Shipping Lithium Batteries from China: The Ultimate FAQ Guide

Shipping Lithium Batteries from China

Shipping Lithium Batteries from China

When it comes to shipping lithium batteries from China, there are many safety regulations you must follow.

Comply with IATA regulations, label battery properly and use recommended packaging procedures, amongst others.

That’s why this guide explores all the vital aspects you should know about shipping lithium batteries from China.

Let’s dive right in.

What is Lithium Battery?

Lithium battery is a type of battery made up of various types of cathodes and lithium anodes.

They may be in metal form or in the electrolyte.

Lithium ion battery

Lithium ion battery

IATA’s Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR), has grouped Lithium batteries into:

  • Lithium metal batteries
  • Lithium-ion batteries

Lithium metal batteries are generally the primary non-rechargeable batteries having lithium metal as their anode.

They are mostly used in devices such as calculators, watches, cameras, defibrillators, and temperature data loggers.

Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are rechargeable and have an electrolyte containing an ionic form of lithium.

This battery type is mostly found in laptops, mobile phones, electronic bikes, and power tools.

The classification helps to safely transport the various Lithium Batteries.

Are Lithium Batteries Categorized as Dangerous Goods when Shipping from China?

Yes, Lithium Batteries are classified as Class 9 dangerous goods.

The batteries contain high electric energy levels to keep devices functioning for a while.

If not properly handled, they can short circuit, overheat and consequently catch fire.

Depending on the mode of transport you would like to use, you are required to comply with the safety protocols put in place.

 Dnagerous goods classification

Dangerous goods classification

Which Quality Standards Should Lithium Battery Comply with?

Almost all Lithium Batteries should pass UN DOT 38.3, T1-T5 tests:

  • T1 – Attitude Simulation (Primary and Secondary Cells and Batteries)
  • T2 – Thermal Test (Primary and Secondary Cells and Batteries)
  • T3 – Vibration (Primary and Secondary Cells and Batteries)
  • T4 –Shock (Primary and Secondary Cells and Batteries)
  • T5 – External Short Circuit (Primary and Secondary Cells and Batteries)

T6-T8 are for specific Lithium Batteries:

  • T6 – Impact (Primary and Secondary Cells)
  • T7 – Overcharge (Secondary Batteries)
  • T8 – Forced Discharge (Primary and Secondary Cells)

What are the Top Lithium Battery Brands from China?

The top ten Lithium Battery Brands from China include:

 Lithium battery

Lithium battery

  • CATL manufactured by Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Ltd. based in Fujian Province
  • BYD IT manufactured by BYD Co., Ltd. based in Guangdong Province.
  • LISHEN manufactured by Tianjin Lishen Battery Co., Ltd. based in Tinajin.
  • Guoxuan manufactured by Hefei Guoxuan Gaoke Power Energy Co., Ltd. based in Anhui Province.
  • BAK manufactured by Shenzhen BAK Battery Co., Ltd. based in Guangdong Province.
  • Desay Battery manufactured by Huizhou Desay Group Co., Ltd. based in Guangdong Province.
  • CALB Lithium Battery manufactured by China Aviation Lithium Battery Co., Ltd. based in Henan Province.
  • COSLIGHT manufactured by Harbin Coslight Group Co., Ltd.) based in Heilongjiang.
  • SCUD manufactured by SCUD Group (Fujian) Electronics Co., Ltd. based in Fujian Province.
  • EVE manufactured by Huizhou EVE Energy Co., Ltd. based in Guangdong Province.

What are the Consequences of not Complying with Safety Rules and Regulations when Shipping Lithium Batteries from China?

Not complying with Safety Rules and Regulations when shipping Lithium Batteries may lead to rejection of your shipment by the courier you have chosen.

Moreover, a fine may be levied on your shipment, which may be an additional cost to you.

In a worst-case scenario, your company could be blacklisted.

Consequently, you may not be able to ship in the future.

A more tragic consequence is that your shipment may cause an accident.

If you do not strictly adhere to the protocols put in place during transportation, the Lithium batteries may catch fire leading to either a plane crash or a ship capsizing.

These accidents may lead to the death of the people on board.

Is there a Recommended Packaging Process when Shipping Lithium Batteries from China?

Yes there is.

Proper packaging is among the safety protocols when shipping Lithium Batteries.

The batteries should be packed in a way that separates them in order to prevent damage to terminals and short-circuiting.

Packaging lithium battery for shipping

Packaging lithium battery for shipping

Which Documents do you need to Ship Lithium Batteries from China?

Majorly you will require the following documents:

  • Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)
  • Non-dangerous certificate
  • Test summary report
  • Dangerous package certificate issued by Commodity Inspection Bureau
  • UN 38.3 test report

Apart from these vital shipping documents for shipping lithium batteries, you will need:

  • Commercial invoice
  • Bill of lading
  • Airway bill
  • Insurance certificate
  • Packing list
  • Certificate of origin

In case you’re not sure of the specific documents you may need, contact your freight forwarder.

Freight forwarder will handle all the customs clearance process for you.

Which Types of Lithium Batteries can you Ship from China?

Some of the available types of lithium batteries are:

·  Lithium-Ion Battery

Lithium Ion or Li-ion batteries are rechargeable batteries with an ionic form of lithium in its electrolyte.

This battery type is mostly found in laptops, mobile phones, electronic bikes, and power tools.

 Lithium ion battery

Lithium-ion battery

They are labeled UN3480 when being transported separately, and UN3091 when being transported with equipment or in equipment.

For Lithium-Ion batteries packaged separately IATA advises the following safety measures for shipping in passengers aircraft:

  • Batteries should have a less than 30 percent state of charge (SoC) of its rated capacity. In the case of a SoC more than 30 percent, the battery may be shipped underwritten conditions established by State of Origin and the State of the Operator.

Of course, in accordance to the IATA guidelines.

  • Li-ion batteries may be shipped as cargo in a passenger aircraft under approval by the State of Origin, State of Destination, and State of the Operator.

Where the lithium ion meets the required passenger aircraft weight requirement.

  • In the case of an urgent medical emergency, one consignment of Li-ion batteries can be transported in a passenger aircraft preceding consent by State of Origin and the State of the Operator.

Apart from the above exemptions, Li-ion batteries can be transported on passenger aircraft provided there is the consent of all concerned countries.

Other important safety measures include testing, labeling, and packaging as per the dangerous goods set guidelines.

· Lithium Polymer Battery

Lithium polymer battery

Lithium ion battery

This type of battery, unlike the Li-ion batteries liquid electrolyte, uses a gel-like electrolyte.

It has a shorter life cycle and stores less energy compared to the same size Li-ion battery.

However, the Lithium polymer is more than Li-ion battery since it has a low risk of leaking electrolyte.

This type of battery is majorly found in smartphones.

It is classified in the same category as Lithium-ion battery, that is, UN3480 and UN3091.

IATA places Lithium polymer batteries in the same category as Li-ion battery thus they have similar safety measures.

Additionally, if the Lithium polymer battery is in the device, caution should be taken to prevent the device from powering up.

· Lithium Metal Battery

Lithium metal battery

Lithium metal battery

Lithium metal batteries are generally the primary non-rechargeable batteries having lithium metal as their anode.

They are mostly used in devices such as calculators, watches, cameras, defibrillators, and temperature data loggers.

These types of batteries are prohibited from being transported as cargo in passenger aircraft except when:

  • They meet IATA’s quantity limit.
  • In a case of urgent medical need
  • An exemption is issued by all states concerned.

For safety; appropriate packaging, testing, and labeling should be done during shipping as per the dangerous goods standards

What are the Safety Requirements when Shipping Lithium Batteries from China?

There are various safety requirements depending on the mode of transport.

Lithium batteries from China are mostly transported by the ocean or by air.

Here are some safety regulations for both of the transport modes.

· Corresponding UN Number

The lithium battery ought to be labeled with the corresponding UN number as follows:

UN3090 – Lithium metal batteries

UN3480 – Lithium-ion batteries

UN3091 – Lithium metal batteries contained in equipment

UN3091 – Lithium metal batteries packed with equipment

UN3481 – Lithium-ion batteries contained in equipment

UN3481 – Lithium-ion batteries packed with equipment

  1. The batteries must pass the UN DOT 38.3, T1-T8 tests, and 1.2m drop packaging tests. The T1-T8 tests are as follows:

T1 – Attitude Simulation (Primary and Secondary Cells and Batteries)

T2 – Thermal Test (Primary and Secondary Cells and Batteries)

T3 – Vibration (Primary and Secondary Cells and Batteries)

T4 – Shock (Primary and Secondary Cells and Batteries)

T5 – External Short Circuit (Primary and Secondary Cells and Batteries)

T6 – Impact (Primary and Secondary Cells)

T7 – Overcharge (Secondary Batteries)

T8 – Forced Discharge (Primary and Secondary Cells)

  1. Class 9 label of dangerous goods and operation label of ‘only for all-cargo aircraft transportation’ must be affixed on the packaging.
  2. Batteries being shipped by air should have a design that prevents them from bursting when being transported.
  3. Batteries should have a strong packaging that prevents external short-circuiting or contact with conductive materials.

When the battery is in a piece of equipment, you should consider the following safety regulations:

  1. The packaging method should prevent the battery from powering up during shipping.
  2. The equipment should be waterproof, if not, it should be wrapped with an inner lining (for example plastic bag) to make it waterproof.
  3. The battery should be fixed within the equipment to prevent it from moving during shipping.
  4. Load the Lithium batteries on pallets with corner protectors to avoid strong vibration during handling.

 Are there Risks involve when Shipping Lithium Batteries from China?

Yes, there are risks that are based on economic losses or legal liabilities when shipping Lithium Batteries from China.

The risks are as below:

Owing to the lengthy nature of UN 38.3 report (which takes about a month), there can be delayed.

This can lead to loss of orders, loss of customer trust, and ultimately most batteries go to waste.

If your batteries have poor packaging, you can be charged with high fines.

In other instances, poor packaging can lead to the destruction of your Lithium Batteries.

Most extremely, poor packaging may cause accidents during shipping.

 Packaged lithium baterry for shipping

Packaged lithium battery for shipping

How much does it Cost to Ship Lithium Batteries from China?

Depending on the classification of the batteries, the cost varies.

If the battery is classified as an ordinary cargo, the cost will be similar to other ordinary cargo being transported by ocean or air.

However, if the battery is classified as dangerous cargo, the cost may be 1.5 or twice that of the ordinary cargo.

How much Taxes/Duties will you Pay to Import Lithium Batteries from China?

The amount of tax/duties you pay will depend on:

  • Incoterms you use
  • Volume of the lithium batteries you are exporting
  • Regulations of the country of destination

Is there Recommended Labeling Requirement in Shipping Lithium Batteries from China?

Yes.

There is a recommended labeling requirement in shipping Lithium Batteries from China.

The outer package of the lithium battery must be affixed with Class 9 dangerous goods label, which has been marked with a UN number.

If you are shipping your Lithium Batteries by air, you ought to affix a “Cargo Aircraft Only”(CAO) label.

The label acts as a warning to the shipping company not to load your consignment to a passenger aircraft.

IATA requires a Dangerous Good (DG) handling label for certain types of Lithium Batteries.

There are two types of DG handling labels: DG Handling Label for Lithium Metal Batteries, and DG Handling Label for Lithium-Ion Batteries.

Both labels contain a slot for the phone number of the person shipping the package.

Classification chart for lithium battery

Classification chart for lithium battery

Do you need Insurance when Shipping Lithium Batteries from China?

As a seller you will need insurance as a contractual requirement if you have:

  • Carriage and Insurance Paid to (CIP), or
  • Cost, Insurance, and Freight (CIF) agreement with the buyer of the lithium batteries.

As a buyer of Lithium Batteries, you can opt for insurance if you have paid for the batteries before delivery.

This is to reduce financial loss in case of loss or damage to the batteries.

A carrier may need insurance to cover the carrier’s limited liability.

However, the law normally exempts carriers from the responsibility of loss during transit resulting from natural disasters.

In case of Product Return Policy, Can you ship Defective Lithium Batteries to China?

International Air Transport Association (IATA) forbids the shipping of Lithium batteries cited as damaged or defective by the manufacturer.

This is majorly done for safety reasons.

However, any shipment for disposal or recycle must first be approved by China before it is shipped.

Importantly, defective lithium batteries can be shipped back to China by vessel (sea), rail or road, in case of a return policy.

The shipping back process should comply with Cost and Freight (CFR) regulations.

Can you Ship Batteries from China via Mail?

Yes.

But due to the dangerous nature of the batteries, you should consider using reputable courier services such as FedEx, USPS, UPS, and DHL.

These couriers have well-trained personnel to handle dangerous goods such as batteries.

To mail your battery you have to ensure the following:

They must not be defective.

You get approval from the national authority if they are weighing more than 35 Kg.

Package your batteries safely to avoid short-circuiting.

If you are mailing lithium batteries ensure the package is labeled as a dangerous good and you have the necessary documentation.

Consider using specialized packaging for safety purposes.

When Shipping Lithium Batteries from China, Is there Restrictions in Quantity you can Ship?

Yes.

The quantity limit varies depending on the Packing Instructions (PI) from IATA’s Section II guidelines.

For PI965, (Lithium Ion Batteries not contained in equipment):

  • Cells greater than 20Wh, and Batteries greater than 100Wh.Both labeled as Cargo Aircraft Only (CAO) and with a 30% State of Charge (SoC).

The maximum weight per package is 35 Kg, with no limit on the number of packages.

  • Cells less than or equal to 20Wh, and Batteries less than or equal to 100Wh.

Both labeled as Cargo Aircraft Only (CAO) and with a 30% SoC.

The maximum weight per package should be 10 Kg, with no limit on the number of packages.

  • When individual cells are less than 2.7Wh the maximum weight is 2.5Kg.

The same applies if the cells are greater than 2.7Wh but less than or equal to 20Wh.

Which is an equivalent of 8 cells; or the batteries are greater than 2.7Wh but less than or equal to 100Wh, an equivalent of 2 batteries.

These are also labeled CAO. The number of packages should only be 1.

For PI966, (Lithium Ion Batteries packed with equipment):

  • Cells greater than 20Wh, and batteries greater than 100 Wh.

The maximum weight per package on passenger aircraft is 5Kg, and 35Kg on CAO; with no limit on the number of packages.

  • Cells less than or equal to 20Wh, and batteries less than or equal to 100Wh.

The maximum weight per package on both passenger aircraft and CAO is 5 Kg; with no limit on the number of packages.

For PI967, (Lithium Ion Batteries Contained With Equipment):

  • Cells greater than 20Wh, and batteries less than 100Wh.

The maximum weight per package is 5 Kg on the passenger aircraft and 35 Kg on CAO; with no limit on the number of packages.

  • Cells less than or equal to 20Wh, and batteries less than or equal to 100Wh.

The maximum weight per package on both passenger aircraft and CAO is 5 Kg; with no limit on the number of packages.

For PI968, (Loose Lithium Metal Batteries):

  • Cells containing more than 1 gram of lithium, and batteries containing 2 grams; labeled CAO.

The maximum weight per package is 35 Kg; with no limit on the number of packages.

  • Cells containing 1 gram or less of lithium, and batteries containing 2 grams or less of lithium; labeled CAO and is mostly for high volume shipping.

The maximum weight is 2.5 Kg per package; with no limit on the number of packages.

  • When cells contain 0.3 grams or less of lithium the maximum weight is 2.5 Kg.

The same applies if the lithium content in cells is greater than 0.3 grams but less than or equal to 1 gram, an equivalent of 8 cells.

Or the lithium content in batteries is more than 0.3 grams but less than 2 grams, an equivalent of 2 batteries.

For PI969, (Lithium Metal Batteries Packed With Equipment):

  • Cells containing lithium greater than 1 gram, and batteries containing more than 2 grams of lithium.

The maximum weight per package is 5 Kg on passenger aircraft and 35 Kg on CAO; with no limit on the number of packages.

  • Cells with 1 gram of lithium or less, and batteries with 2grams of lithium or less. The maximum weight per package is 5Kg on both the passenger aircraft and CAO; with no limit on the number of packages.

For PI970, (Lithium Metal Batteries Contained in Equipment):

  • Cells containing lithium greater than 1 gram, and batteries containing more than 2 grams of lithium.

The maximum weight per package is 5 Kg on passenger aircraft and 35 Kg on CAO; with no limit on the number of packages.

  • Cells with 1 gram of lithium or less, and batteries with 2grams of lithium or less. The maximum weight per package is 5Kg on both the passenger aircraft and CAO; with no limit on the number of packages.

How do you Prevent Short-Circuiting When Shipping Lithium Batteries from China?

Ways of preventing short circuit while shipping your lithium batteries include:

Protecting exposed terminals with non-conductive materials such as plastic caps or tapes.

Packaging each battery in a fully enclosed non-conductive material, such as plastic bag, before packaging the batteries together

When you are shipping batteries together with equipment, ensure you separate the battery from conductive parts of the equipment.

You can use various non-conductive material.

You should also ensure the outer packaging is strong enough to protect the batteries from coming into contact with outside conductive materials.

Can you Ship Devices with Lithium Batteries from China when Active?

Shipping devices with lithium battery

Shipping devices with lithium battery

Devices with minimal chances of overheating can be shipped when active.

Examples of such devices are temperature loggers and watches.

However, for devices with a high probability of overheating, you cannot ship them when they are active.

Also, take precautions they do not accidentally power up during transportation.

You can do this by putting a protective cap over the device’s switch.

What are the Regulations for Shipping Lithium Batteries from China via Ocean Freight

The guidelines of shipping Lithium Batteries to any destination by ocean freight are contained in the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code.

Here are some regulations you should follow when using ocean freight:

  • The outer package must be affixed with a class 9 dangerous goods labeled, marked with a UN number
  • All batteries must undergo the UN38.3 tests and 1.2 meter drop packaging test; and pass them.
  • The batteries must have measures to prevent external circuits; and design that prevents bursting under normal shipping conditions; while being transported via ocean freight from China.
  • Batteries should be packed in a strong outer non-conductive packaging to prevent short circuiting and damage.
  • If the battery is in the equipment, the packaging should be able to prevent it from accidental activation during shipping.
  • The outer package must be waterproof, or alternatively use an inner lining for example a plastic bag to make it waterproof.
  • Lithium Batteries must be reinforced in the container with adherence to the reinforcement strength and method requirements of the importing country. Otherwise, poor reinforcement may lead to the detention of your container.
  • For Lithium batteries exported from China to North America, ensure Class 9 dangerous goods labeled is placed at the container’s specified locations.

What should you Know when Shipping Lithium Batteries Internationally from China?

  • The major shipping means of Lithium Batteries from China are Sea and air.
  • Lithium batteries are to be labeled as Class 9 dangerous goods and should comply with UN 38.3 tests standards.
  • Lithium batteries from China can be shipped separately, in the equipment, or with the equipment.
  • You are required to have a test summary before shipping Lithium Batteries.
  • Depending on your chosen mode of transport you should adhere to International Air Transport Association (IATA) or International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG), regulations.
  • You should package your lithium batteries with strict observance of the Packaging Instructions (PI)

Can YOU Ship Lithium Batteries from China via Courier Services?

Yes. Below are some of the Courier services and their requirements:

· DHL

DHL requires full adherence of the following regulations to ship Lithium Batteries internationally:

  • IATA rules and regulations on the transport of Lithium Batteries
  • Packaging Instructions (PI) ranging from PI965 – PI970, as per the UN numbers classifications.
  • Producers and successive distributors of batteries or cells produced later than 30 June 2003 should avail a test summary which follows UN Manual of Tests and Criteria.

· United States Postal Services (USPS)

USPS is permitting specific quantities of Lithium batteries (when placed in the device they are to operate) and ship them internationally if permitted by the destination country.

However, they cannot ship to the postal operators in Germany and Italy who are not accepting items containing Lithium Batteries.

· TNT

TNT Air Network forbids all Lithium batteries packed separately.

The lithium batteries must be contained in the equipment or packed with the equipment.

The Lithium batteries should comply with IATA DGR 3.9.2.6 which requires:

  • Each battery meets the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria
  • Each battery is designed to preclude a violent rapture during normal transportation conditions
  • Each battery is equipped with a means of preventing external short circuit
  • Each battery is equipped with a means of preventing reverse current flow
  • Batteries must have been manufactured under quality management program

The lithium batteries should have also passed the UN 38.3 tests.

· FedEx

TNT will soon become FedEx, so the requirement will be more or less similar.

FedEx requires full compliance of IATA and ICAO dangerous goods regulations before shipping Lithium batteries.

For packaging, to comply with Section II IATA shipping requirements, FedEx requires:

  • Individual packaging of lithium batteries
  • Protection of lithium batteries to prevent short circuit
  • Ensure the battery has passed UN 38.3 test requirements
  • Complete enclosure of lithium batteries
  • Lithium batteries should be placed in a sturdy container
  • Correct labeling and documentation

Importantly, all the listed courier services offer international services, inclusive of shipping from China to the rest of the world, and prohibit shipping of defective or recalled lithium batteries.

· UPS

Effective from 1 January 2017 UPS requires that all lithium batteries shipped by air be treated as dangerous goods.

The courier also requires shippers to consent to a UPS Dangerous Goods service agreement before shipping by air lithium batteries without equipment..

What are the Rules and Regulations for Shipping Lithium Battery by Air from China

The important rules and regulations for shipping Lithium Battery by Air from China as per the International Air Transport Association (IATA) are:

  • No shipping of defective batteries by air.
  • Lithium batteries should be labeled as Class 9 Dangerous Goods.
  • Weight limit per package should be applied depending on watt-hour (Wh) and lithium content level.
  • All Lithium batteries must pass the UN 38.3 test and the 1.2 meter drop test.
  • A test summary should be provided by manufacturers and subsequent distributors.
  • Batteries must not share a package with other dangerous goods.
  • The outer packaging must be strong
  • An over pack of packages containing batteries must not be placed with other items labelled as dangerous goods.
  • All Lithium-ion batteries must be shipped at a state of charge (SoC) not exceeding 30 percent of their rated capacity, if otherwise; China has to approve the shipping.
  • All lithium batteries shipped by themselves are prohibited for transport as cargo on passenger aircraft. They ought to be labeled Cargo Aircraft Only (CAO).

Additionally you can notify the airline transporting your lithium battery consignment so that they can act effectively in case of an emergency.

Why should you Import Lithium Batteries from China?

Battery

Battery

Out of the 2019’s 316 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of global lithium cell manufacturing capacity, China accounted for 73 percent of the capacity.

Being the greatest producer of Lithium Batteries in the world places, China is at a better place to offer you, as their buyer, a cheaper market price.

What is the Classification of Lithium Battery when Shipping from China?

Lithium Batteries are classified according to UN 38.3 numbers as below:

  • UN3090 – Lithium metal batteries
  • UN3480 – Lithium-ion batteries
  • UN3091 – Lithium metal batteries contained in equipment
  • UN3091 – Lithium metal batteries packed with equipment
  • UN3481 – Lithium-ion batteries contained in equipment
  • UN3481 – Lithium-ion batteries packed with equipment

Should you Ship Lithium Batteries from China separately or when Packed in Equipment?

Provided you adhere to the dangerous good regulations you can ship Lithium battery separately or pack it in the equipment.

When packed in equipment ensure you cover the terminals with non-conductive materials.

These can include insulation materials such as plastic caps, to prevent it from coming into contact with the equipment’s conductive parts.

Adherence to the dangerous goods shipping regulations and labeling your package as required is mandatory for either shipping separately or when packed in equipment.

Importantly, when packing your lithium battery in equipment, ensure the weight conforms to IATA standards.

International courier services, such as FedEx and DHL, will not ship your lithium battery separately in most cases.

What is the Responsibility of Manufacturers when Shipping Lithium Battery from China?

  • Ensure the cargo is not prohibited for the chosen mode of shipping.
  • Ensure the goods are properly classified, marked, and labeled as per the international standards.
  • Ensure the package of the lithium batteries strictly adhere to the Packaging Instructions (PI).
  • Issue all the relevant documentation and prompt signing of the shipping declaration.

Which Role does Freight Forwarder play in Shipping Lithium Batteries from China?

Your Freight Forwarder should ascertain that everything adheres to the set standards before the cargo is shipped.

Freight forwarders will help you in the following:

i. Free warehousing and shipping container

ii. Supervise inspection and quality compliance of the lithium batter

iii. Ensure proper packaging and labeling

iv. Book shipping space

v. Handle customs clearance

What is the Responsibilities of Buyers when Shipping Lithium Batteries from China?

Depending on the Incoterms, the responsibilities of the buyers vary.

However, in most cases the buyer pays the shipping cost plus the cost after the cargo leaves the country of origin.

Which Quality Standards should Lithium Batteries from China Conform to?

UN 38.3 classification which are as follows:

  • UN3090 – Lithium metal batteries
  • UN3480 – Lithium-ion batteries
  • UN3091 – Lithium metal batteries contained in equipment
  • UN3091 – Lithium metal batteries packed with equipment
  • UN3481 – Lithium-ion batteries contained in equipment
  • UN3481 – Lithium-ion batteries packed with equipment

UN 38.3 testing and qualification which consists of the following tests:

  • T1 – Attitude Simulation (Primary and Secondary Cells and Batteries)
  • T2 – Thermal Test (Primary and Secondary Cells and Batteries)
  • T3 – Vibration (Primary and Secondary Cells and Batteries)
  • T4 – Shock (Primary and Secondary Cells and Batteries)
  • T5 – External Short Circuit (Primary and Secondary Cells and Batteries)
  • T6 – Impact (Primary and Secondary Cells)
  • T7 – Overcharge (Secondary Batteries)
  • T8 – Forced Discharge (Primary and Secondary Cells)

In addition the lithium battery design should:

  • Be able to prevent external short circuits
  • Prevent dangerous reverse current flow in cases of parallel connected cells
  • Have used quality management system during manufacturing

Lithium batteries shipped separately should have a 30 percent state of charge (SoC)

Lithium batteries are also required to meet the IEC 62133 global market standards.

What are the IATA Requirements for Lithium Batteries Shipping from China?

IATA requires the manufacturer and subsequent distributors to avail a Lithium battery test summary. The test summary includes:

  • Battery manufacturer’s name
  • Contact information of the cell, battery, or product manufacturer; which should include phone number, address, email and website.
  • Contact details of the test laboratory.
  • A distinct identification number; and date the report was compiled.
  • A description of cell or battery which includes: Mass, Watt-hour rating/lithium content, physical description of the cell/ battery, type of Lithium battery, and the model numbers.
  • Lists of conducted tests and results, indicated as Pass or Fail
  • Assembled battery or cell requirement, if applicable.
  • The Edition of UN Manual of Tests and Criteria used and any amendments if used.
  • Name, title, and signature of the signatory to validate the information provided.

IATA emphasizes that all cells and battery must be tested in accordance with the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria Part III Subsection 38 .3 (DGR 3.9.2.6)

Another requirement is the lithium battery mark which may be in the form of a rectangle or a square with minimum dimensions of 100mm x 100mm; or not less than 100mm wide x70mm high, depending on the size of the package.

However, there are exceptions as advised by IATA 2021 Guidelines.

Can you Ship Lithium Batteries from China to Amazon FBA?

Yes.

But Lithium Batteries have to meet certain requirements by Amazon FBA.

Suppliers of the Lithium Batteries should be able to provide a preexisting UN 38.3 test report which includes the following tests:

T1 – Attitude Simulation (Primary and Secondary Cells and Batteries)

T2 – Thermal Test (Primary and Secondary Cells and Batteries)

T3 – Vibration (Primary and Secondary Cells and Batteries)

T4 – Shock (Primary and Secondary Cells and Batteries)

T5 – External Short Circuit (Primary and Secondary Cells and Batteries)

T6 – Impact (Primary and Secondary Cells)

T7 – Overcharge (Secondary Batteries)

T8 – Forced Discharge (Primary and Secondary Cells)

The supplier should also provide Amazon with a test summary containing:

  • Battery manufacturer’s information.
  • Contact information of the cell, battery, or product manufacturer; which should include phone number, address, email and website.
  • Contact details of the test laboratory.
  • A distinct identification number; and date the report was compiled.
  • A description of cell or battery which includes: Mass, Watt-hour rating/lithium content, physical description of the cell/ battery, type of Lithium battery, and the model numbers
  • Lists of conducted tests and results, indicated as Pass or Fail
  • Assembled battery or cell requirement, if applicable.
  • The Edition of UN Manual of Tests and Criteria used and any amendments if used.
  • Name, title, and signature of the signatory to validate the information provided.

The lithium battery should also be assigned its corresponding UN 38.3 numbers:

  • UN3090 – Lithium metal batteries
  • UN3480 – Lithium-ion batteries
  • UN3091 – Lithium metal batteries contained in equipment
  • UN3091 – Lithium metal batteries packed with equipment
  • UN3481 – Lithium-ion batteries contained in equipment
  • UN3481 – Lithium-ion batteries packed with equipment

In addition, it is a requirement by Amazon that all lithium batteries undergo lab tests to ascertain internationally recognized standards are met.

Preferably, you should book testing services for the lithium batteries from reputable companies such as Intertrek, TUV, Bureau Veritas, or SGS.

Another voluntary requirement is meeting the UL standards for Lithium batteries such as:

  • UL 1642 – Standards for Lithium Batteries
  • UL 2054 – Standard for Commercial and Household and Commercial Battery
  • UL 4200A – Standard for Safety for Products Incorporating Button or Coin Cell Batteries of Lithium Technologies
  • UL 60086-4 – Standard for Safety for Primary Batteries.

Lithium batteries products packaging should conform to Amazon’s product packaging policies for dry batteries.

Amazon allows boxes, original manufacturer packaging, and clamshell plastic for rigid packaging.

Zipper-sealed bags and shrink-wrap are only allowed when used in rigid packaging.

Lastly, when shipping lithium batteries to Amazon FBA, sellers should strictly abide to UN 38.3 lithium battery shipping instruction or any other applicable shipping instructions.

Importantly, Amazon does not allow sale or shipping of the following products on its platform:

  • Electric cigarettes
  • Cylindrical lithium-ion cell battery types: 14500, 16340, 18650, 20700, 21700, and 26650

How do you Dropship a Lithium Battery from China?

Using Chinese companies such as 86Deal, they can help you source for dropship suppliers, and then further purchase for you the Lithium Battery.

Provided the dropship supplier or shipping agent provides Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) report for the Lithium battery.

Also, the company should ensure the battery is well packed; you can ship the lithium battery via an international courier such as DHL and FedEx.

At BanSar, we can help you in dropshipping lithium battery from China.

Which Incoterm should you use to Ship Lithium Batteries from China?

It is advisable you choose an International Commercial Terms (Incoterm) that will get you Lithium Battery cargo as far as possible.

An Incoterm will show you how far your supplier will ship your cargo

Below is a list of Incoterms available which either importers or exporters use:

Incoterms with a named place (Main Carriage Not Paid by the seller)

  • EXW
  • FCA

Incoterms with named ports of loading (Main Carriage Not paid By Seller)

  • FAS
  • FOB

Incoterms with named ports of destination (Main Carriage Paid by Seller)

  • CFR
  • CIF
  • CPT

Incoterms with the named place of destination

  • DAT
  • DAP
  • DDP

For your better understanding of the Incoterms, below is the current Incoterms Chart:

FAS, FOB, CFR, and CIF are only used for sea and inland waterway transport.

EXW, FCA, CPT, CIP, DAT, DAP, and DDP are used for any mode of transport.

At BanSar China, we will handle everything when it comes to shipping lithium battery from China.

From packaging, labelling, inspection to custom clearance – BanSar team will make the shipping process easy and simple.

Contact us today for all your freight forwarding needs when

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