In our continuing efforts to prepare our agent family for Peak season, we wanted to advise on the recent USTC PP Advisory #23-0044, regarding proper handling and shipping restrictions to lithium batteries on both domestic and international personal property shipments, effective 15 May 2023.
There are two types of lithium batteries:
- Lithium metal batteries - found in common items such as watches, cameras, remote controls, etc. These batteries are single use and NOT rechargeable.
- Lithium-ion batteries - found in cell phones, electronic items, e-cigarettes, various appliances, etc. These batteries ARE rechargeable, some may be internal to a product, and cannot be easily removed.
The following ratings of lithium batteries are allowed on dHHG and iHHG shipments:
- Lithium-ion cells: 100 watt-hours (Wh) or less OR 20 Wh or less for single cells.
- Lithium metal cells: 2 grams of lithium content or less OR 1 gram of lithium content or less for single cells.
The Origin Agent will be responsible for properly packaging, labeling, and certifying (if required) in accordance with 49 CFR 173.185(c), the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and in accordance with local, state, federal, and foreign country or international laws, regulations, or guidance. All lithium batteries should be assessed during the pre-move survey process. Additional responsibilities of the agent are as follows:
- If there are lithium batteries over the allowable limits on a dHHG or iHHG move, the reason should be clearly articulated on the pre-move survey.
- Lack of training is not an acceptable excuse for refusing to pack items with lithium batteries.
- Agents should clearly identify lithium batteries, and their equipment, on the inventory to assist in identifying their location in the shipment if there is a need to remove the lithium battery(ies) at a later date.
- NTS agents should ensure that lithium batteries are not present in non-temporary storage shipments.
All types of lithium batteries are prohibited from Non-Temporary Storage (NTS) however, lithium batteries meeting the above mentioned requirements are allowed on shipments destined to storage in-transit (SIT).
Per the Advisory referenced in this memo, customers will be briefed that common items such as scooters, lawn equipment (e.g. riding mowers) etc. that are powered by lithium batteries may be prohibited on dHHG and iHHG shipments due to their large size that may exceed the watt-hour limitation.
It is strongly encouraged that all agents join IAM Wednesday, 5 April at 11:00 am EDT for a webcast to preview their new virtual training course on properly shipping lithium batteries in a customer’s personal property. It will be moderated by IAM's Dan Bradley, Ray daSilva of Mobility Exchange, and Peter Kramer of DOT's Transportation Safety Institute and will focus specifically on the new Department of Defense parameters for shipping used lithium batteries. You can join via this link: