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Thread: shipping Lithium cells via USPS Priority Flat rate mail in 2021

  1. #1
    Flashaholic WebHobbit's Avatar
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    Default shipping Lithium cells via USPS Priority Flat rate mail in 2021

    So I used the search....both here and Google and I still can't seem to get a clear answer on this. I want to sell some rechargeable lithiums and I prefer using flat rate USPS priority boxes so I can pay online and pack it up here at home and then simply drop it off without waiting in line. Reading through the regulation on the post office site is like trying to read lawyer gobeldie-goop. Here is what I THINK is the basic law:

    It's OK to ship these via USPS so long as it is within the US and NOT using airmail.

    You seem to be required to have a warning sticker on the outside and yet the postal website doesn't seem to OFFER a PDF with this. If they did it would be trivial to print one out and tape it on along with my Priority label.

    Can someone help me out here and just give me a simple answer on this?

    is this what I need?

    Lithium-Battery-Label-LR27-2017-UN3480-Chemtrec-600x600.jpg
    Last edited by WebHobbit; 02-20-2021 at 06:59 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: shipping Lithium cells via USPS Priority Flat rate mail in 2021

    Quote Originally Posted by WebHobbit View Post
    So I used the search....both here and Google and I still can't seem to get a clear answer on this. I want to sell some rechargeable lithiums and I prefer using flat rate USPS priority boxes so I can pay online and pack it up here at home and then simply drop it off without waiting in line. Reading through the regulation on the post office site is like trying to read lawyer gobeldie-goop. Here is what I THINK is the basic law:

    It's OK to ship these via USPS so long as it is within the US and NOT using airmail.

    You seem to be required to have a warning sticker on the outside and yet the postal website doesn't seem to OFFER a PDF with this. If they did it would be trivial to print one out and tape it on along with my Priority label.

    Can someone help me out here and just give me a simple answer on this?

    is this what I need?

    Lithium-Battery-Label-LR27-2017-UN3480-Chemtrec-600x600.jpg
    I can't say to whether this was the proper method or not... I just did what the post person told me at the PO. When paying for shipping, they have you answer a bunch of questions about the contents. IIRC, one question is if it has some sort of hazardous material in which Li rechargeable batteries are included.

    I just told the Post Office employee that I was shipping a flashlight with a battery in it and she just had me touch the corresponding answers on the touch screen. Nothing special. She then took it and it was shipped off like anything else. IMO, just be honest with them and they should tell you what the procedure is. On the flip side, I went to a local delivery place that ships via multiple carriers, e.g. UPS, FedEx, etc. They wouldn't even accept the package, as I don't think they knew the procedure either.

    It might be a good idea to place something that blocks the contact if the battery is placed inside the flashlight... honestly I don't know if it matters whether they are inside or outside (if this is in reference to your flashlight listing with two batteries). Just make sure that the batterys' contacts are isolated for good form (I'm sure you already knew that).

  3. #3
    Flashaholic WebHobbit's Avatar
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    Default Re: shipping Lithium cells via USPS Priority Flat rate mail in 2021

    Thanks but the issue is when you are printing your own and doing all this online. Not in person

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    Flashaholic* Timothybil's Avatar
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    Default Re: shipping Lithium cells via USPS Priority Flat rate mail in 2021

    First, I agree with the concept of insulating the contacts on the cells. And yes, one can find a lot of hazardous contents label examples on line. I had to return a cell phone battery since the phone died before I could install the battery. UPS picked up the package, and I just handed the driver the hazardous label since I hadn't had time to fasten it to the package yet. He took it with no problems, and since Amazon issued the refund it obviously got there without problems.
    Remember, Two is One, and One is None!.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: shipping Lithium cells via USPS Priority Flat rate mail in 2021

    Did you check here:
    https://pe.usps.com/text/pub52/pub52apxc_032.htm

    Lithium-ion Battery, UN3480.
    Lithium Metal Battery, UN3090.
    Lithium-ion Battery contained in equipment, UN3481.
    Lithium-ion Battery packed with equipment, UN3481.
    Lithium Metal Battery contained in equipment, UN3091.
    Lithium Metal Battery packed with equipment, UN 3091.


    USPS Priority Mail is frequently transported via aircraft, depending on distance between the source and destination.

    Surprisingly, I have received Li-ion batteries from well known battery and flashlight sellers, that lack the required hazmat label on the package. However, Amazon and Battery Junction have had the proper label in my experience.

  6. #6
    Flashaholic* Timothybil's Avatar
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    Default Re: shipping Lithium cells via USPS Priority Flat rate mail in 2021

    Quote Originally Posted by SubLGT View Post
    Did you check here:
    USPS Priority Mail is frequently transported via aircraft, depending on distance between the source and destination.
    I would have to go back and check the documentation, but isn't the aircraft restriction limited to passenger aircraft?

    Regardless, it would be a good idea to package the cells individually, so that there would be no chance of shorting.
    Remember, Two is One, and One is None!.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic WebHobbit's Avatar
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    Default Re: shipping Lithium cells via USPS Priority Flat rate mail in 2021

    I'm going to ship the cells in plastic storage boxes that hold two per box and they can't move or touch each other when it's snapped shut. I'll also have the box well packed. I'm not worried about HOW to ship stuff at this point I'm kind of an expert on the matter (I have sold hundreds of items on eBay and I've also worked a crappy blue collar warehouse job for 35 years). I was just concerned with the legality.

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    BigusLightus's Avatar
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    Default Re: shipping Lithium cells via USPS Priority Flat rate mail in 2021


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    Flashaholic* DIWdiver's Avatar
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    Default Re: shipping Lithium cells via USPS Priority Flat rate mail in 2021

    Quote Originally Posted by BigusLightus View Post
    I think the OP was looking for printable labels, not labels that he could purchase.

    When I had to do it a while back, I found an image of the appropriate label that I could buy, took a screenshot, imported it into Paint, cropped and sized it appropriately, and printed it. Your links provide a good beginning for that method.
    Last edited by DIWdiver; 02-23-2021 at 09:28 PM.

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    Flashaholic* adamlau's Avatar
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    Default Re: shipping Lithium cells via USPS Priority Flat rate mail in 2021

    OK. Asked a friend who is an actual postmaster of a local USPS post office and whose father is also a postmaster. USPS family . Loose cells OK. Ground shipping (e.g. parcel post). Protected and cushioned. Marked with a UN3090 label. That is about it.

  11. #11
    Flashaholic WebHobbit's Avatar
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    Default Re: shipping Lithium cells via USPS Priority Flat rate mail in 2021

    Thanks!

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