Shipping Batteries Overseas
Many electronic devices are powered by lithium batteries, and they must be properly packaged and shipped to avoid electrical and chemical hazards. Shipping batteries overseas requires specific guidelines and specialized packaging.
Some rechargeable batteries are pre-installed in the equipment they power, such as TV remotes and some electric car components. These batteries can only be sent as air freight if they are not separated from the device they work in.
Lithium batteries power a lot of our favorite gadgets and everyday appliances. As a result, they are becoming more and more energy dense, allowing for smaller and more powerful devices. However, this increased power density shipping batteries overseas has also introduced a risk that the batteries may overheat and catch fire.
This is why they’re classified as dangerous goods. If this happens on an aircraft, it can trigger a fireball that can injure or kill passengers and crew members. The same is true for other modes of transportation, including trains, buses and cars. This is why they must be shipped with strict precautions.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) classifies lithium batteries as Dangerous Goods and requires them to be packed, labeled and declared in compliance with the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations. In addition, the person or company identified as the Shipper on the shipment waybill is legally responsible for ensuring 100% compliance with the regulations.
When packing lithium batteries for shipping, make sure to separate them with nonconductive dividers and securely fasten them in place. Also, keep in mind that they cannot be shipped at more than 30% of their charge. Additionally, it’s best to keep them in their original equipment case whenever possible. This ensures that they will not be manipulated in transit and it will make it easier for customs to inspect them.
Most electronic devices nowadays are powered by lithium batteries. However, these are considered as Dangerous Goods when shipped – they’re highly flammable, react sensitively to environmental factors and can cause fires. So, to prevent any potential risks during transportation, all battery-powered devices and spares need to be properly packed before being shipped.
Due to safety concerns, the International Air Transport Association has tightened regulations on shipping these types of batteries overseas. Hence, the Shipper of record on a DHL Express shipment waybill is legally responsible to ensure 100% compliance with IATA’s Dangerous Goods Regulations.
To help Shippers comply, DHL offers a series of guidance materials that highlight the requirements to ship batteries and their spares safely. These materials discuss how to pack these items, what documents are needed and how to label packages containing these hazardous goods.
It is important to note that whether you are shipping rechargeable lithium batteries found in smartphones, tablets or laptops, or non-rechargeable lithium metal batteries found in flashlights and cameras, all of them will be classified as DG. Therefore, they will be subject to the same rules when being shipped to cross-border destinations, no matter what type of packaging you use or how they’re packed (sea freight versus air freight). You should always check with your airline or shipping company for their specific guidelines and regulations as these are constantly evolving.
Dry Cell Batteries
When shipping batteries overseas or anywhere else in the world, it’s important to understand how these types of items are shipped and packaged to avoid potential fire hazards. These devices and battery-powered equipment are classified as Dangerous Goods and pose a risk for injury, property damage or death if improperly packed or handled.
There are two main types of batteries used in electronics: dry cell and lithium metal. The former are your non-rechargeable AA and AAA size batteries found in your electronic gadgets such as flashlights, remote controls and even mobile phones. They consist of a rod-like cathode made from carbon, surrounded by an electrolyte paste that can be composed of different chemicals. When the battery is in use, a pin or collector in the middle conducts this paste and produces a 1.5 volt charge.
These batteries are known as dry cells because they do not contain any free liquid like wet cell batteries do. The first dry cell battery was marketed to the public by Gassner in 1896 and was manufactured by NCC. This zinc-carbon dry cell battery was the first to be produced on a large scale and became a staple in household products. It is also less expensive than other battery types. Unlike wet cell batteries, dry-cell batteries are non-spillable and don’t require maintenance. However, these batteries are more prone to overheating and need to be kept away from sunlight or other sources of heat.
Nickel-Metal Hydride Batteries
The most popular rechargeable battery used today is the Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH). The negative electrode is made from a hydrogen-absorbing alloy instead shipping batteries overseas of cadmium. NiMH batteries have an average of twice the capacity and energy density of a standard alkaline battery. This makes them perfect for digital cameras and other high drain electronic devices.
While these batteries are not classified as dangerous goods by themselves they do pose a risk when improperly handled, packaged or shipped. There are many incidents of fires caused by these batteries during transport, and it is crucial to take proper care to ensure their safe shipment to destinations all over the world.
Shipping NiMH batteries overseas is not restricted under Class 9 if they are properly packed and the appropriate labels are attached to the package. This includes the CAUTION label and Lithium Battery Handling Label. They are considered not restricted for air transport when accompanied by an air waybill that includes Special Provision A199.
Whenever shipping any type of batteries to international destinations it is important that you follow the guidelines set out by your specific country’s regulations and laws. If you are unsure of what to do, we advise that you seek advice from a logistics professional who can help guide you through the process. To find out more about our international logistics services and how we can help you get your products shipped around the world, click here.