[For USA residents] Shipping lithium batteries interstate?

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TheGloriousTachikoma
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[For USA residents] Shipping lithium batteries interstate?

I bought a stack of Trustfire Minis for Christmas gifts and intend to send a pair of them, as well as 4 spare CR123’s to an aunt and uncle living in the next state.

I know that Richard can send those lithium cells USPS, but whenever I’ve gone to the post office [to ship non-flashlight things] they’ve asked if the shipment contains lithium batteries.

So my question is, is there anything special I have to do? A way I have to package the lights and batteries? Or should I just lie to the clerk? I wanted to put the lights and the spare batteries (in a 4-cell plastic case) in a little gift bag and carefully pack that.

Ricflair
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Them: “Does the package contain any lithium batteries?”
You: “Nope”
Aunt/Uncle: “Thank you”

Got it?? 0:)

RicFlair is on the air with blonde hair & pink underwear!! Whaoooooo!

hank
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Lie to the US Postal Service? — not good advice.

Ask how to do it right or look it up. It can be done correctly.

hank
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http://pe.usps.gov/cpim/ftp/pubs/Pub52/pub52.pdf

specifies what to do — you need to read that, and you can do it right.

kuoh
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Yup, it’s not so much about whether the clerk will reject it, but rather ensuring that your package isn’t the one that brings down the plane or sets the tractor trailer ablaze.

KuoH

hank wrote:
Lie to the US Postal Service? — not good advice.
Streamer
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TheGloriousTachikoma wrote:
I bought a stack of Trustfire Minis for Christmas gifts and intend to send a pair of them, as well as 4 spare CR123's to an aunt and uncle living in the next state. I know that Richard can send those lithium cells USPS, but whenever I've gone to the post office [to ship non-flashlight things] they've asked if the shipment contains lithium batteries. So my question is, is there anything special I have to do? A way I have to package the lights and batteries? Or should I just lie to the clerk? I wanted to put the lights and the spare batteries (in a 4-cell plastic case) in a little gift bag and carefully pack that.
349.221 Primary Lithium (Nonrechargeable) Cells and Batteries — Domestic

 

For domestic mailings only, small consumer-type primary lithium cells or

batteries (lithium metal or lithium alloy) like those used to power cameras and

flashlights are mailable domestically under the following conditions. See 622

or IMM 136 when mailing batteries internationally or to APO, FPO, or DPO

destinations.

a. General. The following restrictions apply to the mailability of all primary

lithium (nonrechargeable) cells and batteries:

(1) Each cell must contain no more than 1.0 gram (g) of lithium

content per cell.

(2) Each battery must contain no more than 2.0 g aggregate lithium

content per battery.

(3) Each cell or battery must meet the requirements of each test in the

UN Manual of Tests and Criteria, part III, and subsection 38.3 as

referenced in DOT’s hazardous materials regulation at 49 CFR 171.7.

(4) All outer packages must have a complete delivery and return

address.

b. Installed in Equipment. The following additional restrictions apply to the

mailing of primary cells or batteries properly installed in the equipment

they operate:

(1) The batteries installed in the equipment must be protected from

damage and short circuit.

(2) The equipment must be equipped with an effective means of

preventing it from being turned on or activated   Frown

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Would putting the batteries in a plastic box with a cheap 5mm led, resistor, and switch technically count as having the batteries installed in a device?

hank
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> putting the batteries in a plastic box with a cheap 5mm led, resistor, and switch…

Sounds like you’d be increasing the likelihood of a short circuit and fire.

Kids, people have died: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/fires-involving-lithium-batteri...

Not a whole lot of people, sure, you’re at more risk driving your car.

But it’s an avoidable risk.

Besides which those big airplanes cost a whole lot of money when they burn.

Do it right. Ship by ground not by air, label the boxes as specified.

Old-Lumens
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Since the lithium part was already up there, I figured I would add the rest.

 

Publication 52 Revision: Lithium Battery — Update

Effective May 16, 2012, the Postal Service™ will revise Publication 52, Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail, to indicate that primary lithium metal or lithium alloy (non­rechargeable) cells and batteries, or secondary lithium-ion cells or batteries (rechargeable), are prohibited when mailed internationally or to and from an APO, FPO, or DPO location. However, this prohibition does not apply to lithium batteries authorized under 349.22 when mailed within the United States or its territories.

International standards have recently been the subject of discussion by the International Civil Aviation Organiza­tion (ICAO) and the Universal Postal Union (UPU), and the Postal Service anticipates that on January 1, 2013, cus­tomers will be able to mail specific quantities of lithium bat­teries internationally (including to and from an APO, FPO, or DPO location) when the batteries are properly installed in the personal electronic devices they are intended to operate.

Until such time that a less restrictive policy can be implemented consistent with international standards, and in accordance with UPU Convention, lithium batteries are not permitted in international mail. The UPU Convention and regulations are consistent with the ICAO Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (Technical Instructions). The Technical Instructions con­cerning the Transport of Dangerous Goods by Post do not permit “dangerous goods” as defined by the ICAO Techni­cal Instructions in international mail. Currently, the only exceptions to this general prohibition relate to certain med­ical materials, infectious substances, and radioactive materials when they are treated in accordance with addi­tional requirements listed in the Technical Instructions. Lithium metal or lithium alloy batteries and lithium-ion cells are listed in the Technical Instructions as Class 9 Miscella­neous Dangerous Goods. The prohibition on mailing lithium batteries and cells internationally also applies to mail sent by commercial air transportation to and from an APO, FPO, or DPO location.

In addition, minor changes are made throughout the publication for consistency and clarity regarding the out­bound domestic mailing of lithium batteries.

 

349.222 Secondary Lithium-ion (Rechargeable) Cells and Batteries

[Revise 349.222 as follows:]

For domestic mailings only, small consumer-type lithium-ion cells and batteries like those used to power cell phones and laptop computers are mailable domestically under the following conditions. See 622 or IMM 136 when mailing batteries internationally or to and from APO, FPO, or DPO destinations.

a. General. The following additional restrictions apply to the mailability of all secondary (rechargeable) lithium-ion cells and batteries:

1. The lithium content must not exceed 20 Wh (Watt-hour rating) per cell.

2. The total aggregate lithium content must not exceed 100 Wh per battery.

3. Each cell or battery must meet the requirements of each test in the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria, part III, and subsection 38.3 as referenced in DOT’s haz­ardous materials regulation at 49 CFR 171.7.

4. The mailpiece must not contain more than three batteries.

5. All outer packages must have a complete delivery and return address.

b. Installed in Equipment. The following additional restric­tions apply to the mailing of secondary cells or batteries properly installed in equipment they operate:

1. The batteries installed in the equipment must be protected from damage and short circuit.

2. The equipment must be equipped with an effec­tive means of preventing it from being turned on or activated.

3. The equipment must be 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. The shipment must be mailed in a strong outer package.

c. Mailed With Equipment. The following additional re­strictions apply to the mailing of secondary cells or batteries shipped with (but not installed in) the device or equipment being mailed:

1. The shipment cannot contain more batteries than the number needed to operate the device up to three batteries.

2. The secondary lithium cells and batteries must be packaged separately and cushioned to prevent movement or damage.

3. The shipment must 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.

4. The outside of the package must be marked on the address side “Package Contains Lithium-ion Batteries (no lithium metal).”

d. Mailed Without Equipment. The following additional restrictions apply to the mailing of secondary cells or batteries without equipment (individual batteries):

1. The secondary lithium cells and batteries must be mailed in “the originally sealed packaging”, and the package may contain no more than three batteries.

2. The sealed packages of batteries must be sepa­rated and cushioned to prevent short circuit, movement, or damage.

3. The shipment must 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.

4. The outside of the package must be marked on the address side “Package Contains Lithium-ion Batteries (no lithium metal).”

 

622.5 Lithium and Lithium-ion Cells and Batteries — General

Primary lithium metal or lithium alloy (nonrechargeable) cells and batteries, or lithium-ion cells and batteries (rechargeable), regardless of quantity, size, watt hours, and regardless of whether the cells or batteries are packed in the equipment they are intended to operate, with the equip­ment they are intended to operate, or without equipment (individual batteries) are prohibited when mailed interna­tionally or to and from an APO, FPO, or DPO location regardless of mail class.

* * * * * 

Appendix A Hazardous Materials Table: Postal Service Mailability Guide

* * * * * 

[Delete the three entries whose names in column “(a)” are “Lithium batteries, contained in equipment,” “Lithium batteries packed with equipment” and “Lithium battery” (the three entries are consecutive), and insert the following six entries as fol­lows in their place:]

 

Hazardous Materials Descriptions and
Proper Shipping Names

(a)

Hazard Class

(b)

ID Number

(c)

DOT
PG
(d)

USPS
Mailability

(e)

Domestic Mail Air

(f)

Domestic Mail Surface

(g)

* * * * * 

Lithium-ion batteries

9

UN3480

II

Only as permitted in 349.22

9D

9D

Lithium-ion batteries contained in equipment

9

UN3481

II

Only as permitted in 349.22

9D

9D

Lithium-ion batteries packed with equipment

9

UN3481

II

Only as permitted in 349.22

9D

9D

Lithium metal batteries

9

UN3090

II

Only as permitted in 348.22b and 349.22

9D

9D

Lithium metal batteries contained in equipment

9

UN3091

II

Only as permitted in 349.22

9D

9D

Lithium metal batteries packed with equipment

9

UN3091

II

Only as permitted in 349.22

9D

9D

* * * * * 

* * * * * 

Appendix C USPS Packaging Instructions for Mailable Hazardous Materials

* * * * * 

USPS Packaging Instructions 9D

Lithium and Lithium-ion Cells and Batteries

[Revise Lithium and Lithium-ion Cells and Batteries para­graph as follows:]

n When mailed domestically only: Primary lithium (non­rechargeable) cells and batteries and secondary lith­ium-ion (rechargeable) cells and batteries are mailable in limited quantities domestically via air or surface transportation when they are installed in or packed with the equipment they are intended to operate. Individual secondary batteries (without equipment) are mailable in limited quantities domes­tically via air or surface transportation only, provided the batteries are in the originally sealed packaging. Individual primary batteries (without equipment) are mailable in limited quantities only via surface trans­portation, provided the batteries are in the originally sealed packaging.

n When mailed internationally or to APO, FPO, or DPO destinations: Primary lithium metal or secondary lith­ium alloy (nonrechargeable) cells and batteries, or lithium-ion cells or batteries (rechargeable), regard­less of quantity, size, watt hours, and regardless of whether the cells or batteries are packed in the equipment they are intended to operate, with the equipment they are intended to operate, or without equipment (individual batteries) are prohibited when mailed internationally or to and from an APO, FPO, or DPO location regardless of mail class.

* * * * * 

Mailability

[Revise the Mailability paragraph as follows:]

n Domestic Mail: Primary and secondary lithium cells and batteries installed in or packed with equipment are mailable via air or surface transportation. Primary lithium cells and batteries not packed with or installed in equipment (individual batteries) are mail­able via surface transportation only.

n International Mail: Primary lithium metal or lithium alloy (nonrechargeable) cells and batteries, or lith­ium-ion cells or batteries (rechargeable), regardless of quantity, size, and watt hours, and regardless of whether the cells or batteries are packed in the equipment they are intended to operate, with the equipment they are intended to operate, or without equipment (individual batteries) are prohibited when mailed internationally or to and from an APO, FPO, or DPO location regardless of mail class.

Required Packaging

[Revise the entire Required Packaging section as follows:]

Primary (nonrechargeable) and Secondary (rechargeable) Lithium Batteries Domestic Mail Only

n The equipment must be 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.

n All outer packages must have a complete delivery and return address.

Markings

n Primary (nonrechargeable) properly installed in the equipment they are intended to operate:

n Mailable via air transportation or surface transpor­tation domestically. Prohibited internationally.

n No markings required provided the quantities are within the limits of 349.22. Primary (nonrecharge­able) packed with the equipment they are intended to operate.

n Mailable via air and surface transportation domestically. Prohibited internationally.

n The outside of the package must be marked on the address side “Package Contains Primary Lith­ium Batteries.”

n Primary (nonrechargeable) not packed with or installed in equipment (individual batteries):

n Mailable domestic via surface transportation only. Prohibited internationally.

n The outside of the package must be marked on the address side “Surface Mail Only, Primary Lith­ium Batteries — Forbidden for Transportation Aboard Passenger Aircraft.”

n Secondary (rechargeable) properly installed in the equipment they are intended to operate:

n Mailable via air transportation or surface transpor­tation domestically. Prohibited internationally.

n No markings required provided the quantities are within the limits.

n Secondary (rechargeable) packed with the equip­ment they are intended to operate:

n Mailable via air and surface transportation domestically. Prohibited internationally.

n The outside of the package must be marked on the address side “Package Contains Lithium-ion Batteries (no lithium metal).”

n Secondary (rechargeable) not packed with or installed in equipment (individual batteries):

n Mailable domestic via surface transportation only. Prohibited internationally.

n The outside of the package must be marked on the address side “Package Contains Lithium-ion Batteries (no lithium metal).”

Quantities

Domestic Primary Lithium (nonrechargeable) Cells and Batteries:

Installed in or packed with the equipment they are intended to operate:

n Each cell must contain no more than 1.0 gram (g) of lithium content per cell.

n Each battery must contain no more than 2.0 g aggre­gate lithium content per battery.

n The shipment cannot contain more batteries than the number needed to operate the device.

n The mailpiece must not exceed 11 pounds.

Individual batteries mailed without equipment:

n Each cell must contain no more than 1.0 gram (g) of lithium content per cell.

n Each battery must contain no more than 2.0 g aggre­gate lithium content per battery.

n The mailpiece must not exceed 5 pounds.

Domestic Secondary Lithium-ion (Rechargeable) Cells and Batteries:

Installed in equipment, packed with equipment, or mailed without equipment (individual batteries):

n The lithium content must not exceed 20 Wh (Watt-hour rating) per cell.

n The total aggregate lithium content must not exceed 100 Wh per battery.

n The mailpiece must not contain more than three bat­teries.

International Primary (nonrechargeable) and Secondary (rechargeable) Lithium Batteries:

Primary lithium metal or lithium alloy (nonrechargeable) cells and batteries, or lithium-ion cells and batteries (rechargeable), regardless of quantity, size, watt hours, and regardless of whether the cells or batteries are packed in the equipment they are intended to operate, with the equip­ment they are intended to operate, or without equipment (individual batteries) are prohibited when mailed interna­tionally or to and from an APO, FPO, or DPO location regardless of mail class.

 

My PayPal address: oldlumens (insert the @ sign here) gmail.com

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RMM
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Old-Lumens what you posted is outdated now.  They are mailable internationally and to APO/FPO/DPO, with restrictions.  As always, use common sense when packaging these things.  If you think it can short circuit or turn on in the packaging, then don't send it.  If you are sending inside of a flashlight, wrap the battery contacts so there is no way it can turn on inside of the packaging.  

Every day you travel on the airplane with hundreds of lithium ion cells---everyone has laptops, phones, tablets, and other electronic devices.  No need for mass paranoia.  As long as you aren't dumb with them there won't be any problems. 

Check out the newest revision at http://pe.usps.com/text/pub52/pub52c6_004.htm#ep260739

(this is for international mailing)

622.52 Secondary Lithium-ion (Rechargeable) Cells and Batteries

Small consumer-type lithium-ion cells and batteries like those used to power cell phones and laptop computers are mailable in a single shipment with the following restrictions:

  1. The batteries must be installed in the equipment being shipped.
  2. Each shipment may contain a maximum of four lithium-ion cells or two lithium-ion batteries.
  3. The lithium content must not exceed 20 Watt-hour rating (Wh) per cell.
  4. The total aggregate lithium content must not exceed 100 Wh per battery.
  5. Each battery must bear the “Watt-hour” or “Wh” marking on the battery to determine if it is within the limits defined in items c and d.
  6. The batteries installed in the equipment must be protected from damage and short circuit.
  7. The equipment must be equipped with an effective means of preventing it from being turned on or activated.
  8. The equipment must be contained in a strong sealed package and cushioned to prevent movement or damage.

Exhibit 622.5 

International Lithium Battery Mailability

 

 

International APO/FPO/DPO1

Mailpiece Battery Limit

Primary Lithium Batteries23

Small non-rechargeable consumer-type batteries

Contained in (properly installed in equipment)

Mailable

Maximum of 4 cells or 2 batteries

Packed with equipment, but not installed in theequipment

Prohibited

 

Without the equipment they operate (individual batteries in originally sealed packaging)

Prohibited

 

Secondary Lithium-ion Batteries45

Small rechargeable consumer-type batteries

Contained in (properly installed in equipment)

Mailable

Maximum of 4 cells or 2 batteries

Packed with equipment, but not installed in theequipment

Prohibited

 

Without the equipment they operate (individual batteries in originally sealed packaging)

Prohibited

 


1

Unless otherwise prohibited by the international destination country or specific APO/FPO/DPO ZIP Code location.

2

Each primary cell must not contain more than 1g lithium content.

3

Each primary battery must not contain more than 2g aggregate lithium content.

4

Each secondary cell must not exceed more than 20 Wh (Watt-hour rating) per cell.

5

Each secondary battery must not exceed 100 Wh per battery.Note: Shipments containing lithium batteries are not permitted in Global Express Guaranteed mailpieces.

 

Mountain Electronics : batteries, Noctigon, and much more! What's new? 

TheGloriousTachikoma
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Alright, so how I wanted them to be packaged, as well as the other flashlight gift I forgot about that will contain a li-ion rechargeable, are kosher. Good to know. Smile

hank
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captainmike
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it for sure seems ILLEGAL to put 10 or 20 18650’s in a box and ship it domestically or internationally.

can anyone show me the USPS or UPS or FedEx regulations to the contrary ?

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hank wrote:
> putting the batteries in a plastic box with a cheap 5mm led, resistor, and switch…

Sounds like you’d be increasing the likelihood of a short circuit and fire.

Kids, people have died: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/fires-involving-lithium-batteri...

Not a whole lot of people, sure, you’re at more risk driving your car.

But it’s an avoidable risk.

Besides which those big airplanes cost a whole lot of money when they burn.

Do it right. Ship by ground not by air, label the boxes as specified.

Do it right and don’t lie is the best advice. However, driving/riding in cars are one of THE most dangerous daily activities with risk of death you can do and is not a fair comparison at all, it really outrageously inflates the risks. People don’t get this, automobile accidents are one of THE leading causes of death. We MAY have a couple deaths in how many years linked to batteries?

More accurate is a comparison with the dangers of walking around: you are more at risk of tripping and landing on a hard object and concussing yourself and dying than dying from a Li-ion fire. So, to minimize risks, don’t walk on ice if you can avoid it, just like you shouldn’t hit your batteries with a hammer. Silly Don’t walk around drunk, you can get arrested and occasionally one can kill himself doing it, but that is still much more risky than poorly packaging your batteries and lying to the postman about it. But it’s just as irresponsible as walking around in the city drunk and the media will be there if something happens in either case.

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absolutely never put 20 18650’s in a priority box and mail it overseas, you could be responsible for several deaths

hank wrote:
> putting the batteries in a plastic box with a cheap 5mm led, resistor, and switch…

Sounds like you’d be increasing the likelihood of a short circuit and fire.

Kids, people have died: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/fires-involving-lithium-batteri...

Not a whole lot of people, sure, you’re at more risk driving your car.

But it’s an avoidable risk.

Besides which those big airplanes cost a whole lot of money when they burn.

Do it right. Ship by ground not by air, label the boxes as specified.

hank
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You know how people feel about protecting passenger aircraft.

You know how to find the facts: https://www.google.com/search?q=aircraft+lithium+battery+fire
Look at the reports. Those are the reason this is an issue.

If you don’t read anything else, read this one:

http://www.flyingmag.com/news/ups-747-crash-highlights-lithium-battery-d...

If you don’t want to read, at least look at the pictures:
https://www.google.com/search?q=aircraft+lithium+battery+fire&source=lnm...

Mail is carried on passenger aircraft.

Declare a lithium metal or li-ion battery and your package goes by surface carrier.

Takes 3 days cross country, maybe less.

How much and what kind of attention do you want to attract?

Act accordingly.

It’s not about you.

EDIT — yeah, I’m a pilot — only of a hang glider. But I know several ‘real’ pilots and I know how accident analysis works.
The first mistake is almost always hours, or days, or weeks before the metal hits the ground.

So that’s what I’m saying — we don’t want to tell people to make that first mistake.
Even when the odds seem good that the rest of the mistakes in the series won’t happen, that particular package, that particular time.

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I appreciate that there are people like you around to set us straight Hank! And I apologize for my “idea” earlier; it sounds exceedingly stupid when looking at it now.

Cheers Beer