Shipping Lithium Batteries Internationally

Shipping Lithium Batteries Internationally

shipping batteries internationally

Shipping Lithium Batteries Internationally

Many electronic devices, including cameras and smartphones, are powered by lithium batteries. These rechargeable batteries are also used in devices like defibrillators.

Shipping lithium batteries internationally is a complicated ordeal, even with courier services. It involves strict regulations that must be adhered to. Unlike the more common alkaline batteries (e.g. AA or AAA sizes), these batteries are considered hazardous.


Batteries are essential to many electronic devices, such as mobile phones and automobiles. However, they are classified as dangerous goods, and there are strict shipping regulations for them shipping batteries internationally that must be followed. The most important factor when shipping batteries is to ensure that they are properly packed and sealed. Otherwise, the batteries may leak and cause a fire. This type of fire can be very dangerous and can also threaten the safety of passengers, crew members, and cargo.

There are two main types of batteries: lithium metal and lithium-ion. Lithium-ion batteries are typically found in electronic devices, while lithium metal batteries are often used for power tools and other small electric products. These batteries must be shipped in hard containers and have a protective layer of foam or non-conductive material to prevent short circuits.

When shipping batteries internationally, the outer packaging must include a warning label with red hatch marks and a UN number. The inner container must be packed in an airtight, non-conductive material that can withstand impact and drops. The batteries must be surrounded by an outer box with padding to reduce the risk of fires.

In addition, the shipping company may ask to see the battery’s material safety data sheet (MSDS) and a UN38.3 certificate. This certificate proves that the batteries have been tested according to the UN guidelines and are safe for shipment.


There are a variety of regulations that must be followed when shipping batteries or battery-powered devices internationally. These regulations can vary depending on whether the batteries are loose or packed within a device, how they are shipped and which country they are being delivered to. At the very least, not complying with these guidelines could result in your parcel being rejected by your courier or being inspected and potentially detained in customs. At worst, it can lead to fines or even a ban on your business shipping lithium batteries or other types of dangerous goods in the future.

Lithium metal and lithium alloy cells or batteries are classed as Dangerous Goods when shipped alone (not installed in a device) because of their potential to catch fire during transportation. They can still be shipped by air, however, as long as they are in a device or packaged to ensure that they cannot catch fire. They must also be shipped at a state of charge that does not exceed 30% of their rated capacity.

Other battery types such as dry cell batteries (alkali manganese, nickel cadmium or carbon zinc) are not classed as DG but must be prepared and packaged in accordance with the ICAO and IATA’s Dangerous Goods Regulations. They must be correctly labelled and packed in packaging that provides protection against impact and shock.


In order to properly package lithium batteries, there are a few key materials that must be used. These include dividers, cushion material and an encasement for each battery pack. This ensures that the package can withstand shocks and mechanical handling, as well as protecting the battery from other dangerous goods shipped in the same container.

Lithium ion batteries can overheat and cause fires if they are exposed to an external heat source. They are considered a hazardous material that must be packaged and shipped according to domestic and international regulations. In addition, shipments of lithium batteries must also follow specific guidelines for the type of transportation they will use. For example, air shipping of lithium batteries requires them to be completely enclosed (contained in equipment or encased with plastic with all void spaces filled) and that the batteries are marked with a proper Watt-hour rating, class/division and packing group.

When shipping via ocean freight, the batteries must be packed in a container that is sealed in a plastic bag. This ensures that the battery cells or batteries are completely encased, and protects them from exposure to corrosive chemicals as they are transported across seas and continents. The packaging must also be marked with a correct UN number, packing group and an accurate State of Charge. It is recommended that shippers always check the IMDG code (International Maritime Dangerous Goods) for updated regulations.

Freight Forwarders

As the world becomes increasingly connected, more and more products are shipped across borders. Some of these products contain shipping batteries internationally lithium batteries, which are considered dangerous goods and subject to strict rules regarding how they can be packaged, labeled and shipped. Failure to comply with these shipping rules can lead to fires, plane crashes and other disasters that could harm people.

There are two main types of lithium batteries – dry cell and rechargeable. The former is what you find in most everyday items like AA and AAA batteries. Rechargeable lithium batteries are found in small electric devices like cameras, laptops and gardening tools. Both can cause fires if not shipped properly, but the risk is more serious with rechargeable batteries since they have the potential to spark an entire device.

A freight forwarder is a third party that helps individuals and businesses manage their shipments by negotiating with carriers on their behalf. They can offer advice on the best way to ship certain items and even provide cost-saving tactics. In the case of batteries, they can advise on how to properly package and label them so that they meet international air shipping regulations.

In the event that you plan to ship lithium batteries by air, you must follow guidelines from IATA. These include complete documentation, proper marking and the right labels. These labels must clearly state that the shipment contains dangerous goods and how it should be handled. They must also indicate the UN number, a description of the shipment and its contents, and the packing group.

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