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Shipping Goods With or Containing Lithium Batteries

Effective January 1, 2016, more stringent regulations were issued by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) for the transport of Lithium Batteries that are packed and shipped as individual items.
A wide variety of electronic goods powered by Lithium Batteries are affected by the new regulations, regardless of whether they are rechargeable (Lithium Ion) or non-rechargeable (Lithium Metal). The regulations apply when:
  • Lithium Batteries are packed and shipped as individual items
  • Lithium Batteries are packed separately but shipped with equipment in the same box. Example: A cell phone with a replaceable Lithium Battery
  • Lithium Batteries are contained or installed in equipment and therefore shipped in the same box. Example: A computer tablet with an integrated Lithium Battery within the device that cannot be removed or replaced by the user
Due to increasing safety concerns raised by the aviation industry, the IATA regulations governing the shipping of Lithium Batteries have been tightened and airlines consequently have to enforce these regulations more rigorously.
Please note that the safe transportation of such contents by air and the full compliance to IATA regulations is the legal responsibility of the Shipper. In view of this fact, IATA has produced a guide to help Shippers understand and comply with the regulations.

Any person, company or entity identified as the Shipper on the DHL Express shipment waybill is legally responsible to ensure 100% compliance with the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations. This responsibility persists even if the shipment containing the Lithium Batteries does not actually belong to or was made by the person, company or entity identified on the waybill.
To avoid any undesirable consequences, please alert DHL Express whenever you intend to send any shipments containing Lithium Batteries. Our team of experts will be pleased to guide you through the latest IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations.
Following an IATA/ICAO decision to ban loose Lithium Metal batteries on passenger aircraft as from January 2015, DHL Express is likewise unable to accept these batteries on its network. The IATA /ICAO regulation applies to loosely packed Lithium Metal batteries adhering to Section II, PI-968 while Lithium Metal batteries packed with equipment (PI-969) or contained in equipment (PI-970) are acceptable for transport.

Following the 2016 IATA/ICAO changes related to Lithium Ion batteries adhering to Section II PI-965, several air carriers decided to place embargoes for the carriage of these batteries in their aircrafts. Due to this, we can offer a limited service to, from, within ASIA Pacific for shipping Lithium Ion batteries Section II Pi-965. For additional information contact your local DHL representative.

For shipments meeting above conditions, there is the requirement that the consignment is limited to a maximum of 2 packages (each containing maximum 4 cells or 2 batteries contained in equipment).

If the shipment exceeds 2 packages, the application of the lithium battery handling label (and the subsequent requirements) apply.

This limitation of 2 packages per consignment enters only in force as off 1st of January 2017, since the regulations foresee a 12 month transitional period, however, shippers are recommender to implement it as soon as possible.

DHL Express no longer accepts Time Definite International shipments containing loose lithium ion batteries (UN3480 / PI965) to or from Myanmar or Pakistan.


Lithium Batteries that are known or suspected to be defective or damaged present a high safety risk to personnel and property, and are not permitted on aircraft under any circumstances.
When it is known or suspected that a defective or damaged Lithium Battery is enclosed within a laptop, mobile phone or other device, the battery must be removed before DHL can accept the shipment.