With so much modern equipment being battery-powered, it’s very common to send batteries and battery-containing devices. But all batteries are hazardous if damaged or short-circuited, and a fire in one battery quickly spreads to other batteries in the aircraft or truck. So you need to be aware of the safety and legal obligations when sending batteries.
Let’s break down what’s safe and routine to send, and what to contact us about before sending. This way pilots can focus on flying the plane, not frantically triggering the cargo bay fire suppressors.
Your battery or equipment will fall into one of two categories:
- declare when booking, so we can check the packaging and apply the required warning labels
- contact us first, so we can make arrangements for safe and legal transportation
Declare when booking
You must declare any shipment that contains any quantity of lithium at the time of booking, so we can check the packaging and apply the required warning labels.
These common devices, and their batteries, are acceptable in small quantities:
- Mobile phones (except Samsung Galaxy Note 7)
- Wireless headsets
- Handheld power tools
A “small quantity” is less than 5kg of batteries per package.
The batteries must be:
- contained inside equipment,
- spare batteries sent alongside equipment, or
- small quantities of dry-cell batteries that are working, undamaged, and properly packed
Contact us before booking
Ccontact us before sending any other kinds of batteries. We’ll make arrangements for labelling and packaging so you can send the battery or appliance safely and legally.
Some examples of batteries or battery-containing equipment to contact us about:
- Non-working or damaged batteries
- Batteries inside non-working equipment or being returned for warranty service
- Sodium batteries
- Lithium metal battery, rechargeable
- Automotive (car) battery
- Electric wheelchair battery
- Fuel cell-based portable backup power supply
- Electric vehicle battery
- Spare dry-cell batteries (large quantities)
- Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones
- Old mobile phones to be recycled
Packaging for lithium-ion batteries
We will re-pack batteries where required. Avoid delays by reusing the manufacturer’s packaging or repacking in accordance with these instructions.
Lithium ion batteries contained in equipment
- The equipment must be packed in strong rigid outer packaging constructed of suitable material of
adequate strength and design in relation to the packaging’s capacity and its intended use unless the cell
or battery is afforded equivalent protection by the equipment in which it is contained
- Maximum 5 kg net quantity of cells or batteries per package (exclusive of equipment)
Lithium ion batteries packed with equipment
- Each battery and cell must be protected against a short circuit and placed in an inner packaging
that completely encloses the battery and cell, then placed in a strong rigid outer packaging
- The equipment must also be secured against any movement within the outer packaging and must
be equipped with an effective means of preventing accidental activation
- Maximum number of batteries includes those necessary to power the equipment, plus 2 spare
- Maximum net quantity of lithium batteries or cells per package = 5 kg per package (exclusive of
For more details refer to the packing instruction: UN 3481 in compliance with section II of PI697