Lithium battery shipping restrictions

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Zulumoose
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Lithium battery shipping restrictions

Hi all

I live in South Africa, have ordered flashlights from Gearbest and Banggood, and am interested in many more types of flashlights.

Unfortunately, I am severely restricted in battery availability. Lithium ions are not available for shipping via airmail, and this seems to be affecting people everywhere. It hurts me more than most not only because local pricing is so much of a rip-off, but because I only have a choice of 3 or 4 sizes and only one brand each unless I am prepared to pay 5-10 times as much for something like an Olight branded battery from a local distributor.

I can buy a quality brand flashlight sometimes for much less than I would pay for a Lithium battery to put in it, when the batteries should cost a quarter the price of the light or less. Some lights I cannot even buy at all because sizes are totally unavailable here (10440, 10180)

Surely there must be a distributor somewhere who can get around the restrictions, either by meeting regulations for air shipping or by shipping small quantities of batteries via surface mail? I don’t mind waiting a couple of months for a package to arrive, Gearbest orders are already taking 6 weeks to reach me anyway. Does anyone have relevant information to share on this that does not apply only to retailers or distributors who order large quantities wholesale?

The Miller
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Welcome to BLF!

Have you checked AliExpress?
It seems the vendors there are taking some regulation with a grain of salt resulting in free shipped cells to lots of places.

Zulumoose
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Thanx for the lead, I will look into it and see if they ship to S.Africa. Have you ordered from them, do they seem reliable?

tatasal
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Check it out with your local Fedex, DHL or UPS branches, since they have their own transport planes, l have a friend who complied with ‘hazardous’ cargo requirements of these carriers and was able to ship it.

tatasal
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Check it out with your local Fedex, DHL or UPS branches, since they have their own transport planes, l have a friend who complied with ‘hazardous’ cargo requirements of these carriers and was able to receive it.

Zulumoose
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It seems I can order from Aliexpress, but I am a bit skeptical because so many of their brands are unknown to me and there are so many assurances of “100% original” and “real capacity” etc, etc that it makes me think people get ripped off there a lot, also they do not accept paypal so it means giving out credit card details, I am hesitant. Registered mail is also not offered as an option.

Quote:
Check it out with your local Fedex, DHL or UPS branches, since they have their own transport planes, l have a friend who complied with ‘hazardous’ cargo requirements of these carriers and was able to ship it.

This would help if I were doing the shipping, but I am on the receiving end and have no control or influence whatsoever.

tatasal
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Zulumoose wrote:
It seems I can order from Aliexpress, but I am a bit skeptical because so many of their brands are unknown to me and there are so many assurances of “100% original” and “real capacity” etc, etc that it makes me think people get ripped off there a lot, also they do not accept paypal so it means giving out credit card details, I am hesitant. Registered mail is also not offered as an option.
Quote:
Check it out with your local Fedex, DHL or UPS branches, since they have their own transport planes, l have a friend who complied with ‘hazardous’ cargo requirements of these carriers and was able to ship it.

This would help if I were doing the shipping, but I am on the receiving end and have no control or influence whatsoever.

l’m aware that you the receiver, perhaps their local offices in your place contact their China counterparts for policies regarding those items for shipping to Africa.

Zulumoose
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Quote:
l’m aware that you the receiver, perhaps their local offices in your place contact their China counterparts for policies regarding those items for shipping to Africa.

I don’t see how that would help unless I were buying from a private seller in China to whom I could pass on instructions. I can’t see any positive result coming out of a “live chat” session with a Gearbest or Banggood call centre person to whom I am trying to explain shipping instructions, they just won’t have the authority to change anything, if their screen shows no available shipping method that will be all they can tell me, I know, I have had those conversations.

tatasal
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Zulumoose wrote:
Quote:
l’m aware that you the receiver, perhaps their local offices in your place contact their China counterparts for policies regarding those items for shipping to Africa.

I don’t see how that would help unless I were buying from a private seller in China to whom I could pass on instructions. I can’t see any positive result coming out of a “live chat” session with a Gearbest or Banggood call centre person to whom I am trying to explain shipping instructions, they just won’t have the authority to change anything, if their screen shows no available shipping method that will be all they can tell me, I know, I have had those conversations.

GB and BG are not in the picture yet at this point. What I am trying to suggest is to contact your local African Fedex, UPS or DHL office. or better yet, try the Chinese office of those 3 couriers through their ‘contact us’ facility in their website and inquire about the possibility of accepting or transporting lithium-ion cells from a Chinese vendor (GB or BG), and if anything positive comes out of it, then ask for the contact person’s name to be given to GB or BG to contact with.

For example:
http://www.cn.dhl.com/en/contact_center/contact_global_forwarding.html

Zulumoose
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Now that’s worth a shot I suppose, thanks. I didn’t quite see it from that angle.

The Miller
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Well if you go for cells that have a good reutation here on BLF and the description say they are “for Samsung” or “for Panasonic” and the pictures look like they supposed to there is little risk.
Just check visually when they arrive, I run a test on my Li500 charger to see internal resistance and capacity.
If they are junk, just dispose of them, after you made pictures of weight, capacity so you can start a dispute and try again at another vendor.
I ust say that my cells from AE are good.
This seems a good vendor:
https://liitokalahongkong.aliexpress.com/store/217753

cm64
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Zulumoose wrote:
It seems I can order from Aliexpress, but I am a bit skeptical because so many of their brands are unknown to me and there are so many assurances of “100% original” and “real capacity” etc, etc that it makes me think people get ripped off there a lot, also they do not accept paypal so it means giving out credit card details, I am hesitant. Registered mail is also not offered as an option.
Quote:
Check it out with your local Fedex, DHL or UPS branches, since they have their own transport planes, l have a friend who complied with ‘hazardous’ cargo requirements of these carriers and was able to ship it.

This would help if I were doing the shipping, but I am on the receiving end and have no control or influence whatsoever.

I have bought quite a lot from Aliexpress dealers without any problems.
I use a Debit card rather than a Credit card & only transfer a small amount of money into the card to cover the cost of the item/s.

tatasal
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@ Zulumoose:

I just googled and saw this surface mail service, USA to South Africa:

https://www.shoptomydoor.com/south-africa.html

Well, if they can ship batteries USA to Africa via boat, then you can order from GB (which currently has the better prices on good, authentic cells), give the Shop to my Door’s USA address to GB, they forward it to your African address via boat, boat-paced at best but better than none.

Edit: I have done it this way to my country too, only the courier company that handles the USA to my country was different, but the same way nonetheless.

RollerBoySE
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Check out https://ru.nkon.nl , I think he ships to South Africa.
Very reputable guy and great prices.