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How to safely ship lithium batteries

How to pack and ship lithium batteries

When shipping a package that contains lithium batteries, strong and rigid outer packaging must be used, and - depending on the type of lithium batteries - additional markings and labels may be required. FedEx Paks cannot be used as the outer packaging for lithium batteries; however, it is possible to use boxes and tubes with the FedEx logo as outer packaging for lithium batteries that have been prepared in accordance with Section II of the relevant packaging instructions of the IATA dangerous goods regulations.

Below are additional details and guidelines for preparing and packaging shipments that contain lithium batteries.

Section II of the IATA guidelines for shipping and packaging lithium batteries

All packages containing lithium batteries are classified as Class 9 “Miscellaneous Dangerous Goods”. However, packages containing small lithium batteries can be exempted from most IATA and ICAO requirements if they meet the relevant requirements in Section II of IATA Packaging Instructions (PI) 966 and 967 for lithium-ion batteries and 969 and Follow 970 for lithium metal batteries.

Shipments of lithium metal batteries that are packed with devices and lithium metal batteries that are contained in devices can be packed in accordance with Section II of the IATA packaging requirements if the cell content of metal or metal alloy does not exceed 1 gram and the Total lithium content does not exceed 2 grams per cell.

Lithium-ion cells and batteries that meet the requirements of Section II must follow the general requirements of the packaging instructions. For lithium-ion or polymer cells, the watt-hour output is a maximum of 20 Wh (watt-hours) and 100 Wh per battery.

Each of the own shipping names, which are defined in IATA Section II, may have additional requirements relating to the types of approved outer packaging, weight limits and package drop tests from a height of 1.2 m.

To meet the shipping requirements of IATA Section II, shipments containing lithium batteries and cells must meet specific packaging guidelines

  • Make sure that lithium batteries are individually packaged, in a completely enclosed inner packaging such as a plastic blister wrap film or layered cardboard to protect each battery.
  • Shield and protect lithium batteries to prevent short circuits or contact with conductive material inside the packaging that could lead to short circuits.
  • Ensure that the packaging is proven to be safe (i.e. has been tested appropriately) to meet the requirements of each test in the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria, Part III, subsection 38.3.
  • Make sure that the lithium batteries are completely enclosed (such as in devices or by being surrounded by plastic, with blank spaces filled in to prevent them from slipping), except when the own shipping name says "contained in device" ends.
  • Place the contents in a sturdy outer container.
  • Apply the correct labeling and provide the correct documentation.

You must have the United Nations number (UN number) on the lithium batteryLabelling (IATA Fig. 7.1.C), which can be used from January 1, 2017. However, if you want to use up your pre-labeled packaging or labels that are still in the warehouse that still contain the lithium batterylabel (IATA Fig. 7.4.H), you can do so until December 31, 2018; after that the lithium batteryLabelling mandatory. Note: If you have a lithium batterylabel FedEx requires that you put the UN number on the package right next to this label [FX-05]. This will become a mandatory FedEx requirement on July 1st, 2017.

 

Lithium batteryLabelling
(valid from January 1, 2017)

* Placement of the UN number (s)
** Placement of the phone number for additional information

Lithium batterylabel
(valid until December 31, 2018)

Section I of the IATA guidelines for shipping and packaging lithium batteries

Lithium batteries, both lithium-ion and lithium-metal, are fully regulated dangerous goods when prepared according to Section IA of IATA regulations. These goods must be correctly identified, classified, packaged, marked and labeled. In addition, the packaging must contain the sender's declaration on dangerous goods, which has been completed and signed by a trained shipping employee.

The requirements in Section IB apply to lithium metal cells with a lithium metal content not exceeding 1 gram and lithium metal batteries with a lithium metal content not exceeding 2 grams, which are used in such quantities that are in excess of the exemption limit in accordance with Section II, Table 968-II. All shipments in accordance with IB must be accompanied by a shipper's declaration on dangerous goods, and "IB" must be specified after the packaging instructions, either in the packaging instructions section or in the authorization.

Lithium-ion batteries in accordance with UN 3480, Section IA and IB, can be shipped with a charge level of a maximum of 30% without having to be approved by the responsible authorities in the country of origin and in the country of the operator. Lithium-ion batteries in accordance with UN 3480 and lithium metal batteries in accordance with UN 3090 must be handed over as goods exclusively for shipping in cargo aircraft, whereby the packaging must be labeled with the label "IATA Cargo Aircraft Only" (only for IATA cargo aircraft) .

You must have the United Nations number (UN number) on the lithium batteryLabelling (IATA Fig. 7.1.C), which can be used from January 1, 2017. However, if you want to use up your pre-labeled packaging or labels that are still in the warehouse that still contain the lithium batterylabel (IATA Fig. 7.4.H), you can do so until December 31, 2018; after that the lithium batteryLabelling mandatory. Note: If you have a lithium batterylabel FedEx requires that you put the UN number on the package right next to this label [FX-05]. This will become a mandatory FedEx requirement on July 1st, 2017.

 

Lithium batteryLabelling
(valid from January 1, 2017)

* Placement of the UN number (s)
** Placement of the phone number for additional information

Lithium batterylabel
(valid until December 31, 2018)

 

At FedEx, we are committed to getting your shipments containing lithium batteries to their final destination. In order for us to do this, it is important, when preparing shipments that contain lithium batteries, to ensure that the batteries are not defective, damaged in any way, or potentially present a hazardous heat, fire, or short circuit.
Feel free to contact your sales representative or local customer service with any additional questions