USPS Mailing Standards For Lithium Batteries

April 29th, 2019 Comments off

Shipping Regulations
When shipping lithium batteries, businesses must comply with U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) standards and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) standards for preparing shipments that contain lithium batteries.  The standards are in place to ensure the safe transportation of shipments that include these batteries and cells.  Shippers are responsible to comply with these regulations or risk fines.

Luckily the USPS shipping regulations align with DOT and PHMSA regulations—so as long as your shipment follows USPS regulations, you are in the clear.

USPS Standards for Domestic Shipments Containing Lithium Batteries

  • Each cell cannot contain more than 1 gram of lithium
  • Each battery cannot contain more than 2 grams of lithium
  • All packages must contain a complete return address
  • For non-installed batteries, your package must have a DOT-approved lithium battery mark (UN3090)

Standards for Shipping Installed Batteries

  • Installed batteries must be protected from short circuit
  • Devices with batteries must have protection to prevent accidentally being powered-on
  • Equipment must be cushioned

Shipping Lithium Batteries to International Destinations?

Lithium batteries can only be shipped internationally if they are installed in the equipment they operate.  Shipping carriers are not allowed to ship packages containing only lithium batteries or cells to international locations – they must be included inside a product.  No markings or documentation are allowed on these international mailpieces.  This rule applies to all international as well as APO/FPO/DPO destinations.

More info on the U.S. Postal Service’s Lithium Battery mailing standards is available on the USPS.com site.

USPS Bans Overseas Shipments of Electronics with Lithium Batteries

May 16th, 2012 Comments off
As of May 16, online retailers who use the U.S. Postal Service will no longer be allowed to ship electronics that include lithium batteries to international destinations and/or military (APO, FPO, DPO) addresses.
Important note:  This prohibition DOES NOT apply to lithium batteries when mailed within the United States or its territories.
Lithium batteries are included in many popular electronic devices such as iPads, Kindles, smartphones, cameras and other electronic devices.  The batteries
can explode or catch fire in certain conditions during transport.
This change is required by the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the Universal Postal Union (UPU), both of which currently prohibit lithium batteries in mail shipments that are carried on international commercial air transportation.
USPS management anticipates the regulation to be adjusted by January 1, 2013, with customers being able to mail specific quantities of lithium batteries internationally (including APO/FPO/DPO) if the batteries are properly installed in the electronic device.
Get more info on the Lithium Batter Ban at the USPS Postal Explorer
http://about.usps.com/postal-bulletin/2012/pb22336/html/updt_004.htm

As of May 16, online retailers who use the U.S. Postal Service will no longer be allowed to ship electronics that include lithium batteries to international destinations and/or military (APO, FPO, DPO) addresses. blog_lithiumbattery

Important Note:  This prohibition DOES NOT apply to electronics with lithium batteries mailed inside the United States or its territories.

Lithium batteries are included in many popular electronic devices such as iPads, Kindles, smartphones, cameras and other electronic devices.  The batteries can explode or catch fire in certain conditions during overseas transport.

This change is required by the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the Universal Postal Union (UPU), both of which currently prohibit lithium batteries in mail shipments that are carried on international commercial air transportation.

USPS management anticipates the regulation to be adjusted by January 1, 2013, with customers being able to mail specific quantities of lithium batteries internationally (including APO/FPO/DPO) if the batteries are properly installed in the electronic device.

Get more info on the USPS Lithium Battery Ban at the USPS Postal Explorer information page.

Call us toll-free at 1-888-434-0055, Monday - Friday, 6 AM - 6 PM Pacific Time.