Small consumer-type primary lithium cells or batteries (lithium metal or lithium alloy) like those used to power cameras, and flashlights and consumer-type lithium-ion cells and batteries like those used to power cell phones and laptop computers; mailing these batteries internationally is now prohibited.
The United States Postal Service (USPS) published a Final Rule on May 14, 2012, amending Title 39 CFR, Part 111 regarding the acceptance and transport of lithium batteries in international mail. At the International Civil Aviation Organization Dangerous Goods Panel (ICAO DGP), the Universal Postal Union (UPU) adopted provisions allowing the acceptance of certain lithium batteries in international mail. However, since international mail is transported by air carriers and the ICAO DGP has jurisdiction over Dangerous Goods in civil aviation, the international mail is still subject to the ICAO Technical Instructions.
To align with the continued prohibition of lithium batteries in international mail as maintained in the ICAO TI, the USPS has adopted changes to their International Mail Manual (IMM) and Domestic Mail Manual (DMM) reflecting the prohibition to all types of lithium batteries, installed or otherwise, in international mail. The USPS has also adopted less restrictive changes to the DMM regarding lithium metal and ion batteries and cells in domestic mail. These changes include a requirement to mark packages containing only batteries or cells with specified language, a limitation on the number of batteries packed with equipment, a weight limit on packages containing lithium batteries, and size and watt hour limitations similar to Title 49 CFR, Part 172, §172.102, Special Provision 188, etc.
Please review these changes with your company’s mail room or mail departments to ensure compliance with the USPS requirements. The Final Rule became effective May 16, 2012.
You can always call us in the US 888.442.9628 or in Canada 888.977.4834, if you have any questions about shipping lithium batteries.