Shipping Lithium Batteries Internationally

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Shipping Lithium Batteries Internationally

Lithium batteries are classed as dangerous goods during international shipping, requiring a legal declaration and strict packing procedures. This includes using an outer package designed to prevent short circuits.

Air freight is a great option for quickly transporting lithium batteries internationally. However, some routes may not be available for this method.

Dangerous Goods Regulations

Lithium batteries are a class of hazardous goods and have special shipping requirements. All people who handle or ship lithium battery shipments need to be trained and certified in the safe handling of these dangerous goods. This includes shippers, freight forwarders, cargo handling facilities, and airlines. There are a variety of safety courses that can help you get the certifications needed, including IATA’s “Shipping Lithium Batteries by Air” course.

Each shipment of lithium batteries requires shipping lithium batteries internationally detailed adherence to current regulations based on the type, packaging, weight and watt-hour rating. Each battery must be properly classified according to the UN regulations, and labelled with the proper shipping name and UN number. This ensures that the batteries are not mishandled and can be traced if an accident occurs.

Each battery must be shipped in a package that has an insulating material around the terminals to prevent short circuiting. The package must also be clearly marked as a dangerous good, and its contents must be labelled in accordance with the DGR and IATA’s regulations. In addition to this, some States and airline operators may have more stringent State and Operator variations to the DGR that you should be aware of when preparing a lithium battery shipment for transport. It’s best to work closely with a packaging supplier that is familiar with the rules and regulations for shipping these products.


There are some well-known couriers who will ship lithium batteries internationally, although it is important to check their specific guidelines and restrictions. For instance, they may only accept rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and not the more dangerous lithium metal ones. It is also worth mentioning that most couriers will only accept batteries that are in an undamaged condition.

The batteries must be securely wrapped in an outer package that is crash-resistant and fastened to prevent shifting during transit. They must also be protected against short circuiting. The batteries can generate heat during transport, which could cause them to ignite or explode if they come into contact with other flammable materials. The packaging should include an inner cushion layer to ensure that the batteries are not touching conductive materials.

While shipping lithium batteries, it is essential to follow the rules and regulations set by the ICAO and IMO. These agencies set the standards for air and maritime transport of dangerous goods. The ICAO regulates the transportation of lithium batteries through their Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air, while the IMO sets the standards for shipping batteries and other electronic products at sea through the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG).

In addition to following the guidelines from these authorities, it is a good idea to get a UN38.3 Certificate for the batteries. This certificate will prove that the battery meets the UN guidelines and is suited for transportation. The procedure for getting international shipping solutions this certificate can take months, so it is a good idea to start early.


The batteries that power your smart phones and the electric vehicles you’ll soon be driving require specialized packaging, storage and handling. From a shipping perspective, they’re considered dangerous goods and must be shipped with strict adherence to safety regulations set by organizations like the International Air Transport Association and the International Civil Aviation Organization. A lack of compliance can result in shipment rejection, expensive fines and blacklisting.

Lithium batteries can become unstable and short circuit if they come into contact with other lithium batteries, metal objects or conductive surfaces. In the event of a short circuit, the battery may rupture and explode, resulting in lost product and liabilities. This risk is minimized by using robust, strong packaging that can withstand the stresses and mechanical handling they’ll undergo during transportation.

Aside from sturdy, durable packaging, you’ll also need to have the proper documentation and labels for your shipment. The type of documentation you need will vary depending on the mode of transport. For instance, if you’re shipping via air, you’ll need to complete the requisite Shipper Declaration for Dangerous Goods form and provide UN 38.3 test reports and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS).

These documents are essential to the successful shipment of your package. However, the complexities of shipping hazardous materials can be challenging to navigate without the help of a freight forwarder. Partnering with a logistics company that specializes in lithium batteries can ensure that your packages are properly sourced, packaged and shipped while adhering to all required regulatory guidelines.


When shipping lithium batteries internationally, Customs will require the proper documentation and packaging. These requirements vary depending on whether the batteries are contained inside devices or shipped separately. In general, the batteries should be packaged in a container that can protect them from damage and prevent short circuits. The package should also be clearly marked with a label that states that it contains lithium batteries and provides information about their safety characteristics. The label must meet specific size requirements to ensure that it is visible and legible.

Lithium batteries are classified as class 9 dangerous goods and must be transported with extra care. This is due to their high energy levels, which can pose a fire risk if they are improperly handled. In addition, they must be packaged in sturdy containers that can withstand impacts and other external pressures. In order to comply with international regulations, shippers must complete a Shipper Declaration for Dangerous Goods form. This document includes important details about the shipment, including its origin and destination.

If you are shipping lithium batteries in large quantities, you may consider utilizing sea freight rather than air freight. This option is cost-effective and reliable, but it may take longer to reach its final destination. However, it is still a safe and reliable way to ship lithium batteries internationally.

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