• Lithium Batteries

Learn how to ship lithium batteries safely and securely

FedEx takes the transport of your shipment containing lithium batteries very seriously and complies with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) regulations for carrying such items as a carrier. We want to ensure that you as a shipper are aware of all the requirements in shipping these products and help you to overcome any challenges or obstacles you may face.

Lithium batteries, which are commonly used in devices such as mobile phones, laptops, PDAs, watches, cameras and children’s toys, are classified as "Dangerous Goods" under IATA DG Regulations, since charged battery shipments may overheat and ignite under certain conditions. Therefore at FedEx we implement measures so your shipments containing lithium batteries are correctly handled from when they are tendered to FedEx at the origin to when they are delivered to their final destination.

Being classed as Dangerous Goods, when shipped, lithium batteries must be correctly identified and classified, and in some cases be packaged, marked, labeled and accompanied by a "Shipper’s Declaration for Dangerous Goods" under the IATA DG Regulations. Please click here to find out more and/or contact your local FedEx Customer Service.

Important Note: Effective January 1st, 2017, FedEx no longer accepts UN 3090 and UN 3480 lithium batteries tendered to us as IATA Section II. Instead, these shipments must be tendered as fully regulated Section IA or Section IB. Shippers who are on the UN 3090 and UN 3480 Section II preapproved list are automatically placed on the UN 3090 and UN 3480 Section I list. You do not need to reapply for preapproval. For more information on this policy change, click here.

How to ship and pack lithium batteries

When shipping a package containing lithium batteries, strong rigid outer packaging must be used and, depending on the type of lithium batteries, additional markings and labelling may also be required. FedEx Paks cannot be used as outer packaging for lithium batteries, however, FedEx branded boxes or tubes may be used as outer packaging for lithium batteries prepared under Section II of the relevant packing instruction of the IATA DG Regulations.

Below you can find further details and guidelines on preparing and packaging shipments containing lithium batteries.

Section II IATA Lithium Battery Shipping and Packaging Guidelines

All packages containing lithium batteries are classified as Class 9 — Miscellaneous Dangerous Goods. However, packages containing small lithium batteries may be exempted from most of the IATA and ICAO requirements if they comply with the requirements in Section II IATA Packing Instructions (PI) 966 and 967 for lithium ion batteries and 969 and 970 for lithium metal batteries as appropriate.

Shipments of lithium metal batteries packed with equipment and lithium metal batteries contained in equipment may be packaged in accordance with Section II IATA packaging requirements provided that the metal or alloy cell content does not exceed more than 1 gram, and the aggregate lithium content does not exceed 2 grams per cell.

Lithium ion cells and batteries meeting the requirements of Section II must meet the general requirements of the packaging instruction. For lithium ion or polymer cells, the watt-hour rating is not more than 20Wh (watt hours) and 100wh per battery.

Each of the proper shipping names defined in Section II IATA may have additional requirements related to the types of approved outer packaging, weight limits, and package drop tests of 1.2 meters.

To comply with Section II IATA shipping requirements, shipments containing lithium batteries and cells must comply with specific packaging guidelines.

  • Ensure that lithium batteries are individually packaged in fully enclosed inner packaging such as a plastic blister wrap or pasteboard to provide protection for each battery.
  • Shield and protect lithium batteries to prevent short circuits or contact with conductive materials within the packaging that could cause short circuits.
  • Ensure that packaging is proven (i.e. tested) to meet the requirements of each test in the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria, Part III, subsection 38.3.
  • Make sure that lithium batteries are completely enclosed (such as in equipment or surrounded by plastic with void space filled to prevent movement), except when the proper shipping names end with “contained in equipment”.
  • Place contents in a sturdy outer container.
  • Provide correct labeling and documentation.

 

You need to include the United Nations (UN) number on the Lithium Battery Mark (IATA Figure 7.1.C), which can be used as of January 1st, 2017. However, if you would like to use up your pre-labeled packaging or labeling you have in stock with the Lithium Battery Label (IATA Figure 7.4.H), you may continue to do so until December 31st, 2018, after which the Lithium Battery Mark becomes mandatory.

Note: if using the Lithium Battery Label, FedEx requests that you add the UN number on the package adjacent to this label [FX-05]. This will become a mandatory requirement by FedEx on July 1st, 2017.

 

Lithium Battery Mark
(valid as of January 1st, 2017)

Lithium Battery Mark

* Place for UN number(s)
** Place for telephone number for additional information

Lithium Battery Label
(valid till December 31st, 2018)

Lithium Battery Label

Section I IATA Lithium Battery Shipping and Packaging Guidelines

Lithium batteries, both lithium ion and lithium metal, are fully regulated dangerous goods when prepared under Section IA IATA regulations. These commodities must be correctly identified, classified, packaged, marked and labeled. Additionally, the package must have the Shipper’s Declaration for Dangerous Goods completed and signed by a trained shipper.

Section IB requirements apply to lithium metal cells with a lithium metal content not exceeding 1 gram and lithium metal batteries with a lithium metal content not exceeding 2 grams packed in quantities that exceed the allowance permitted in Section II, Table 968-II. All Section IB shipments are required to have a Shipper’s Declaration for Dangerous Goods, and “IB” must be indicated after Packing Instruction, either in the Packing Instruction section or in the Authorization.

UN 3480, Lithium Ion Batteries Section IA and IB can be shipped with a state of charge (SoC) of maximum 30% without competent authority approval from both the state of origin and the state of the operator. UN 3480, Lithium Ion Batteries and UN 3090, Lithium Metal Batteries must be offered as Cargo Aircraft Only with the packages labelled with the IATA Cargo Aircraft Only label.

You need to include the United Nations (UN) number on the Lithium Battery Mark (IATA Figure 7.1.C), which can be used as of January 1st, 2017. However, if you would like to use up your pre-labeled packaging or labeling you have in stock with the Lithium Battery Label (IATA Figure 7.4.H), you may continue to do so until December 31st, 2018, after which the Lithium Battery Mark becomes mandatory.

Note: if using the Lithium Battery Label, FedEx requests that you add the UN number on the package adjacent to this label [FX-05]. This will become a mandatory requirement by FedEx on July 1st, 2017.

 

Lithium Battery Mark
(valid as of January 1st, 2017)

Lithium Battery Mark

* Place for UN number(s)
** Place for telephone number for additional information

Lithium Battery Label
(valid till December 31st, 2018)

Lithium Battery Label

 

At FedEx, we are committed to effectively transporting your shipments containing lithium batteries till final destination. In order for us to do this, it is important to ensure that when preparing shipments containing lithium batteries that the batteries are not in any way defective, damaged, or have the potential to produce a dangerous evolution of heat, fire or short circuit.

Please feel free to contact your Sales Representative or your local Customer Service if you have any additional questions