News & Insights  |  Media Mentions

George Kerchner Discusses International Regulation of Lithium Batteries

Batteries International
May 8, 2012

Wiley Rein Environment & Safety senior regulatory analyst George A. Kerchner was interviewed by Batteries International for a story on the international regulations for lithium batteries and the constantly changing nature of the byzantine structure.  The article reported that “the rule book for shipping cells or batteries around the world is a convoluted one—a vast and ever-changing network specifying what can be carried, when and how, what has to be labeled and how the shipping documentation must be prepared.

For years, the United Nations Subcommittee of Experts has regulated lithium batteries as dangerous goods. The group meets twice a year in Geneva.  “The way it works is that the UN Subcommittee does their work, usually over a two year period during which they take existing model regulations, modify them according to whatever they’re focusing on during their period,” said Mr. Kerchner, who is also Executive Director of  PRBA—The Rechargeable Battery Associationand regularly participates in the UN Subcommittee meetings.  “They adopt what are called the model regulations, for all the models—land, sea, air.”