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New Rule in Effect for Lithium Batteries

By Linda Tancs

Travelers should note the modified rule on lithium ion batteries (commonly found in consumer electronics) for carry-on and checked baggage.  The new rule provides that lithium ion batteries installed in equipment may be brought on board, together with two additional loose batteries that are kept in their original packaging or stored in plastic bags.  In checked baggage, any such batteries must be installed in equipment.  In the past, the rule placed no particular parameters on the carrying of lithium ion batteries beyond a certain wattage per battery and except to permit two additional loose, oversized batteries (extended life batteries).  The new rule is intended to prevent fires or short circuiting by addressing methods for the safe carry of these batteries.

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