Released on Nov. 02, 2022
Lithium-ion batteries can be shipped internationally and domestically via USPS services. However, shipping lithium-ion batteries is not an easy task. When shipping lithium ion batteries, shipments must comply with US Department of Transportation (DOT) standards and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration standards. Failure to comply with these standards will result in prohibited shipments and in some cases may result in legal action. These standards are in place to ensure that lithium ion batteries are transported in a manner that is safe for the environment and humans.
The following guidelines must be followed when transporting lithium ion batteries or fines or legal action may be imposed on the shipper.
" Lithium-ion batteries must not contain more than one gram of lithium per cell.
" Lithium ion batteries must not contain more than two grams of lithium per cell.
" Packages must have a complete and genuine return address.
" Packages containing uninstalled batteries must bear the DOT-approved lithium battery mark (UN3090).
Another requirement for transporting lithium-ion batteries is delivery to international destinations; lithium-ion batteries cannot be transported separately. They must be installed in the equipment in which they operate. Parcels containing lithium-ion batteries that are not installed in their equipment are not allowed to be shipped.
The United States Postal Service (USPS) is a separate service from the Postal Service and operates as an executive branch of the United States federal government. Established in 1971, the USPS is responsible for providing postal services to US citizens within the United States. The USPS is headquartered in Washington, D.C. It has approximately 650,000 employees in branches throughout the United States.
Lithium-ion battery packaging
Before shipping lithium-ion batteries included in your equipment, you must keep the following points in mind.
" Regulations regarding the power and quantity of batteries and cells change frequently and you must read their updated versions before shipping.
" Ask about the regulations for the receiving destination, as they may differ from your home country.
" If the device is damaged, make sure that the lithium-ion battery inside is also not damaged.
" Make sure that the lithium-ion battery is not protruding from the device.
It is also important to remember that defective batteries are considered hazardous material and are not allowed to be shipped anywhere.
The packaging process for equipment containing lithium-ion batteries is very important. It is recommended that you use a specialist packaging facility to assist you with this process. When packing equipment containing lithium ion batteries, it is important to follow the following rules.
" Strong, high-quality packaging materials must be used. Do not use cheap materials.
" The equipment must be packed in such a way as to prevent it from moving during transport.
" Add a return address and an emergency contact number to the package.
" The lithium battery handling label must be clearly placed on the package and must not be folded.
When transporting equipment with lithium-ion batteries by air; you must write the phrase "Lithium-ion batteries in accordance with PI2 section 967". This must be written in a clear manner and only in English. Finally, ensure that your shipment is well packaged, labelled and has the required documentation throughout.
Sending parcels by post
Just like petrol, sulphuric acid and other dangerous goods. Lithium-ion batteries are considered just as dangerous as these commodities. Most lithium ion batteries are safe to transport and use. When a lithium ion battery overheats, the risk comes from overheating and it catches fire. As lithium is a very reactive material, once one cell catches fire, others will follow, eventually leading to an explosion.
Most fire-fighting systems and fire extinguishers cannot extinguish a fire caused by a lithium reaction. This is why it is important to take extra care when packing lithium-ion batteries. This way you can avoid short circuits and overheating of the battery.
You can ensure the safety of your goods if you follow a few tips.
" Prevent lithium-ion batteries from coming into contact with any conductive materials.
" The device must be protected from accidental activation.
" Contact your transport company before shipping to ensure which devices can be active during transport and which ones cannot.
" Devices with a high potential for overheating must be packed in special packaging material that is capable of acting as a cooler for the battery, regardless of the surrounding temperature.
" A non-conductive crossover must be placed between devices that contain lithium-ion batteries inside.
" Ensure that no lithium-ion batteries come into contact with other lithium-ion batteries.
" Lithium-ion batteries must not be in close proximity to any metal surfaces during transport.
" Exposed terminals and connectors must be covered with non-conductive material.
" If the shipment contains lithium-ion batteries with a capacity of more than 100 Wh; a dangerous goods contract is required.
" If you are transporting lithium-ion batteries by air, ask about the average temperature inside the cargo plane. If it is at risk of overheating - based on the lithium-ion manual - do not ship the battery.
" Small lithium-ion batteries are exempt from most safety regulations due to their small size. That's why it's important to check the shipping regulations for lithium-ion batteries before you ship each one to keep them up to date.
" Before packing lithium-ion batteries, it is recommended that you keep them below 30% of their capacity. Any more and the shipment will be rejected.
" If the package exceeds 5 kg, a dangerous goods contract is also required.
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