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FAA Orders Braille Battery to Stop Shipping Non-Compliant Li-Ion Batteries

In addition, the FAA has determined that Braille Battery's overall conditions and practices are unsafe, and "constitute an imminent hazard."
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If the company does not comply with the FAA’s Emergency Order for Braille Battery, they may face criminal prosecution and fines.

The FAA recently issued an emergency order to restrict and prohibit Braille Battery, Inc., of Sarasota FL, from shipping via air any lithium ion batteries that are not in compliance with both the DOT’s (Department of Transportation) Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) and the International Civil Aviation Organization’s technical instructions. According to the FAA, despite warnings from the agency, Braille Battery has failed to ship some li-ion batteries in compliance with the regulations and continues to ship the batteries via air transport, violating the HMR. In addition, the FAA has determined that Braille Battery’s overall conditions and practices are unsafe, and “constitute an imminent hazard.

More Details on the FAA Emergency Order for Braille Battery

The FAA says that as a li-ion battery manufacturer, Braille Battery is responsible for ensuring that any and all lithium ion batteries they offer for air transport are properly tested for classification, packaged, marked, and labeled, and before they can be shipped. Additionally, as a hazmat employer, Braille Battery is also responsible for making sure that the employees conducting work related to the HMR are sufficiently trained.

If Braille Battery fails to comply with the order, the FAA says that they are subject to both criminal prosecution and civil penalties of up to $179,933 for each violation, for each day the company is found to be in violation.

The FAA’s emergency order for Braille Battery comes after an investigation of a June 3rd, 2016 incident in Canada in which a Braille manufactured battery caught fire on FedEx Express delivery truck. The battery had recently been offloaded from a FedEx Express aircraft.

The FAA has also issued a SAFO (Safety Alert for Operators) warning airlines of the risk that certain Braille li-ion batteries present as potential cargo. The SAFO contains both recommendations that operators put measures into place to prevent the risk presented by the unsafe batteries, as well as a list of the current Braille battery models that do meet the proper testing and packaging standards.

Featured Image: Andrew E. Cohen, CC2

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