How to export Lithium batteries to China

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The impact on health, safety, and the environment is a key consideration made by various regulatory authorities when classifying products. This is further prioritised by freight control regulatory bodies, when the transportation of such cargo is required, as the safety of the transport operator, the cargoes’ handlers, and other parties are involved. Cargo in this instance is categorised as either safe or dangerous.

With regards to lithium batteries, because they are extremely powerful, and have the potential to be highly explosive, they are thus labelled as dangerous to transport, especially by air. Therefore, there is a need for proper processes and safety protocols. This article discusses more on the potential risks involved when transporting lithium batteries, and what measures should be put in place to ensure the safe shipping of such batteries to China, .

Hazards posed by lithium batteries

Lithium as a compound has high electrochemical potential. This makes it perfect for making batteries with high energy density and low discharge rates. However, when mishandled (charged improperly), Lithium batteries can trigger a short circuit, causing the battery to explode and burst into flames.

To reduce the chances of various hazards associated with the shipping of lithium batteries, various national and international rules and regulations have been put in place for the packing, shipping, and customs clearance of lithium batteries at their shipment destination.

Regulations for shipping lithium batteries

As it is considered a hazardous product, lithium battery shipping is thus regulated from the shipment preparation stages up to the transportation and delivery of it. Essentially, there are specific requirements that need to be adhered to.

Preparation for export

Considering her strict import regulations of hazardous products, the preparation stage for this process is important if you have the intention to export lithium batteries to China. One process you would have to undergo is the International Air Transport Association (IATA) certification

Also, as part of the safety verification process, lithium batteries are required to be tested to ensure that they are safe for transportation. This test is known as the UN38.3 test, and largely involves the testing of the batteries’ capabilities to withstand mechanical vibration, impact, and whether they are susceptible to overcharging. The batteries’ packaging is also tested to ensure that there is no deformity or leakage. If your cargo of batteries clears the battery of tests, you will then be issued an appraisal certificate that is necessary for the shipping of lithium batteries. 

In addition, the IATA has also implemented a set of guidelines to dictate how such products should be handled. Known as Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR), this manual provides guided instructions to all concerned stakeholders in the export of dangerous goods such as lithium batteries. These guidelines include how they should be packed and how they should be transported.

Transporting lithium batteries

Even though the shipping of potentially dangerous goods requires a lot of caution, you can be assured that an experienced courier service provider is aware of the dangers of shipping Lithium batteries or items that contain lithium batteries. Should you be exporting lithium batteries from Singapore to China, two shipping methods are available for you — sea or air freight

In such cases, where the cargo in question poses some form of risk, always engage the services of an experienced courier service provider with highly trained logistics staff in their ranks. Ideally, such service providers would have the most current and relevant accreditation to transport lithium batteries by air or sea, and they should be up to date with the current IATA regulations for the transportation of such hazardous goods.

Customs clearance of lithium batteries in China

The customs authority in China has strict clearance procedures for dangerous goods. Its lodgment of declarations requires that all exporters or shipping agents must state the packaging category, hazard category, UNDG Number, and the United Nations testing and certification markings for packaging. This information is needed for effective inspection and clearance of cargo.

Let DHL Express help you ship lithium batteries internationally

Since it is categorised as a hazardous product, it will take experience, expertise, and careful planning to ship lithium batteries in a smooth and efficient manner so that you can prevent shipping delays. This is why it is vital that companies work with credible courier service providers when shipping such items.

For lithium battery shipping, DHL Express only allows pre-approved account holders. This is to ensure that the account holder is aptly trained and instructed to prepare lithium battery shipments according to DHL’s Dangerous Goods policies and procedures.

Our team of Dangerous Goods experts can guide you through a smooth shipping and customs clearance process. Sign up for a business account today, and let us help you export lithium batteries not just to China but also to anywhere around the world in a safe and efficient manner.