Shipping Batteries Overseas
When it comes to shipping batteries, you need to think carefully about the way your parcel is packed. This is because batteries are considered dangerous goods from a freight perspective and require special packaging, labelling and adherence to a long list of regulations.
This guide covers the guidelines you need to follow when sending lithium batteries or battery powered devices overseas whether by air or sea freight.
The packaging used to ship batteries overseas must be able to withstand the conditions of transport. If the batteries are packed in the wrong kind of packaging, they could become damaged and potentially cause a fire or other safety risk. For this reason, it is important to always check the freight carrier guidelines for battery shipping before you ship any goods.
There are different requirements depending on the type of batteries and which mode of transportation you will be using. For example, if you are sending lithium batteries by air, you will need to follow the IATA guidelines for shipping dangerous goods. These include strict limits on the number of batteries that can be shipped, and instructions for how they should be packaged. The guidelines also specify a rigid outer material and plenty of filler packaging to prevent the batteries from shifting during transit.
Another important consideration is whether you are sending loose or installed batteries. Installed batteries, which are found inside devices such as power banks, can be shipped by air, but loose batteries must be sent by road or sea. These batteries are classified as UN 3090 and UN 3480 and must be packaged in packaging that meets the guidelines for these specific types of batteries, which you can find online.
When sending batteries internationally, it is essential to adhere to all shipping regulations and comply with the requirements set out in the Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR). Failure to do so can lead to fines, shipment rejection or even blacklisting from certain carriers. Partnering with a freight forwarder who is knowledgeable about international shipping can help to make the process of shipping batteries overseas simple and safe.
The lithium-ion batteries that power most of the electronics in your home and office – from toothbrushes to Teslas – contain a chemical cocktail with a high energy density. When mishandled, they can overheat and ignite a sending batteries overseas fire or explosion that could injure people and damage property. This is why shipments of lithium batteries – and the devices they power – are subject to rigorous regulations and carrier requirements.
Lithium ion batteries are rechargeable and are often found in devices such as smartphones, tablets and electric vehicles. They can be shipped globally, but the safety of a battery package and its contents depend on compliance with a stack of government and carrier regulations.
Shipping lithium batteries overseas is possible if they are properly prepared and packed. It is important to choose a reliable courier that offers specialized services for hazardous materials. This ensures that all aspects of the shipping process, from preparing documentation to handling and packaging, is carried out under strict national guidelines for the safe transport of lithium batteries.
When packing your lithium batteries, make sure that they are fully removed from the device that they power and placed in a hard plastic case. They must be clearly marked with a lithium battery mark, which has a red diagonal border with a large image of batteries and a UN number listed on the bottom. They must also carry a Cargo Aircraft Only label, which is bright orange and reads “Cargo Aircraft Only” at the top and Forbidden in Passenger Aircraft at the bottom.
Lithium batteries are found in many electronic devices like laptops, tablets and even e-bikes. They have become the preferred power source for international freight service these devices due to their high power density, lightweight and rechargeable nature. However, they are classified as dangerous goods from a shipping perspective and require special packaging and labeling along with compliance to an extensive list of government regulations and carrier requirements.
If you are planning on sending lithium batteries overseas, it is essential to consult with a 3PL or freight forwarder that has experience shipping dangerous goods. Shipments that are not shipped properly may be rejected by carriers, creating supply chain delays and disappointment for your customers. At worst, your shipments may be seized by authorities for violating government and carrier regulations.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has a set of rules and guidelines that are unique to hazardous materials/dangerous goods. These rules are designed to ensure that your shipment arrives at its destination safely and without injury to people, property or the environment. IATA’s DG manual is specifically geared towards shippers of lithium batteries and other DG.
All shippers of DG must follow IATA’s rules, regulations and procedures as well as those of the carrier. All persons involved in packing, loading and carriage of DG must receive appropriate training and have valid certification. Additionally, all shipments must be accompanied by the IATA DG manual and a Shipper Declaration for Dangerous Goods.
With the increasing push for electric vehicles (EVs) and the electrification of our economy, lithium-ion batteries will play a much larger role in shipping worldwide. This means that EV battery manufacturers and others who produce or sell lithium-ion batteries and electronic devices that contain them will need to know how to ship these products safely by air.
Lithium batteries are classified as dangerous goods and have specific requirements for their packaging and handling. These regulations are in place to ensure that these batteries do not pose fire hazards on the ground or in-flight. This is because lithium batteries have a flammable electrolyte. They can also overheat and catch fire if they come into contact with conductive surfaces or other batteries.
In addition, all packages that contain lithium metal or lithium-ion batteries must be shipped in accordance with Section II of the Packing Instructions for Air Services. This allows the shipping of a maximum of two lithium batteries or lithium cells in each package and requires that the package be sized appropriately to accommodate these batteries. Airlines and shipping companies take safety seriously, and are working to deploy dog detection teams specifically trained to detect these shipments.
The best way to ensure that your EV battery or device shipment will pass inspection and be safely delivered to its destination is to partner with an experienced freight forwarder like Bookairfreight. These tier 1 forwarders understand how to prepare the necessary documentation and how to ship your product through air freight in compliance with international regulations for dangerous goods shipping.