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Author Topic: USPS and lithium batteries  (Read 22049 times)

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Offline Silver Serpent

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USPS and lithium batteries
« on: May 11, 2012, 09:57:16 AM »
Looks like international shipments may start having issues if li-ion batteries are included.

http://about.usps.com/news/service-alerts/international-updates.htm
http://about.usps.com/postal-bulletin/2012/pb22336/html/updt_004.htm

Effective May 16, 2012 and expecting to last until January 2013.

Quote
OUTBOUND INTERNATIONAL MAILING OF LITHIUM BATTERIES

Until January 2013, the Postal Service will not be able to accept packages containing lithium batteries and electronic devices containing lithium batteries addressed to international destinations. This includes mail destined to, or from, APO (Army Post Office), FPO (Fleet Post Office) and DPO (Diplomatic Post Office) locations.

This change is required by the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the Universal Postal Union (UPU), both of which currently prohibit lithium batteries in mail shipments that are carried on international commercial air transportation.

This change will not apply to packages containing lithium batteries and electronic devices containing lithium batteries when mailed within the United States on domestic commercial air or ground transportation.

International organizations apply different rules to the carriage of lithium batteries in mail shipments carried on commercial aircraft as compared to domestic requirements.

We anticipate that by January 2013, international aviation rules will be changed to allow mailing of lithium batteries when installed in the personal electronic devices they are intended to operate.

USPS is working with expert organizations to determine if any new exceptions can be developed prior to January 2013. Further announcements will be made should USPS be able to accept lithium batteries in certain types of mail shipments as soon as any new options become available.

We appreciate our customers’ business. We recognize this change will pose an inconvenience to our customers and we look forward to continuing to be their international shipping partner.

Offline JANGO FETT

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Re: USPS and lithium batteries
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2012, 10:11:30 AM »
hmmm. That is going to be an issue.

Quote
136.1 Dangerous Goods

[Revise the introduction to 136.1 and insert a new item i and a new closing paragraph to read as follows:]

Except as provided in IMM 135, “dangerous goods” as defined by the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, Model Regulations, are prohibited in outbound international mail, regardless of mail class. Some examples of dangerous goods include the fol­lowing:

* * * * *

i. Primary lithium metal or lithium alloy (non-recharge­able) cells and batteries, or secondary lithium-ion cells and batteries (rechargeable), regardless of quantity, size, or 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). This standard ap­plies to all APO, FPO, or DPO locations.

You still mail domestically

Quote
10.20.6 Secondary Lithium-ion (Rechargeable) Cells and Batteries

[Revise 10.20.6 as follows:]

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. Mail­ing batteries internationally, or to and from APO, FPO, or DPO destinations is prohibited regardless of mail class. See IMM 136 for details.

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 DOTs 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:

1. The secondary lithium cells and batteries must be mailed in “the originally sealed packaging” and 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).”


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Offline Acerocket

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Re: USPS and lithium batteries
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2012, 12:00:17 PM »
I heard this might be coming when I shipped the Obi sabers.  It is because USPS sends mail on commercial (passenger) jets.  I don't think UPS or FedEx are stopping shipment because they have their fleet of airplanes.  You have to check their restrictions, but when I shipped the Obis, I was OK because of the size of the cells (there is a maximum lithium content and equations to figure it out).

Offline QUI-GON JINN

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Re: USPS and lithium batteries
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2012, 12:49:47 PM »
Yeah,  the funny thing about Li-ion batteries and the postal service is most employees at local post offices will tell you they cannot be mailed,  period.  I had to print the rules myself and take them to the post office and show them to he clerk before they would allow me to mail CS-38 to Japan.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2012, 01:28:08 PM by QUI-GON JINN »


Offline Jagged Fel

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Re: USPS and lithium batteries
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2012, 01:48:08 PM »
I don't like the sound of this,being in Canada myself,didn't Dave316 have a problem recieving one of Wat's Obi's? I think i remember in his review that the customs people severed the wires to the switches,still not sure why they would do that other than just because they can.
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Offline Acerocket

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Re: USPS and lithium batteries
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2012, 02:07:51 PM »
Dave316's problem has nothing to do with the batteries.  It was all customs' doing deciding that they needed to open the package, inspect the contents and unsrew the parts.  Probably looking for hidden contraband.

I should note, Dave316's and the other saber damaged by customs were shipped via FedEx.  Three other international packages shipped via FedEx were not damaged.  The remaining (5 or 6, I think) international packages shipped USPS Global Express (which is handled by FedEx) were not damaged.  It's a hit or miss type ballgame with customs.  But I doubt they are opening packages looking for Li-ion cells.

As I mentioned, there are still shipping options available - it's just going to cost international buyers more to ship until USPS get's their act together.

Offline Yoda

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Re: USPS and lithium batteries
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2012, 03:21:17 PM »
Oy vei ::) just another way to make things more difficult for us  :P

UPS and FED EX are usually much more expensive than USPS but if its just for a small box with batteries it shouldn't be to bad.
I'll most likely be recommending to my customers to source their batteries locally to them or simply order them separately
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Offline Scorpion

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Re: USPS and lithium batteries
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2012, 03:40:55 PM »
this is gonna be bad news for us international buyers what about sabers that come with the batterys built in like the upcomming VV/SC quigon and coran horn sabers?
are we well and truly screwed?
« Last Edit: May 11, 2012, 03:58:00 PM by Scorpion »


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Offline C-3P0

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Re: USPS and lithium batteries
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2012, 04:39:05 PM »
Oh no :( not the news I wanted to hear.

I mean, I use FedEx a lot...so are we sure that will still be okay? Same with UPS?

Any idea if this affects Rob and Canada Post with international orders?

Ugh, this sucks.

At my work, there is no issue me sending batteries on planes as long as they ARE li-ion batteries. So this all seems a little backwards to me :(

Offline Aus_Jedi_Killer

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Re: USPS and lithium batteries
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2012, 05:10:43 PM »
Oh no :( not the news I wanted to hear.

I mean, I use FedEx a lot...so are we sure that will still be okay? Same with UPS?

Any idea if this affects Rob and Canada Post with international orders?

Ugh, this sucks.

At my work, there is no issue me sending batteries on planes as long as they ARE li-ion batteries. So this all seems a little backwards to me :(

That's cos us Aussies ARE backwards hicks mate :P

Offline Scorpion

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Re: USPS and lithium batteries
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2012, 09:36:25 AM »
so are we screwed? or can we simply use a different postage carrier?

also does this mean us international buyers cant buy batterys from the usa anymore?


LDM MKVI LUKE SKYWALKER ROTJ REVEAL CFv6
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FX SABERS VINTAGE GRAFLEX IV ANH CFv5
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Offline LUMINARA UNDULI

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Re: USPS and lithium batteries
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2012, 10:08:02 AM »
You can use a different carrier. 

You may have to get your LiIon batteries internationally until this is sorted, or choose a vendor who will ship FEDEX or UPS.



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Offline Wong Yoon Wei

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Re: USPS and lithium batteries
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2012, 10:32:42 AM »
This is really horrible because the best batteries (AW, Panasonic, Tenergy) can only be source from the US. Those from China or Hong Kong are usually Trustfire or some no name brand.

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Offline Acerocket

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Re: USPS and lithium batteries
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2012, 10:45:06 AM »
This is really horrible because the best batteries (AW, Panasonic, Tenergy) can only be source from the US. Those from China or Hong Kong are usually Trustfire or some no name brand.

I buy my AW cells directly from AW in China.  I bought some AW cells from Lighthound and they were not AW cells.  They were advertised as AW 17500 unprotected on the Lighthound website but all 4 that I bought failed.  I was going to buy from Lighthound for the Obi run but they didn't have enough stock - so I bought direct.  A few months later, I need 4 more cells and order from Lighthound.  The batteries were a different color and different manufacturer.  I will only buy direct from AW from now on.

There are always options, you just may have to look a little harder and pay a little more to get what you need.

Offline LUMINARA UNDULI

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Re: USPS and lithium batteries
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2012, 02:32:51 PM »
Also, Tenergy is a Chinese Company so probably have offices outside the US.  I would suggest contacting them directly.  Panasonic batteries can be found elsewhere also, for example http://www.dealextreme.com/p/genuine-panasonic-18650-3100mah-rechargeable-battery-grey-pair-121452?item=8 .



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