FAA bans recalled lithium battery shipments following Note 7 fires

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has banned cargo shipments of recalled or defective lithium batteries and lithium battery-powered devices following the recall of Samsung Galaxy Note 7s.

Samsung is recalling Note 7s following a number of battery fires around the world, with airlines advising passengers not to turn on or charge the devices on board aircraft and not to pack them in checked luggage, while cargo divisions have been refusing to access shipments over safety fears.

The FAA has now issued a Safety Alert for Operators (SAFO) to make sure airline staff and cargo customers are aware of the rules, and it has included information and guidance about damaged or recalled lithium batteries and devices.

The FAA says: “The SAFO notes that the hazardous material regulations do not preclude an airline from proactively placing its own restrictions on carrying or using specific lithium battery products on board aircraft, prior to an official government recall or advisory.”

A number of carriers including Finnair Cargo, American Airlines Cargo and Qantas Freight have already prohibited carriage of shipments of Samsung Galaxy Note 7s citing International Air Transport Association Dangerous Goods Regulations.