Following this, and upon successful fulfillment of all criteria, the organization will be granted the IATA CEIV Lithium Batteries Certification.

    4. Re-certification

    Certification Validity: The CEIV Li-batt certification is valid for a period of two years. This period allows organizations to demonstrate their ongoing commitment to the standards and procedures required for the safe and efficient transportation of lithium batteries.

    Refresher Training: To prepare for re-certification, key personnel within the organization are required to undergo refresher training. This training ensures that staff members are up-to-date with the latest practices, regulations, and technologies related to lithium battery logistics. Continuous education is vital in an industry where standards and regulations can evolve rapidly.

    New Assessment for Compliance: Prior to the expiration of the certification, a new assessment is conducted by IATA. This assessment is similar to the initial certification process and is designed to evaluate the organization's ongoing compliance with the CEIV Li-batt certification requirements.

    Continuous Improvement: A critical aspect of the re-certification process is the demonstration of continuous improvement. The organization must show that it has not only maintained compliance with the required standards but also continually seeks to enhance its lithium battery handling and transportation processes.

    Re-certification Approval: If the organization successfully meets all the requirements in the re-assessment and demonstrates continuous improvement, it will be re-certified for another two-year period.

    Throughout these stages, the focus is on maintaining a high level of quality and safety in the handling of lithium batteries. The CEIV Lithium Batteries certification process is rigorous and comprehensive, ensuring compliance with global standards and regulations in the logistics industry handling dangerous goods such as batteries.

  4. In summary, the CEIV Lithium Batteries certification enables companies to verify their competence and compliance in handling lithium battery air shipments. For manufacturers, distributors, freight forwarders, airlines, airports, and other players in the supply chain, certification brings important benefits around safety, efficiency, risk reduction and industry leadership. As the lithium battery market expands, this certification will only grow in relevance and importance. Companies shipping or handling lithium batteries by air should strongly consider attaining CEIV Lithium Batteries certification. In addition, shippers handling batteries also need to verify in advance whether a freight forwarder has obtained this certification when selecting one.

Samsung SDS Receives IATA’s CEIV Lithium Batteries
Samsung SDS announced that it received the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Center of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) Lithium Batteries certification for air transport in December 2023. With this certification, Samsung SDS has been globally recognized for its outstanding capabilities in the air transport and logistics of lithium batteries.
Samsung SDS has established detailed standards for handling dangerous goods in international transport and has reflected them in its logistics operations. Particularly concerning lithium batteries, it has applied differentiated processes and standards depending on the type and capacity of the batteries.