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USPS To Ban International Shipping On Lithium Ion Powered Gadgetry

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  • Good job not reading (Score:5, Informative)

    by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Friday May 11, 2012 @12:24PM (#39968207) Homepage Journal
    The very USPS page that is linked to from this summary says that batteries that are in devices are generally exempt from this. Essentially you can ship all the iPods/iPads/iPhones you want. It is external (ie not built-in) batteries that have additional restrictions, though those are not very severe.
  • It's not my fault! (Score:5, Informative)

    by ColdWetDog (752185) on Friday May 11, 2012 @12:25PM (#39968229) Homepage

    This is an issue with International Postal Union and aviation authorities:

    MEDIA STATEMENT ON Outbound International Mailing of Lithium Batteries

    REACTIVE ONLY — FOR IMMEDIATE USE

    Until January 2013, the Postal Service will not be able to accept packages containing lithium batteries and electronic devices containing lithium batteries addressed to international destinations. This includes mail destined to, or from, APO (Army Post Office), FPO (Fleet Post Office) and DPO (Diplomatic Post Office) locations.

    This change is required by the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the Universal Postal Union (UPU), both of which currently prohibit lithium batteries in mail shipments that are carried on international commercial air transportation.

    So it is a) hopefully temporary b) because the hazardous little bombs are hazardous little bombs and c) everything is complicated these days.

    So, just cram those AAA batteries into you iPhones and wait it out.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 11, 2012 @12:34PM (#39968333)

    "Until January 2013, the Postal Service will not be able to accept packages containing lithium batteries and electronic devices containing lithium batteries addressed to international destinations"

    I bolded the part you chose not to read.

  • by Idbar (1034346) on Friday May 11, 2012 @12:43PM (#39968455)
    Also, you should read... the fact that there's a differentiation between Lithium and Lithium-Ion. Where the latest, the rechargeable ones seem to be allowed, contrary to the non-rechargeable ones.
  • by tlhIngan (30335) <(slashdot) (at) (worf.net)> on Friday May 11, 2012 @12:43PM (#39968465)

    As long as our currency is on, near, or above par with the US dollar, most sensible canadians will order stuff from the US and use USPS to deliver it, since UPS and the like are really just crooked extortionists. How their extortionist techniques are legal, I just don't know.

    Yeah, USPS is probably one of the best shippers around - it's trackable through Canada (USPS stops at the border, but Canada Post tracks it through). It's also cheap. It will cost more to ship via USPS, but you don't pay UPS' extortionate fees to receive the package.

    DHL is probably another good one - their fees are pretty reasonable (similar to Canada Post's), but very few American companies support DHL as a shipping option (probably because it sucked inside the US - despite being close or is the #1 worldwide carrier).

    After that comes FedEx, because they do flat rate $25+taxes.

    UPS - it's probably their cash cow - total bill can be anywhere from 30-200% of the item value. It's so bad that many US stores stopped shipping to Canada because people were refusing packages ($50 for a $40 item?) over the extortionate and gouging fees.

    Now, there is ONE saving grace - there's something called "UPS Mail Innovations" that uses UPS within the US, who then hands it off to the local post office or USPS to carry across the border. Costs more than USPS and few know about it, but it's an option.

    And it looks to be an ICAO rule, which means every country is affected (but only internationally - local laws can override ICAO if it stays in-country). Though, I suppose USPS just has to innovate and use ground crossings - fly it to the border gateway city, drive it across, and have Canada post continue with it. After all, the only time ICAO really applies is across countries (it's a set of de-facto rules). Though, nothing stops the US and Canada from forming an agreement to allow air transport across the border of batteries.

  • by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Friday May 11, 2012 @12:49PM (#39968525)

    The very USPS page that is linked to from this summary says that batteries that are in devices are generally exempt from this

    Not sure what article you're reading so will paste it verbatim here from TFA. I don't interpret the "rechargeable" and "nonrechargeable" to explicitly mean "removed from the device":

    "primary lithium metal or lithium alloy (nonrechargeable) cells and batteries or secondary lithium-ion cells and batteries (rechargeable) are prohibited when mailed internationally"

    and then the part about being installed in the device - that's not until 2013:

    "on January 1, 2013, cusÂtpmers will be able to mail specific quantities of lithium batteries internationally (including to and from an APO, FPO, or DPO location) when the batteries are properly installed in the personal electronic devices they are intended to operate."

  • by toastyman (23954) <toasty@dragondata.com> on Friday May 11, 2012 @12:51PM (#39968559) Homepage

    DHL is probably another good one - their fees are pretty reasonable (similar to Canada Post's), but very few American companies support DHL as a shipping option (probably because it sucked inside the US - despite being close or is the #1 worldwide carrier).

    DHL ended US-to-US delivery in 2009. They have a service where they'll use the USPS for local delivery, but it's expensive and slow. They also don't do pickup service (for any destination country) in many parts of the US now, so they've made it really hard for US companies to use them. Not all of it is their fault, but it's hard to use DHL if you're in the US now.

  • by Animats (122034) on Friday May 11, 2012 @01:06PM (#39968745) Homepage
    • Plane crashes caused by lithum batteries, last 10 years: 2.
    • Plane crashes caused by terrorism, last 10 years: 0.

    And Fast Company is whining that the USPS is overreacting because they refuse to ship a product that randomly catches fire and blows up? And sets off other batteries in the same shipment?

    The FAA has a whole site on aircraft fires. [faa.gov] All their lithium battery documents appear there. Here are the current US battery rules for air transportation [dot.gov]. Phone batteries usually aren't big enough to be a problem, but as battery sizes move up from "small" to "medium" (laptop batteries) the restrictions get tougher.

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