EVs Photo 31575275 © Thomas Dutour Dreamstime.com
Photo: © Thomas Dutour Dreamstime.com.jpg

Regulation in the maritime sector is moving too slow to keep pace with changes in the industry, particularly concerning the transport of electric vehicles (EVs) and lithium-ion (li-ion) batteries.

Delegates at yesterday’s Lithium-ion Batteries in the Logistics Supply Chain conference in London were told the use of li-ion batteries would grow tenfold, from 650,000GWh to 6.5mGWh, and new regulation is needed to govern their transportation, including in EVs.

The International Maritime Organization’s director of maritime safety division, Heike Deggim, said urgent action was needed to meet the challenges posed by the increase in non-declared and mis-declared dangerous goods.

“Urgent action is needed to arrive at measures to keep vessels and crews safe,” she said.

And director of risk management at the TT Club Peregrin Storrs-Fox told delegates the chemistry for li-ion batteries was developing fast, but updates of dangerous goods codes only took place every two years.

He said the latest example of the glacial pace of regulation was Amendment 42, which will require a “significant change” in the way shippers declare their cargo. Current provisions allow some dangerous goods to go undeclared. ‘Class 9 goods’, the code’s miscellaneous section, can be subject to these special provisions, and lithium batteries including in EV’s can be shipped under these provisions.

Mr Storrs-Fox told The Loadstar Amendment 42 would mean less documentation required, but shippers would need to declare dangerous goods, such as li-ion batteries, were included in the cargo, adding: “Amendment 42 will be approved by the end of this year, but will not become finally mandatory until January 2026.

“The regulatory environment was established for a different era.”

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