Shipping Lithium Batteries with Shippo

Most of our daily use electronics are powered by lithium batteries. Whether that's the laptop we're using to write this article or the mobile phone we use to make calls. When shipping items with lithium batteries, there's a few key things to keep in mind to ensure your package gets to its destination safely.

 

What Types of Lithium Batteries Can I Ship?

Most people choose to ship items that contain lithium batteries. Think items like:

  • Mobile phones
  • Laptops
  • Tablets
  • Power Tools
  • Medical Equipment
  • Drones/Radio Controlled Items

These items are classified as dangerous goods and require shipments to comply with specific shipping regulations. As such, there are fairly in-depth shipping instructions in place to ensure batteries are safely transported to their destination. For more detailed instructions (depending on battery type), check out the resources below.

What Types of Lithium Batteries Cannot be Shipped?

As of January 1, 2022, IATA (International Air Transport Association) has forbidden the air shipment of stand-alone lithium metal batteries (UN3090) and stand-alone lithium-ion batteries (UN3480). This guideline applies to all shipments regardless of origin and destination. 

However, if these shipments are in compliance with Section 1A or 1B of the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations, they may still be shipped. More information can be found in the 2022 IATA Lithium Battery Guidance Document.

  • Guideline 1
    • (A) must be shipped at a state of charge (SoC) not exceeding 30% of their rated capacity. Cells and/or batteries at a SoC of greater than 30% may only be shipped with the approval of the State of Origin and the State of the Operator under the written conditions established by those authorities, see Special Provision A331; and

    • (B) in accordance with Special Provision A201, lithium ion cells or batteries that meet the specified quantity limits may be shipped as cargo on a passenger aircraft under an approval issued by the authority of the State of Origin, State of Destination and State of the Operator. Or in the case of urgent medical need, one consignment of lithium batteries may be transported as Class 9 (UN 3480) on passenger aircraft with the prior approval of the authority of the State of Origin and with the approval of the operator, see Special Provision A201. All other lithium ion cells and batteries can only be shipped as cargo on a passenger aircraft under exemption issued by all States concerned.
Carrier specific information regarding lithium battery shipments can be found at the links below:

Note: Certain carriers may allow shippers until March 31, 2022 to transition.

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