Why your phone is "Dangerous Goods"


Why your phone is "Dangerous Goods"

Lithium battery caution label

Technically, any item containing a lithium battery is classified as Class 9 Miscellaneous Dangerous Goods. This means restrictions and regulations apply when transporting.

This may sound concerning, since so many of our everyday items use these things – anything from children’s toys through to laptops, cameras and mobile phones – but, when handled correctly, transporting items containing lithium batteries can be done safely and in line with rules and regulations.

So what exactly are Lithium batteries?
Lithium batteries are special high energy density batteries that are able to store a lot of energy in a lightweight, compact form.
There are two main types:
1) Lithium Ion, &
2) Lithium Metal.

Lithium ion are the rechargeable type of battery, commonly used in consumer electronics and are found in mobile phones and laptop computers.

Lithium metal batteries are the non-rechargeable kind. Lithium metal batteries are used to power devices such as watches, calculators and some types of cameras.

Why are they dangerous?
Since the introduction of the lithium battery to the commercial market in 1991, incidents involving overheating have been known to cause serious safety issues. Among reported cases are mobile phones overheating and releasing hot, burning gases, along with a number of fires developing on cargo aircraft. A few aircraft cargo incidents resulted in lives lost due to in-flight fires caused by cargo containing lithium batteries.

The main issue with lithium batteries is that the fires they create burn at extreme temperatures and are very hard to extinguish. When concerning freighting of such items, this becomes a severe safety issue. Particularly as the lithium metal batteryfire is not easily extinguishable by the existing Halon fire extinguishing systems found in most planes.Smartphone

Consequently the United Nations has imposed strict and specific regulations on manufacturing, testing, approval and transport of lithium batteries.

What are the regulations and how do they affect me?
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has laid down specific regulations regarding the air transport of lithium batteries. These regulations cover both passenger transport baggage and air freight.

If the battery has not been tested and passed the UN criteria (beware of cheap, “fake” replacement batteries), they are excluded from air transport. One of the most important details of the regulation is related to damaged or defective batteries. If you know or suspect your lithium battery is damaged or defective, it cannot be transported on an aircraft under any circumstances.

If you wish to send a lithium battery that is in good working order, the lithium content (by weight) or capacity of the battery (measured in Watt hours) must be below certain limits specified in the regulations.

So how can I send my lithium batteries overseas?
There is no getting around the fact that lithium batteries are classified as dangerous goods. As such, unless you understand the regulations (and know how to apply them correctly), many freight and postal services consider your lithium battery parcel an “unacceptable risk” and will refuse to service you.

Before you collapse in despair and throw it in the “too hard” basket, there are some companies who are willing to navigate the risks on your behalf and help untrained shippers to comply with the IATA regulations.Call PACK & SEND

If you have a need to send lithium battery powered items internationally, there are logistics experts out there that can take care of the worry for you.  PACK & SEND have the packaging and freight expertise to comply with regulations, offering convenience as well as peace of mind.

Freighting items with lithium batteries – whether they be contained in mobile phones or any other electronic device – may seem like a drama but it needn't be, especially when there are experts at hand.

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