The postal service is not allowed to ship any hazardous materials, including batteries. Lithium batteries are considered dangerous goods because they can explode under certain conditions.
This article explains what you can and cannot send in the mail. It also provides tips on safely packaging items containing lithium batteries for mailing or shipment by other courier services.
When sending batteries in the mail, it is essential to know the type of battery and the packaging requirements. There are three types of batteries: nickel-cadmium (NiCd), nickel-metal-hydride (NiMH), and lithium-ion (Li-ion).
Batteries must be packaged appropriately to prevent any potential damages. Improper packaging could cause the battery to short-circuit and start a fire. For this reason, it is essential to follow the specific guidelines for the type of battery you are shipping.
NiCd batteries are the oldest type of battery and are no longer used in most electronic devices. They can be shipped in the mail, but they must be placed in a special package called a UN3481 battery box.
NiMH batteries are more common than NiCd batteries used in most handheld electronic devices. They can be safely packaged in a regular cardboard box.
Li-ion batteries are used in most laptops, mobile phones, and many other devices. There are restrictions for sending these batteries through the mail because they pose the most significant risk if damaged. It is impossible to ship Li-ion batteries through the mail in a regular cardboard box. If you are shipping these batteries by parcel or express post, they must be sent in compliance with UN 3090.
The Universal Postal Union (UPU) sets out guidelines for international mailing to ensure that all packages follow specific safety standards. These guidelines are known as the Dangerous Goods Regulations.
The UPU has specific restrictions on shipping batteries, which vary depending on the type of battery. Some of the limits are:
There are specific guidelines for packaging batteries for mailing.
Shipping batteries in the mail can be tricky because of the many restrictions and safety considerations. It is essential to know the type of battery and the specific guidelines for package safety. If you are uncertain, contact your local post office or shipping carrier for assistance before sending lithium batteries in the mail.