Follow

Required packaging for lithium batteries

Created:   |   Updated:

When it comes to lithium batteries - whether rechargeable or non-rechargeable - there are very specific instructions that must be followed including the packaging materials, proper markings on the package, eligible service type, and max quantities.

Required packaging:

Required packaging is the specific way in which otherwise restricted items, such as lithium batteries, must be prepared for shipping. 

The following are key requirements for packaging lithium batteries: 

  • Cushioned to prevent movement or damage and be contained in a strong enough sealed package to prevent crushing of the package or exposure of the contents during normal handling in the mail.
  • All outer packages must have a complete delivery and return address.

If you frequently ship lithium batteries or other items that need special handling, it is important to remain up to date on the required packaging of the USPS. Improper packaging can lead to delays, extra fees, and more. ShippingEasy offers a quick way to categorize shipments that need extra attention when it comes to packaging.

Package markings and service types:

Package marking requirements and available service types are specific to the type of lithium battery you're mailing: non-rechargeable or rechargeable.

Certain lithium batteries require language be placed on the outside of the package alerting mail carriers of the contents. Learn more about customizing shipping labels with ShippingEasy.

Then, how the batteries are package will also determine if they are able to be shipped by air or ground, domestically or internationally.

Non-rechargeable lithium batteries:

Properly installed in equipment

  • Available to be shipped by air and surface domestically and internationally.
  • No markings on outside of package required.

Packed with equipment

  • Available to be shipped by air and surface domestically, but not internationally.
  • Marking on package must say: “Package Contains Primary Lithium Batteries.”

Not packed with equipment

  • Available to be shipped by domestically by surface only, not internationally.
  • Marking on package must say: “Surface Mail Only, Primary Lithium Batteries — Forbidden for Transportation Aboard Passenger Aircraft.”
Rechargeable lithium batteries:

Properly installed in equipment

  • Available to be shipped by air and surface domestically and internationally.
  • No markings on outside of package required.

Packed with equipment

  • Available to be shipped by domestically by surface only, not internationally.
  • Marking on package must say: “Package Contains Lithium-ion Batteries (no lithium metal).”

Quantities:

There are some restrictions on the quantity of non-rechargeable lithium batteries that can be shipped depending on if they are mailed with or without the equipment they are intended to operate.

If they are installed in or packed with the equipment:
  • Each cell must contain no more than 1.0 gram (g) of lithium content per cell.
  • Each battery must contain no more than 2.0g of aggregate lithium content per battery.
  • The shipment cannot contain more batteries than the number needed to operate the device.
  • The mailpiece must not exceed 11 pounds.
If they are mailed without the equipment:
  • Each cell must contain no more than 1.0 gram (g) of lithium content per cell.
  • Each battery must contain no more than 2.0g of aggregate lithium content per battery.
  • The mailpiece must not exceed 5 pounds.

All in all, there are quite a few things to keep in mind when shipping batteries. However, taking precautions to account for special packaging and label markings at all phases in your shipping cycle is something that can ultimately save you time and money. 

 

 


Related articles:

Best Practice: Free supplies + custom packages
Best Practice: Identify + save carrier services for timely delivery
Can I ship HAZMAT (Hazardous Materials)?
Packing Tips: Most Common Packing Mistakes
What mail classes are available through ShippingEasy?

Comments

Please sign in to leave a comment.

Community browse

COMMUNITY FORUMS

Questions & Answers

Issues & Bugs

Beta Feedback

FEATURE REQUESTS

Productivity: Features, Interface & Settings

Partners: Integrations, Carriers & Stores

Shipping: Orders, Labels & Shipments

Inventory: Products, Purchase Orders & Suppliers