Cargo Committee urges criminalisation for DG abuses

Government authorities must step up and take regulatory responsibility and flagrant abuses of dangerous goods regulations must be criminalised.

Airbus Boeing dangerous goods IATA James Woodrow lithium batteries world cargo symposium

The chairman of IATA’s Cargo Committee, James Woodrow has called for strong action to secure the safe transport of lithium batteries by air, including the criminalization of blatant dangerous goods abuses.

“Government authorities must step up and take responsibility for regulating producers and exporters and ensure compliance by those who are responsible for initiating the transportation,” Woodrow, who is also director of Cargo at Cathay Pacific Airways, said. 

“Flagrant abuses of dangerous goods shipping regulations which place aircraft safety at risk must be criminalised as are other actions which place aircraft safety at risk.

“We must also increase the level of shipment assessments and trusted shipper programmes in order that those who comply with the regulations are not unduly impacted and we call upon reputable manufacturers in the high technology sector to join us in this demand,” Woodrow said at the close of IATA’s 9th World Cargo Symposium in Shanghai. 

Aircraft makers and pilot unions have recently called for a ban on the transport of lithium battery shipments aboard passenger aircraft following fears of fires that could prove difficult for aircraft fire protection systems to contain.

Boeing said recently that high-density packages of lithium batteries like those used in cell phones and laptops pose fire risks and should not be carried on passenger aircraft until safer methods for carrying them are developed.