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2016: The international regulations applicable to air shipments of lithium batteries have changed. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council has approved amendments to the lithium battery provisions in the ICAO Technical Instructions. Compliance with the new regulations is mandatory effective April 1, 2016. These amendments include:
These amendments are detailed in a lithium battery update document found on the International Air Transport Association (IATA) web site: http://www.iata.org/whatwedo/cargo/dgr/Documents/lithium-battery-update.pdf.
2015: The international regulations applicable to air shipments of lithium metal batteries have changed. Compliance with the new regulations is mandatory effective 1 January, 2015.
The regulations, published by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), prohibit transport of lithium metal batteries (shipped without equipment) on passenger aircraft. As a result, UPS will limit transport of these shipments to within its International Dangerous Goods (IDG) network.
Effective July 1, 2015, all existing customers and new customers who wish to ship lithium metal batteries without equipment (UN3090) via UPS® Air services must obtain pre-approval from UPS Airlines.
This requirement applies to all lithium metal battery shipments, including those that are considered lightly regulated (such as small cells or batteries), as well as those that are fully regulated. Fully regulated shipments will also require dangerous goods shipping papers and a separate UPS Dangerous Goods Agreement.
Shippers may begin obtaining pre-approval immediately. Please download the PDF form below, complete it in English, and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. After your request is reviewed, you will receive additional instructions in an email from email@example.com.
There are many kinds of batteries available today and several are regulated as dangerous goods in transportation that may only be shipped by contract shippers within the UPS authorised dangerous goods service area.
Lead-acid batteries: Common in cars, electric wheelchairs, some continuous computer power sources, and other applications. These batteries contain highly corrosive acid and can cause fires from short circuits.
Lithium battery: There are two types of lithium batteries: lithium ion and lithium metal. If dropped, crushed, or short circuited, they could catch fire. These batteries are subject to special regulations. Lithium ion batteries are found in cell phones and laptops. Lithium metal batteries are found in flashlights, watches, and calculators. Shipments requiring dangerous goods shipping documents are accepted only from contract shippers for transport within the UPS dangerous goods service area. Certain lithium batteries may not qualify for UPS dangerous goods service.
Other Batteries: Although common dry cell (e.g., AA, C, D batteries) may not be regulated as hazardous materials, all batteries can cause fires from short circuits if batteries and terminals are not protected.
When shipping batteries, you must protect all terminals against short circuits by completely covering the terminals with an insulating material (e.g., by using electrical tape or enclosing each battery separately in a plastic bag).
Any device with installed batteries must not turn on while in transport. Protect switches that can be accidentally activated. Even very simple devices like flashlights or rechargeable drills can generate a dangerous quantity of heat if accidentally activated.
Never ship recalled or recycled batteries by air.
When sending equipment for repairs, such as computers and mobile phones or other battery operated devices, if there is any risk that the device could overheat, it should be sent without batteries.
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