In my travels to international standards meetings in various parts of the world this year, I have been reminded by TSA inspectors and airline personnel to remove ALL lithium batteries from my checked baggage
Wakefield, Mass. (Vocus) December 15, 2009
Air travelers will again encounter strict enforcement of regulations on flying with lithium batteries this holiday season, according to the International Imaging Industry Association (I3A; http://www.i3a.org), the leading global association for the imaging industry.
Loose lithium batteries – both the primary lithium digital camera batteries and the lithium-ion types that power laptop computers, plus some AA batteries -- have been prohibited in U.S. checked baggage since January 1, 2008 due to their extreme flammability; elsewhere in the world, regulations may be even more stringent. I3A recommends transporting any spare lithium batteries in carry-on baggage only, for safety's sake and to avoid possible confiscation of items from checked baggage. Additional pointers and information can be found on the U.S. Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) Web site, http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/assistant/batteries.shtm.
"In my travels to international standards meetings in various parts of the world this year, I have been reminded by TSA inspectors and airline personnel to remove ALL lithium batteries from my checked baggage," said I3A Standards Director James Peyton. "These warnings occurred at airports in North America, Asia and Europe."
Keeping Holiday Memories Safe in Transit
I3A also offers travelers advice on making sure that the precious holiday memories they capture on film, including single-use film cameras, or digital media arrive at home safely after passing through security scanners. In general, digital media need no special handling, while film should be treated carefully.
These recommendations are the result of research conducted by I3A's Integrity in Transportation of Imaging Products (ITIP) committee jointly with the TSA on the X-ray machines and scanners used to inspect checked baggage and carry-on items. Test specifications and results details are available at http://www.i3a.org/advocacy/itip/. After receiving recent reports of damage to printed circuit board film, ITIP is now organizing tests of new equipment used in U.S. customs inspection, in order to identify potential sources of damage to commercial imaging products and plan a damage prevention program for products entering the United States.
Summary of I3A's Advice:
- Lithium batteries – safe inside their devices in carry-on bags; spare batteries also safe in carry-ons if activation prevented; NOT allowed in checked baggage
- Digital cameras/media/camera phones – safe in carry-on or checked baggage
- DVDs and DVD players – safe in carry-on or checked baggage (but save your work in progress first)
- Low-speed color film, exposed or unexposed – NOT safe in CHECKED baggage; ask for hand inspection if the film has had five previous trips through scanners, otherwise safe in carry-ons
- High-speed (greater than ISO 800) color film – NOT safe in EITHER checked or carry-on baggage; ALWAYS ask for hand inspection
- Black-and-white film, any speed, exposed or unexposed – NOT safe in EITHER checked or carry-on baggage; ALWAYS ask for hand inspection
- Motion picture film, exposed or unexposed -- NOT safe in EITHER checked or carry-on baggage; ALWAYS ask for hand inspection
- After holiday trips, preserve digital images for long-term enjoyment of precious memories by following the steps at I3A's educational Web site, http://www.savemymemories.org.
About the International Imaging Industry Association (I3A)
I3A's vision is to enable the use of imaging to simplify and enrich people's lives through visual experiences that connect generations, communities, information and services. I3A drives the global imaging industry towards this future by bringing members together to create standards and collaborate on initiatives that advance the industry and remove barriers to growth.
I3A is an accredited Standards Developing Organization, serving as secretariat for the International Organization for Standardization Technical Committee 42 (ISO/TC42) on Photography, and as administrator for the USA Technical Advisory Group for this committee. Information about I3A can be found at http://www.i3a.org or by phone at +1 914-285-4933. For information on joining I3A, please contact Noel Mareno, noelm(at)i3a(dot)org, +1 214 244-1927.
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