The regulations applicable to international air shipments of lithium batteries have changed. Compliance with the new regulations became mandatory January 1, 2013.

Note: Readers of this information are urged to monitor the work of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials

Safety Administration (PHMSA) for up to date information. See PHMSA’s website at the follow ing address:

Shipping Lithium Batteries by Air Service

Please use the following information as a general guide only, all shippers are required to understand and comply with the applicable regulations pertaining to their domestic and international shipments.

Full air regulation information is published by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and can be found at:

When lithium batteries of relatively small electrical capacity are shipped in small quantities in accordance with the regulations, packages are not fully regulated as Dangerous Goods and do not require a Dangerous Goods contract.

This guide is for illustrative purposes only. Please reference IATA regula­tions when shipping lithium metal or lithium ion batteries or cells:

Electronic Items for Repair
Repair items, such as computers and cell phones, should be sent without batteries. A wide variety of electronic goods powered by Lithium Batteries are affected by the new regulations, regardless of whether they are rechargeable (Lithium Ion) or non-rechargeable (Lithium Metal). The regulations apply when:

  • Lithium Batteries are packed and shipped as individual items
  • Lithium Batteries are packed separately but shipped with equipment in the same box. Example: A cell phone with a replaceable Lithium Battery
  • Lithium Batteries are contained or installed in equipment and therefore shipped in the same box. Example: A computer tablet with an integrated Lithium Battery within the device that cannot be removed or replaced by the user

Due to increasing safety concerns raised by the aviation industry, the IATA regulations governing the shipping of Lithium Batteries have been tightened and airlines consequently have to enforce these regulations more rigorously.
Please note that the safe transportation of such contents by air and the full compliance to IATA regulations is the legal responsibility of the Shipper. In view of this fact, IATA has produced a guide to help Shippers understand and comply with the regulations.