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Lithium Metal Battery Shipper Pre-Approval

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 is to ensure that proper training has occurred and that all applicable safety regulations are properly followed for such shipments.

The pre-approval requirement applies to lithium metal battery shipments that are considered lightly regulated (such as small cells or batteries), as well as to battery shipments that are fully regulated and require dangerous goods shipping papers. Fully regulated shipments will also require a separate UPS Dangerous Goods Agreement.

Obtain Pre-Approval from UPS

Step 1: Please provide the following:

  1. Contact name, title, telephone number, and email address
  2. Company Name, UPS Small Package account number(s), if applicable, and corresponding shipping address(es)
  3. Anticipated daily air volume (number of packages) for both:
    • Fully regulated UN3090 Lithium Metal Batteries/cells
  4. Certification that employees involved in preparing shipments at all locations are properly trained or, if appropriate, have received adequate instructions according to the applicable regulation set
  5. Which UPS Services do you use?
    • Small Package Service
    • Air Cargo
    • Air Freight
  6. For UPS Small Package Air service, customers must review the limitations of the UPS International Dangerous Goods Approved Countries List and agree to only ship packages in accordance with those limitations. You may seek approval for exceptions to this limitation by contacting dangerousgoods@ups.com.


Visit the link below to see which origins and destinations are authorized for IDG:
UPS Approved Countries (English only)

Download the Pre-Approval Application FormOpen the link in a new window


Provide Detailed Information

Step 2: Only after you receive an email notifying you of approval from Step 1, please submit the following information for each cell or battery you plan to ship:

  1. A UN 38.3 Test Report or other signed certification that verifies compliance:
    • Name and address of the agency performing the testing
    • Location and date where the testing was completed
  2. If not otherwise provided in the UN 38.3 Test Report or certification:
    • Product name(s) of the cell(s) or battery(ies) as displayed on the product(s)
    • Manufacturer's name
    • Part number and or model number corresponding to the Test Report or certification
    • Lithium content of the cell(s) or battery(ies)
    • For identification purposes, digital pictures of the cell(s) or battery(ies)
  3. A detailed description and digital pictures of the inner packaging utilized for shipping, including methods for prevention of short circuit
  4. Are Overpacks utilized for shipments complying with 49 CFR 173.185 c or IATA PI 968 Section II?
    • If yes, what is the average number of packages contained in the Overpack?


Email Step 2 information in English to dangerousgoods@ups.com. After successfully submitting the information required for Steps 1 and 2, you will receive notification from dangerousgoods@ups.com of your approval status.

General Requirements

  • UPS Small Package and UPS Airlines reserve the right to inspect the contents of packages to ensure compliance with the approved shipping requirements.
  • All approvals require revalidation no less than every 24 months through the pre-approval process.
  • Customers must repeat the approval process for any new lithium metal cells or batteries that are periodically added to their shipping inventory.
  • UPS retains full discretion to approve or deny this request, and may also rescind approval in its sole discretion, at any time.


If you need assistance, please contact the UPS Hazardous Materials Support Center at 1-800-554-9964 or 502-359-2900.